Ex-Football College Star Claims He was Hoaxed

Former Austin Peay player accused of being “hoaxed” by the Atlanta Falcons


George Robinson / The Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Austin Peay defensive back Juantarius Bryant (26) holds the ball after thinking he had an interception during the first half of the Govs’ game against Central Arkansas Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 in Clarksville. Jl7a5723

Eugenio Guardascione, Contributor

Defensive back Juantarious Bryant did not hear his name called during the three-day NFL draft earlier in the month, and was among the free-agent rookies tying to latch on a team for the summer, with hopes of making the starting roster come Fall (Fox).

The former Austin Peay defensive back revealed Saturday that he fell victim to a hoax. He said someone “posed” as the Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees and invited him to rookie minicamp during the week; the offer was “too good to be true” (Fox).

Bryant stated, “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. “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” (Fox).

He continued with “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 live. When the opportunity presents itself, I will be ready” (Fox).

The Falcons have not commented on the alleged hoax as of yet.