Three and out: Quickness, determination helps middle linebacker lead team

Owen Gibbs

The crowd erupts as they try to distract the offense from their next play, motivating the defensive line to zero in on the ball and bring the quarterback to the ground behind the line of scrimmage. Senior middle linebacker Detarious Bryant has become a leader for the Viking defense through experience, determination, and hard work.

“I’ve played on varsity for three years, and I still remember my first game,” Detarious said. “I was nervous, but I feel more confident now.”

Detarious’ coach, Richard Page, has watched him mature as a player and leader on the team over the last few seasons.

“I think Detarious has grown a lot,” Page said. “He has played a couple of different positions on defense over the past few years and gets better and better each time he steps on the field, not just on defense but with football skills in general.”

Detarious has worked on conditioning and speed this year and hopes to break the school record for the most tackles and sacks in a single season.

“I set high standards for myself,” Detarious said. “To be the greatest, I have to beat the greatest records.”

Detarious’s speed contributes to his chance of breaking the records, as he runs 40 yards in 4.69 seconds.

“Detarious has a lot of quickness,” Page said, “and he’s able to use that to do his job on the field very well.”

Detarious likes to be involved in every play so positioning himself in the middle of the field as a middle linebacker allows him to be the most effective.

“I like playing middle linebacker because most of the action happens down the middle so I get to tackle and be a part of the play,” Detarious said. “When I am on defense, I approach each play aggressively.”

On the field, teammates notice the effort Detarious puts into each play, never giving up until the whistle is blown and the play ends.

“Detarious hustles more than anyone else on the field,” teammate Bryan Ponzio said. “He’s always first to make the tackle. He’s the center of our defensive plays and is a missile after each snap to find the ball.”

Being in the center of action as a middle linebacker allows Detarious to be leader on defense.

“Detarious leads by example,” Page said. “He’s always going hard, always going fast, and always trying to do his job the best that he can.”

Though Detarious himself has had a lot of success, he also understands the importance of being a team player.

“I try to lead on defense and always push everybody to their absolute limits,” Detarious said. “I try to push them to be the best that they can be.”

As a senior, Daterious is looking to have his best year as a Viking, but he is also looking at the future.

“I am looking to play for Texas State or maybe UTSA after high school,” Detarious said. “They are both in Texas and I like their style of defense.”