Born in Macon, GA, Bryant was a three sports star at Willingham High School before going to the University of South Carolina to play baseball and football. While at Carolina, Bryant lettered in both football and baseball for three years and was named the ACC Athlete of the Year in 1966 and 1967 (Anthony J. McKelvin Award). Bryant still holds the record for his 98-yard punt return, the longest in Gamecocks history. The New York Daily News and the Detroit Sports Extra named him to their All-American teams.
After college, Bryant was drafted by both the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox but decided to pursue professional football. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the seventh round in 1967 and remained with the Vikings for 14 seasons. With the Vikings, Bryant played in 11 divisional title games and is one of 11 people to play in all four of Minnesota’s Super Bowl appearances. Bryant played cornerback as a member of “Purple People Eaters” and is the second all-time interceptions leader in Vikings history. Bobby has been named one of the 50 greatest Vikings of all time.
After retiring, He stayed in Minnesota for five years and then decided to come back to Columbia, SC to work and raise a family. Bryant was inducted into the University of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1979 and is also a member of the state of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame as well as the Georgia and Macon Sports Hall of Fame.
*Picture courtesy of the University of South Carolina/Gamecocks Athletics