University of Washington

UW Huskies tight end Hunter Bryant declares for NFL Draft

Washington Huskies tight end Hunter Bryant (1) celebrates his touchdown. The Washington Huskies played the Utah Utes in a NCAA football game at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.
Washington Huskies tight end Hunter Bryant (1) celebrates his touchdown. The Washington Huskies played the Utah Utes in a NCAA football game at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. Joshua.bessex@gmail.com

Washington junior tight end Hunter Bryant declared for the 2020 NFL Draft on Friday afternoon. Bryant (6-2, 239) made the announcement by releasing a video on Twitter.

“It’s been a long journey,” Bryant said in the video. “From the first time I picked up a football when I was 5 years old to playing at Eastside Catholic and winning championships with my brothers, from training at FSP to going to UW and winning a Pac-12 championship and playing in a Rose Bowl.

“I’d like to thank everyone who’s helped me out along the way, especially my family, my coaches, my teammates, but most importantly, the fans of Husky nation. With that being said, I’m declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft and pursuing my childhood dreams of becoming a pro. I can’t wait to make the state of Washington proud.”

Bryant, who ranks third nationally among tight ends in receptions and receiving yards, is a finalist for the John Mackey Award — given to the nation’s top tight end.

The former Eastside Catholic star led UW in receiving yards this regular season, finishing with 52 catches for 825 yards and three touchdowns. After missing most of last year while recovering from surgery. Bryant had 11 catches for 238 yards and a touchdown in just four games. An ESPN Freshman All-American in 2017, Bryant played in nine games before missing the remainder of the season with an injury. He had 22 receptions for 331 yards and one touchdown.

Bryant has been projected as a first to third round pick. The latest CBS Sports mock draft released on Thursday has him going to New Orleans with the No. 30 pick in the first round.

Next season, the Huskies will return sophomore tight end Cade Otton. Otton, who has also proven to be a reliable target for the offense, has 29 receptions for 339 yards and two touchdowns this season. Junior Jacob Kizer, redshirt freshman Devin Culp and walk-on redshirt freshman Jack Westover will also return. UW is set to add two more tight ends — four-star Mark Redman and three-star Mason West — in the Class of 2020.

Lauren Kirschman is the UW Huskies beat writer for The News Tribune. She previously covered the Pittsburgh Steelers for PennLive.com. A Pennsylvania native and a University of Pittsburgh graduate, she also covered college athletics for the Beaver County Times from 2012-2016.
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