Yates High School:
James Paul Bryant

FootballJoshua AllenUniversity of HoustonTony McDaniel Tyrone Davis

HOUSTON - The next football team that faces Jack Yates High School in the playoffs might want to keep an eye on James Paul Bryant.

A first-team, all-district selection last year with nearly 80 tackles and six sacks, our Class Act of the week, and defensive end, hits the books as hard as he does opponents.

"My motto is 'don't ever let anybody out work you.' So when I see somebody, you know, trying to run faster than me, I speed up," said Bryant.

For the last four years, the senior has used his dynamic speed on the Lions' varsity football team.

"I feel like that's a big deal," Ishmael Barnett, a teammate, said about Bryant being a four-year letter winner. "You know, he came in as a freshman and he's still doing it for four years. That shows what type of person he is."

"You've gotta have leaders on defense to, you know, to be a playoff team," Ronald Miller, head varsity football coach at Jack Yates, said. "He's constantly putting pressure on quarterbacks; he's running. He's quick. He's a track man too."

"He's on top of everything," said Bryant's teammate, Tony McDaniel. "He's Mr. Yates. He has a great grade point average."

"In the classroom [and] on the field, I give it 100 percent every time," said Bryant. "I do things with the church. I'm in boy scouts. I'm working on my eagle scout project right now."

"Other players before him ... they set a standard of working hard in his position [as a defensive end] and he beat their standards by a landslide," Joshua Allen, a teammate and one of Bryant's best friends, said.

As Bryant starts thinking about colleges, there's a school near the Jack Yates campus that he says would be awesome to join next fall.

"UH [University of Houston]; I'm in love with their program," Bryant said with a smile. "If it's possible I would probably study physical education because I would like to be a coach just like my father. He coached at Yates High School for 14 years."

Bryant's achievements off and on the field aren't just making teammates stand-up and take notice, but the faculty too.

"It's leadership at its best, and it [Bryant becoming a Class Act] does so much for the students who are following behind in his foot steps," Tyrone Davis, assistant principal at Jack Yates, said.  

It will be difficult to fill the shoes of a student-athlete like Bryant, who's written a chapter in the Jack Yates history books as one of the hardest-hitting defensive ends.

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