Martavis Bryant (born December 20, 1991) is an American football wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Clemson.
High school career
Bryant attended Calhoun Falls High School and transferred to T. L. Hanna High School in Anderson, South Carolina prior to his senior year. He was named first-team all-state as a senior recording 70 receptions for 722 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had 44 catches for 776 yards and six touchdowns as a junior.
Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, he was rated the 10th best wide receiver prospect in the nation. After high school, he spent one year at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia in order to pass NCAA initial eligibility standards
Also a standout sprinter, Bryant ran for the T. L. Hanna track team. He finished 3rd in the 100 meters at the Regional Class 1 AAAA championships, with a time of 10.69 seconds. He ran a career-best time of 10.62 seconds in the prelims. He also won the 200 meters at the 2010 Region 1-4A Meet, recording a personal-best time of 21.46 seconds.
Bryant began attending Clemson University in 2011. Coming into Clemson, he had to compete with future NFL players, Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins, and Jaron Brown. His first reception was for 54-yards against Troy on September 3. The next week he had his first career touchdown, a 54-yard reception while playing Wofford. His first career start was against #10 Virginia Tech on October 1, 2011. He also played in his first bowl game, against #22 West Virginia in the Orange Bowl. In that game he caught 2 passes for 20 yards. He completed his first season with 2 starts in 14 games. Finishing 2011 with 9 receptions, 220 receiving yards, and 2 touchdowns.
After his first season, he would begin to play in more games. Against Ball State he would have a 22-yard touchdown catch, a 17-yard carry, and 3 kickoff returns for 69-yards. He would finish this game leading the tigers with 108 all purpose yards. For the season he would show little improvement, having career highs with 10 receptions, 305 receiving yards, and 4 touchdown catches. He would lead the entire FBS with 30.5 yards per a reception.
His junior season would mark the best year in his college career. While playing #5 Georgia, he recovered the game winning onside kick. Against North Carolina State he had 6 receptions for 73 yards. On November 14, against Georgia Tech, he had a career high 176 receiving yards, on 5 catches, for 1 touchdown. In his second Orange Bowl against #6 Ohio State he had 3 catches, 28 receiving yards, and 2 touchdowns, marking a career high. He finished 2013 with 42 receptions, 828 receiving yards, and 7 touchdown receptions making his career totals, 61 receptions, 1,354 receiving yards, and 13 touchdowns.
Bryant announced on January 5, 2014 that he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft.
|Ht||Wt||Hand size||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 4 in||211 lb||9.5 in||4.42 s||1.57 s||2.57 s||4.15 s||7.18 s||39 in||10 ft 4 in||16 reps|
|All values from NFL Combine|
2014 NFL Draft
Bryant was selected in the 4th round, (118th overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2014 NFL Draft. On June 9, 2014, he signed a 4-year contract worth $2.659 million with $439,220 guaranteed and a $439,220 signing bonus.
Bryant spent the first 6 weeks of the season inactive due to a shaky training camp and preseason in addition to suffering a mild A/C sprain in the last preseason game. Head Coach Mike Tomlin told Bryant he wanted to see him dominate the scout team in practice before he would activate him for a game Bryant was finally activated for a Week 7 matchup against the Houston Texans. His first career reception went for a 35-yard touchdown and he finished the game with 2 catches for 40-yards. On October 26, 2014, he hauled in a season-high 5 catches for 83-yards and 2 receiving touchdowns in a 51-34 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. On November 2, 2014, Bryant received his first career start and ended the game with 3 receptions, 44 receiving yards, and 2 touchdown receptions. During a Week 10 contest at the New York Jets, he caught 4 receptions for a season-high 143-yards and had an 80-yard touchdown catch. This marked his sixth touchdown in first 4 games, and became a record number of touchdown receptions a player caught in first 4 career games.
On December 28, 2014, he caught a 21-yard touchdown reception in a 27-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. He played in his first career postseason game on January 3, 2015, against the Baltimore Ravens. He finished the 17-30 loss with 5 receptions, 61 receiving yards, and a touchdown reception. In his rookie season, he had a total of 26 catches, 549 receiving yards, and 8 touchdown receptions in 10 games and 3 starts.
On August 27, 2015, Bryant was suspended the first four games due to violating the league's substance abuse policy. During his suspension, he spent time at a rehabilitation center in Houston, Texas and worked with ex-NBA coach John Lucas. Although he was available to return for Week 5, he missed the game due to a knee injury. He made his 2015 debut on October 18, 2015. In a 25-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, he caught 6 passes for 137-yards and 2 touchdowns including an 88-yard touchdown. His first start of the season was on October 25, 2015 at the Kansas City Chiefs, and in his second game he caught three receptions for 45 receiving yards and a touchdown reception. During a Week 10 matchup against the Cleveland Browns, Bryant had a season-high 178 receiving yards on six catches while also scoring a 64-yard touchdown. On December 13, 2015, he caught a season-high seven receptions for 49-yards in a 33-20 victory over the Bengals. In Week 15, he made a season-high 10 catches for 87-yards in a 34-27 win over the Denver Broncos, making it the first time he caught over nine passes in his career.
On January 9, 2016, while in the redzone, Roethlisberger lobbed a pass into the corner of the endzone intended for Bryant. During the process of the catch, Bryant did a front flip and maintained control of the ball while holding it on the back of his leg throughout the flip. This score gave the Steelers a 15-0 lead en route to winning the game 18-16
On March 14, 2016, it was reported that Bryant had been suspended for the entire 2016 NFL season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. It has never been stated which substance Bryant has been suspended for, but it hasn't been of the performance-enhancing substance variety, as that falls under a different policy.
Bryant was raised by his mother, Roberta Bryant. She worked at a textile plant while taking care of him by herself and help from his grandmother. Clemson began recruiting Bryant in the 9th grade. He verbally committed to them in 10th grade. Martavis attended Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia and credits that experience for helping him mature. His mother says him attending Hargrave was a blessing. Bryant has two daughters, Brooke and London. He also has amassed many tattoos including the NFL shield logo on his abdomen to remind him he was drafted in the 4th round and to keep himself motivated.