Standout College Athlete
In Bryant's four years at Clemson University, the defensive lineman recorded 153 tackles, 20.0 sacks, four passes defended, two forced fumbles and one interception in 51 games (29 starts). He earned outstanding defensive player honors in the CFP Semifinal in 2018 and helped the Tigers win two CFP National Championships (2016 and 2018).
Bryant went on to be drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fourth round (117th overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Reunion in The Bay
As Bryant makes his way to The Bay, he'll be reuniting with former Clemson teammate Clelin Ferrell.
The 49ers signed Ferrell to a one-year deal in the first week of free agency and signed Bryant to a one-year deal in the next week. The two defensive linemen who saw success together in orange and purple will now be reunited in the league sporting red and gold.
Bryant is passionate about giving back to his community and he started his philanthropic efforts in his hometown area of Thomas County, Georgia. During the 2022 offseason, the defensive lineman hosted his first youth football camp at Thomas County Central High School.
"Getting back into the community, giving back to the kids and bringing large groups together again, just having fellowship and fun over football and getting better is awesome," Thomas County Central High School football coach Justin Rogers said. "For Austin to be here... It's just exciting for our community."
Bryant spent his first two years in the league rehabbing a torn pectoral muscle. While he was working his way to recovery, the defensive lineman leaned on Kobe Bryant's motivational videos, books and podcasts as a mental health resource. The late basketball legend had such an impact on Bryant, that he got a tattoo of Kobe on his leg.
"That tattoo means a lot to me," Bryant said. "The mamba mentality, a lot of athletes know about that... Just having that on me and just having that mentality really helped me come back stronger than I was before."
Throughout his four-year NFL career with the Lions (2019-22), Bryant has appeared in 33 games (six starts) and registered 65 tackles, 4.5 sacks and one pass defended.
In the 2022 season, the defensive lineman appeared in nine games and recorded nine tackles and one pass defended.