Despite missing the final month of the regular season, Bryant is still second on the team with 22 receptions.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — At first, he feared the worst.
After a catch against UCLA on Oct. 28, Hunter Bryant was reaching for the end zone when a defender crashed into his left knee near the UW sideline. Bryant, the Huskies’ dynamic freshman tight end, initially suspected a severe injury.
Much to his, and the Huskies’, relief, test results a couple days later showed just a partial ligament tear, offering a glimmer of hope that he could return for a bowl game.
And here he is, two days before Washington’s first Fiesta Bowl appearance, and Bryant says there is a chance he could play Saturday against Penn State (1 p.m. PT, ESPN).
“We’ll see how I feel,” he said.
He has been back practicing with the team the past couple weeks, though running with a noticeable limp this week.
“To get back on the field so early is really a blessing,” he said Thursday morning at the Fiesta Bowl media day. “We really have the best trainers in the country. I’ve basically been with them every day rehabbing. Just a lot of strengthening and managing pain and soreness so I can keep grinding it out.”
Despite missing the final month of the regular season, Bryant is still second on the team with 22 receptions for 331 yards and one touchdown in eight games. ESPN named him a freshman All-American earlier this month.
“This year has been a lot of fun for me,” he said. “It’s been my dream to play college football forever and now I’m finally do it. This team is incredible and all the players around me are just like a family. It’s a blessing to be here.”