03/02/05 — Fayetteville State reels in two Cougars

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Fayetteville State reels in two Cougars

By Neil Fuller
Published in Sports on March 2, 2005 2:13 PM

For Jarrett Bryant, there were more reasons for choosing Fayetteville State University than merely a successful football program or beautiful campus.

No, there were more personal reasons -- such as the chance to butt helmets against a couple of family members.

Bryant, a senior tackle from Goldsboro High School, signed his letter of intent on Feb. 2 to play for the Broncos. Bryant will now have the opportunity to face both his brother, Cameron, and cousin Stanley -- current members of the Elizabeth City State football team -- beginning next fall in CIAA play.

Of course, it also helps when mom gets to stay in-state to see both sons play on Saturday afternoons.

"I didn't want my mom to have to choose where she wanted to go on Saturdays if she wanted to see me and my brother," Bryant said. "She can stay in North Carolina now and won't have to drive all over the place."

Although his brother and cousin play at a rival school, Bryant won't have to look too far to find a familiar face.

Bryant, who plans to major in computer science, will be joined at Fayetteville State by Cougars teammate Charles Grantham III.

Despite going 1-10 in 2004, Goldsboro has now sent two of its six senior players on to the next level.

According to Goldsboro coach Maurice Jackson, seeing his players sign to play at the college level eases the pain of the past season.

He hopes Bryant and Grantham are only the beginning of a trend.

"We only had six seniors," Jackson said. "So if we can get four out of that group signed, it won't be a bad day at all.

"This is Goldsboro. We're known for the tradition of athletes coming out of here. We've had every recruiter from every college except Florida State and Miami come through (the football coach's) office at some point."

Fayetteville State has won two of the past three CIAA championships and posted an 8-4 overall record in 2004. But the Broncos offered more than that to its new pair of Goldsboro recruits.

"It's pretty close to home, and my parents can make the games," said Grantham, who is still undecided on a major. "It seemed to be in my best interest to go there. The coaching staff has shown a lot of concern for me."

Grantham should find little trouble finding his niche with the Broncos.

During his career at Goldsboro, Grantham has been a tight end, lineman, defensive end -- even a punter.

Now, the goal for both these Cougars is clear.

"I want one of those (CIAA title) rings," Grantham said.