NFL Hopeful Juantarius Bryant Falls Victim to Atlanta Falcons Tryout Hoax

The defensive back from Austin Peay State University was fooled by someone texting him pretending to be defensive coordinator Dean Pees last week.

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Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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NFL hopeful Juantarius Bryant received some bad news when he showed up to what he thought was an Atlanta Falcons rookie minicamp last week: He wasn’t actually invited.

Per ESPN, the defensive back from Austin Peay State University was fooled by someone texting him pretending to be Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees last week, leading him all the way to the team’s facility Wednesday, where he discovered he was being fooled. 

“I do not know or understand why this has happened,” Bryant wrote on Twitter this weekend. “But I do know that everything happens for a reason. Yes, this was heart breaking for me, but just another stepping stone that I am not afraid to admit or overcome.”

He continued, adding that “at the end of the day, this will not make or break me. I will still continue to fight for my dreams because I know it’s what I really want.”

Bryant then told ESPN that he is “ready to move on from the situation and respectfully I do not feel like talking about it over and over again” and that he’s forgiving whoever was behind the hoax. 

Bryant was first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference defensive back in 2019, after securing 107 tackles (2.5 for loss). He played in 43 total games for Austin Peay, and had 242 tackles (8.5 for loss). His agent, Corey Alexander, said Bryant handled the situation with class and told ESPN that he was still frustrated with what happened. 

“And I haven’t seen it before,” he shared. “Working in football, I have never seen this happen. So I hope that it ends.”

The Falcons have yet to comment on the incident.

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