On Sunday, May 2, 2021, the defensive captain of the record-shattering 2019 APSU football team, Juantarius Bryant, received a text message that has the potential to change the rest of his – and his family’s – life forever.
A day after the 2021 NFL draft had concluded and 259 people had heard their name called and even more had agreed to undrafted free agent deals, Bryant was home playing video games with friends, preparing for an early morning workout the next day.
Then he got a text from a 404 area code—Atlanta.
It was from Dean Pees, the Falcons’ defensive coordinator. Pees told Bryant they had a spot for him at their rookie minicamps later in the month.