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Opportunity knocked long and loud for Bryce Huff in the Jets’ second preseason game Saturday in Green Bay following Carl Lawson’s season-ending Achilles tendon rupture, and Colette Huff is certain her son is ready to answer.
“I’m never happy about my children having opportunity at somebody else’s misfortune,” Colette told The Post. “But I’m happy to see Bryce have an opportunity that he [has] looked forward to for so long. I think he would have had this opportunity regardless. I looked forward to seeing him play with Carl Lawson, but I don’t think Bryce is gonna disappoint — I know he’s not gonna disappoint at all. He’s gonna go out there and contribute to his team with every opportunity that he gets.”
Huff made the Jets last season as an undrafted free agent out of Memphis and recorded two sacks in limited action.
“Everybody’s route to the NFL may not be the same,” Colette said, “and some people may be disappointed in the route that they have to take, but if it’s what they want and they continue to work hard for it, it can still happen.”
Huff endured one disappointment after the next on his road to the NFL.
“When Bryce came out of high school, his coach said that he was one of the best-kept secrets in Mobile, Ala. — nobody wants to be the best-kept secret,” Colette said, and chuckled. “He just didn’t get a lot of publicity, people didn’t know what he was capable of, or didn’t think that he was able to play at the level of maybe Alabama or Auburn.
“All it takes is time, and Bryce will show people what he’s capable of. I know I’m speaking from a mother’s perspective, but I also see the determination, the discipline, the work ethic, those things take a person very far.
“That’s what’s gonna make him great as an NFL player. I don’t doubt that at all.”
Huff’s childhood NFL dream was fostered by his mother’s mother, Cassie, who is 89.
“My granny always used to talk about Bo Jackson — Bo Jackson and Jerome Bettis were the only guys I knew back then,” Huff told The Post.
“I remember in second, third grade I was sitting at the lunch table talking about it with my teacher, we had to write reports on our favorite athletes and I was talking about Bo Jackson, and how I wanted to play in the NFL one day. And just chase that dream.”
That dream was only temporarily disrupted when he was not tapped to play in the Senior Bowl in his hometown of Mobile. His older brother, Jordan, who played running back at Northern Illinois, previously had been snubbed also. It stung.
“We were looking so forward to him coming and playing in his hometown,” Colette said, “and when he didn’t get an invite to the Senior Bowl, it was just so hurtful.”
There was no combine invite just before COVID arrived. One chip on top of another.
“Prove people wrong, and then prove myself right,” Bryce said.
Huff recorded two sacks against the Giants and was not lacking in confidence.
“In my mind I’m unstoppable,” he said. “Anything I put my mind to I can accomplish. I don’t back down from anybody.”
It is as if he can hear his mother’s voice from long ago.
“She’s the hardest-working woman [Dearborn YMCA CEO since 2011] I know, very independent,” Huff said. “She is a huge reason, if not the main reason, I’m here right now, she spoke all this into existence. Every morning before school she was telling us we can accomplish anything we put our minds to. She’s a huge inspiration.”
Bryce, undersized at 6-foot-1 ¹/₂ and 253 pounds, was a linebacker/defensive end in college.
“I can set the edge with my weight right now,” he said.
Huff has opened head coach Robert Saleh’s eyes.
“I honestly haven’t even thought about my chances, I just focus on attacking every day and just doing the best I can whether it’s meetings, workout, walk-through, I just focus on the moment,” Huff said.
A big moment for him arrived at Lambeau Field.
“I learn a lot from Carl,” Huff said earlier in the week at a table on a Florham Park patio. “He’s always teaching me stuff, whether it’s recovery or pass rush technique, how to turn the edge better, something like that, so I learned a lot from Carl. And I watched a lot of Von Miller, Shaq Barrett, all those guys.”
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Read full article at New York Post
21 August, 2021 - 06:10pm
21 August, 2021 - 06:10pm