Former Austin Peay defensive back Juantarius Bryant was the victim of a cruel hoax last week. Bryant was not drafted by an NFL team but thought he might have a second chance at an NFL career after he was contacted by somebody posing as Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees.
The person told Bryant he was invited to the team's rookie minicamp in Flowery Branch, Georgia. Bryant was elated and traveled to the facility, only to learn he was not on the list of invited players.
"I did not realize it was not a legit opportunity until I traveled to the facility for rookie minicamp check-in on Wednesday, May 12. It's most definitely one of the most embarrassing things that has ever happened to me and a very humbling experience," Bryant said on Twitter. "Just want to apologize to everyone in the Atlanta Falcons organization for the mix-up. I honestly thought it was a legit opportunity on my end.
While Bryant was disappointed in what happened, he said he was going to move forward and continue to chase his dream of playing in the NFL.
"I do not know or understand why this happened, but I do know that everything happens for a reason. Yes, this was heartbreaking for me, but just another stepping stone that I am not afraid to admit or overcome. 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. I'm still striving and still in the best shape of my life. When the opportunity presents itself, I will be ready."
Bryant may get his chance to show off his skills to NFL teams after all. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Bryant was invited to an event on May 23 run by HUB Football. The event will be attended by several NFL teams, including the Atlanta Falcons.