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Former Austin Peay player Juantarius Bryant falls victim to Atlanta Falcons tryout hoax

·2 min read
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Former Austin Peay defensive back Juantarius Bryant said he became the victim of an "embarrassing" NFL tryout hoax when he was invited to the Atlanta Falcons' training facility by someone impersonating defensive coordinator Dean Pees.

Bryant vented over Twitter on Saturday, saying he was invited to the Falcons' rookie minicamp by an Atlanta area code number that identified as Pees. When he arrived at Flowery Branch, Georgia, last Wednesday, however, he was turned away and became aware of the hoax – that he was never actually contacted by the NFL team.

"It's most definitely one of the most embarrassing things that has ever happened to me and a very humbling experience. I do not know or understand why this has happened to me," Bryant wrote in a Twitter message Saturday. "But I do know that everything happens for a reason. Yes, this was heart breaking for me, but just another stepping stone that I am not afraid to admit or overcome.

Home of the Atlanta Falcons.
Home of the Atlanta Falcons.

"At the end of the day, this will not make or break me. I will still continue to fight for my dreams because I know it's what I really want."

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Bryant, a former walk-on, was a first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference player in his senior season in 2019 when he made 107 tackles. He played 43 games with 242 career tackles three forced fumbles and an interception for the Governors.

Bryant's agent, Corey Alexander, tweeted his frustration since it was conceivable Bryant would get an opportunity to play in the league.

"Juan has handled this situation with class," Alexander wrote "I hate the situation and have talked with representatives at the Atlanta Falcons. All parties involved are frustrated but @TheyLoveMyHair_ will get his opportunity soon."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ex-Austin Peay's Juantarius Bryant falls victim to Falcons tryout hoax