Inspiring Story of Bryan Bresee: Clemson Standout Defies Odds on His Path to the NFL

Apr 28, 2023 02:53 PM IST

Bryan Bresee, a surprise pick by New Orleans Saints in 2023 NFL Draft comes with an incredible story of adversity and personal tragedy.

Bryan Bresee, Clemson defensive, has been picked by New Orleans Saints as the 29th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night. A former top recruit from Damascus, Maryland, has faced a multitude of challenges throughout his football career, both on and off the field. Despite the hurdles he has faced, Bresee's unyielding determination and resilience have helped him forge a path towards a potential NFL career.

Clemson defensive lineman Bryan Bresee relaxes before running a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)(AP)
Clemson defensive lineman Bryan Bresee relaxes before running a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)(AP)

In high school, Bresee was considered the top recruit in the country. His stellar performance on the field, which included 134 tackles and 35 sacks, earned him first-team ‘USA Today All-American’ honours twice. With offers from numerous prestigious football programs, Bresee ultimately chose to join the Clemson Tigers.

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Bresee's time at Clemson was plagued by injuries. A torn ACL ended his 2021 season after only four games, and in 2022, a serious bout of strep throat led to a kidney infection that caused hospitalization. Despite participating in only 26 games and making 21 starts, Bresee showed no signs of being held back by his health issues during the NFL evaluation period.

During his freshman year at Clemson, Bresee made a significant impact on the field. He was named the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, recorded four sacks, a forced fumble, two pass breakups, and a safety in the 2020 season. His performance earned him Freshman All-America honors from The Athletic, ESPN, and Rivals.

In September, Bresee's 15-year-old sister, Ella, passed away after a battle with aggressive brain cancer. As a testament to his sister's memory, Bresee returned to the field, dedicating his performance during a win over Wake Forest to Ella. The Clemson staff and players also showed their support by wearing "Ella Strong" shirts during a game against Furman.

Bresee's athleticism sets him apart from other defensive tackles. His 40-yard dash time of 4.86 seconds, 10-yard split of 1.71 seconds, and 29-inch vertical jump showcase his impressive speed and agility. With limited college experience due to injuries, Bresee has ample room to develop even further in the NFL.

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