Claire Bryant Commits To Florida

Houston Memorial jump star Claire Bryant is headed to the University of Florida in Gainesville next year to continue her academics and athletics.

Bryant is the 2018 Texas UIL state champion, the 2019 US U20 national champion, and the 2019 Pan Am U20 champion in the long jump.

With that resume, she could have chosen just about any university in the country. She took her five visits to Texas Tech, Texas, Baylor, Oregon, and Florida, with Oregon and Florida ultimately making her final two.

However, for a jumping super star, there was only one place for her. "My top two ended up being Oregon and Florida and it was very hard deciding between those two," Bryant said. "I was looking for a program that cared and specialized in the jumps." What serious jumper wouldn't want to go to Florida?

"I also looked at the coaches a lot to see if they were solid and if I meshed well with them, because a coach can be great, but not great for you personally." 

"Coach Holloway and Coach Peterson are exceptional. I felt like they were really ready for the girl gators to go off this year and I thought I could help. Peterson is very knowledgeable on the jumps, so I felt like I would be taken care of and excel at Florida. A large part of why I felt like it was the place for me was that I had an overwhelming peace when I visualized myself there. I prayed for peace over a school, so I felt like God answered that and led me to Gainesville."

Recruiting took off for Bryant after last season's much anticipated Texas Relays competition when she went head to head with Jasmine Moore. She went 21-2.25w for the win and to open the doors of opportunity all athletes hope for. "Texas Relays really catapulted me into a lot of college's sights. Every coach I was talking to and new coaches texted me congrats that day. I'm so thankful for that day and the coaches and people God put in my life because it made such a difference in my recruiting process."

"I really felt a shift when OregonTF DMed me on instagram asking for my information. The weeks leading up to Pan Ams I took all my home visits which was tiring, but cool to meet a lot of different types of coaches."

In addition to the Texas Relays jump, Bryant had five other wind legal performance over 20-2. Now that the recruiting process is over for Bryant, she can shift all of her time to graduation and the 2020 track and field season, in which she is already preparing for.

"It is a relief to finally make the decision and now I'll have an answer to that big question of where you're going to school that everyone asks at meets," Bryant said.

"The visits were always fun, but I enjoyed asking coaches what they liked and didn't like about my jump because I thought it was interesting and gave me an insight on their coaching eye. Talking to the people on the team is always great because they might end up being your teammates." 

"I feel like the process has made me look at myself and see what qualities I like in coaches and what I needed out of a college. I learned that I can be decisive it just may take a second."

Bryant learned a lot having to go through the process and offers this advice for future athletes who will go through the recruiting process. "Really look at what you need out of a program/coach to be successful and happy. I would write those characteristics down or tell your parents so they can be on the look out for what matters to you on each visit. Something that I got hung up on was trying to know everything about the school, but my coach, Margaret Glover put it this way: you're never going to know everything about a school before, you just have to wait until you get there. I had to pray a lot about the decision and I think the more I put it off the less confident I felt about a decision in general, so once you feel good about a school I would make the decision and stick with it. Also have some questions written down before you meet with the school's coaches:). "