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Post Familiar name comes up big in ECU upset

Monday December 24, 2007

It was the can’t-miss bowl pick of the year.  Nearly 98% of ESPN’s College Bowl Mania participants had picked #24 Boise State to handle ECU – no other pick came close to its certainty.  So of course in this season of upsets, ECU had to win, and they did.  After blowing a 38-14 lead, the Pirates drove for a game-winning field goal with no time remaining.  It was Boise State’s turn to get a taste of the Cinderella medicine, and ECU has earned the right to enjoy life for a while after a couple of 1 and 2-win seasons recently.

Though the story last night was the record-breaking performance of ECU’s Chris Johnson, their leading receiver was a guy named Jamar Bryant.  Bryant, in fact, was ECU’s leading receiver for the season with 48 receptions for 704 yards and 6 TDs.   

You might remember that Bryant originally signed with Georgia in 2004 out of Rockingham, NC.  He did not qualify academically and attended Hargrave prep school during the 2004-2005 academic year.  Then things got interesting.

As late as May 2005, Bryant seemed poised to become a Bulldog.  “Jamar is qualified,” Hargrave head coach Robert Prunty told UGASports.com. “He got his paperwork in and he’ll be there (Athens) real soon.”

That wasn’t quite the case.  In July, with Bryant’s academic status still up in the air, Bryant requested and received a release from UGA. He enrolled at ECU in 2005 but did not join the Pirate football team until the next summer as he worked out lingering eligibility issues.  Though four years out of high school, he was considered a sophomore in 2007 and will return for his junior year as ECU’s established top receiver.

Georgia signed another prospect out of Rockingham in 2004, but the story of Dannell Ellerbe has turned out a lot better for Bulldog fans.

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