Bryan sets sight on Pac-12, commits to Boulder
Sierra Canyon kicker Josh Bryan knows all about pressure.
A last-second field goal? No problem. The increased tension of the postseason? Clutch. A national competition? Nails.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Bryan had the perfect mentality to handle the stress of recruiting during the COVID-19 outbreak despite the increased uncertainty for kickers.
“I was just kind of waiting,” Bryan said. “A lot of schools don’t know their needs yet, especially with COVID.”
Bryan said he had been talking with Colorado for months and had enjoyed his on-campus visit, but had not received an official offer.
Bryan waited. And waited.
Finally Bryan got his long-coveted offer from Colorado this past weekend and jumped at it.
“They blew me away,” Bryan said. “I knew that’s where I wanted to be. I was blown away by how beautiful the school was and by everything there.”
Bryan said he also considered Yale, Navy, Army and Air Force, but said Colorado checked all the boxes, especially the allure of competing in the Pac-12 Conference.
“I liked those other schools a lot, but I wanted a bigger football school and Colorado was the best,” Bryan said. “Plus I have family up there on my dad’s side. I want to go into some sort of pre-med course, and they have a super top-level science network and their pre-med is one of the best in the country.”
With the COVID closures, Bryan could not practice at the school during his recruitment. In order to stay sharp, Bryan went to a local park and kicked at the light poles, usually without the benefit of snaps or holds.
Bryan tried to raise his profile by posting videos of his practices on social media.
“I was trying to film as much as I can and put it on Twitter,” Bryan said. “I wanted to show a progression on Twitter as much as I could.”
What might have moved the needle was Bryan’s performance at the Chris Sailor showcase in Dallas.
Sailor held a head-to-head competition on the final day with a March Madness-type of bracket. The ultimate prize was a spot in the Polynesian Bowl in Hawaii.
Bryan emerged as the showcase winner, punctuating his victory with a 55-yard field goal to clinch it.
“That was special, going against some of the best kickers in the nation,” said Bryan, who had attended Chris Sailor camps since seventh grade.
Bryan has been a fixture for Sierra Canyon as a kicker and linebacker and has helped Sierra Canyon to back-to-back CIF crowns and back-to-back state finals appearances the past two seasons.
“A lot of kickers don’t play another position, but I have a lot of fun at linebacker,” Bryan said.
Bryan’s career numbers have been skewed by blocked kicks or poor holds.
He has converted 22 of 38 career field goals and 120 of 133 PATS, including 11 of 19 from field-goal range last year and 54 of 61 on PATs.
But Bryan delivered when it mattered.
Bryan converted a field goal in the final minute to take down Rancho Cucamonga this past season. He had a long of 47 yards against Helix.
Bryan also went 6 for 7 on field goals in the playoffs last season, including a 2 for 2 performance in the state championship game against Central High of Fresno.
“Last year was a tough year, but to be able to do that in the playoffs was rewarding,” Bryan said.