Martavis Bryant (born December 20, 1991) is an American football wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Clemson and was drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

High school career

In high school, Bryant was a standout football player for two schools. He attended Calhoun Falls High School in South Carolina 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. [4] After high school, he spent one year at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia in order to pass NCAA initial eligibility standards [5]

As a standout sprinter, Bryant ran for the T. L. Hanna track team. He finished 2nd in the 100 meters at the Regional Class 1 AAAA championships, with a time of 10.85 seconds. He also won the 200 meters at the 2010 Region 1-4A Meet, recording a personal-best time of 21.46 seconds. [6]

College career

Freshman season

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. He finished 2011 with 9 receptions, 220 receiving yards, and 2 touchdowns.

Sophomore season

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 three 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.

Junior season

His junior season marked the best year in his college career. While playing against #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 three catches, 28 receiving yards, and two 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. [8] [9]

Professional career

Coming out of Clemson, Bryant was projected to be drafted anywhere from the second to fourth round by the majority of NFL analysts and scouts. Bryant received an invitation to the NFL Combine and completed all the required combine drills and positional drills for team representatives and scouts. On March 6, 2014, he participated at Clemson's Pro Day and chose to only perform positional drills. He was ranked as the 14th best wide receiver prospect available in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com and was ranked the 13th best wide receiver by NFL analyst Mike Mayock. [10] [11]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40‑yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20‑ss 3‑cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 3 3 4 in
(1.92 m)
211 lb
(96 kg)
32 5 8 in
(0.83 m)
9 1 2 in
(0.24 m)
4.34 s 1.57 s 2.57 s 4.15 s 7.18 s 39 in
(0.99 m)
10 ft 4 in
(3.15 m)
16 reps
All values from NFL Combine [12]

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Bryant in the fourth round (118th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft. He was the 19th wide receiver selected in the 2014 NFL Draft. On June 9, 2014, he signed a four-year contract with the team worth $2.659 million with $439,220 guaranteed and a $439,220 signing bonus. [4]

2014 season

Bryant spent the first six 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 [4] 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 two catches for 40 yards. On October 26, 2014, he hauled in a season-high five catches for 83-yards and two receiving touchdowns in a 51–34 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. On November 2, 2014, Bryant received his first career start against the Baltimore Ravens and ended the game with three receptions, 44 receiving yards, and two touchdown receptions. During a Week 10 contest at the New York Jets, he had four receptions for a season-high 143-yards and had an 80-yard touchdown catch. This marked his sixth touchdown in first four games, and became a record number of touchdown receptions a player caught in first four 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 five receptions, 61 receiving yards, and a touchdown reception. In his rookie season, he had a total of 26 catches, 549 receiving yards, and eight touchdown receptions in ten games and three starts. Bryant's 21.1 yards per reception ranked first among NFL wide receivers in 2014. [4]

2015 season

On August 27, 2015, Bryant was suspended the first four games due to violating the league's substance abuse policy. [4] During his suspension, he spent time at a rehabilitation center in Houston, Texas and worked with ex-NBA coach John Lucas. [4] 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 six passes for 137 yards and two 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 ten 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. [4]

On January 9, 2016, in a Wild Card Round playoff game, while in the redzone, Roethlisberger threw 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 by a score of 18–16 [19]

2016 season

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. [4]

2017 season

On April 25, 2017, Bryant was conditionally reinstated by the NFL. [4] He entered the regular season as the starting wide receiver alongside Antonio Brown. [4] In the Steelers' season-opening victory against the Cleveland Browns, Bryant caught two passes for 14 yards. [5] The following week, he caught three passes for 91 receiving yards and his first touchdown of the season on a 27-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger as the Steelers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 26–9. [5] However, following the week 7 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Bryant vented frustration about his lack of role in the offense on social media, and then skipped mandatory team meetings the following Monday. [5] Bryant then publicly told ESPN he would like to be traded; however, coach Mike Tomlin said the team had no plans to trade Bryant. [5] On October 25, 2017, prior to that week's game against the Detroit Lions, the Steelers demoted Bryant to the scout team and replaced him with JuJu Smith-Schuster after deactivating him for the game. [5] As of November 1, 2017, Martavis was promoted back onto the first team for the upcoming game against the Indianapolis Colts. [5]

Personal life

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 when he was a freshman in high school. He verbally committed to them in during his sophomore year of high school. [29] 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, and a son Kalle with girlfriend Deja Hiott. 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. [29]