Seven players from the undefeated Class 7A State champion Bryant Hornets football team signed to continue their careers and education in college on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at the BHS fieldhouse indoor workout area.
Wide receiver Hayden Schrader and kicker Brock Funk signed with the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, twin defensive backs Kaleb and Kyle Knox signed with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, linebacker Hart Penfield signed with Rhodes College in Memphis, running back Jamarien Bracey signed with Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia, Miss., and linebacker Myles Aldridge signed with Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas.
Schrader set Bryant High records for receiving yards in a season (1,444) and in a career (2,647) as well as touchdown receptions in a season (20) and a career (31). He is fourth with 147 career receptions. He had 70 in 2020, which is fifth on the all-time list.
Funk is the career leader at Bryant with 153 extra points on 160 attempts. He set the record for most successful extra points in a season in 2019 with 75 and is second with 69 in 2020. He kicked seven field goals in two seasons with his longest covering 43 yards.
The Knox twins made up half of the Hornets’ secondary in 2020. Kaleb was in the Hornets’ top 10 in tackles with 33 including 30 solo stops from his safety position. He had five pass break-ups, recovered a fumble and had an interception.
Kyle’s highlight was a record 99-yard interception return against Conway. It was one of two picks he had during the season. He forced a fumble and had six pass break-ups plus a sack.
Penfield was the Hornets’ top tackler in 2020 with 94 stops including a team-high 44 solo stops and the most assists with 34. Those included 6.5 sacks and a team-high 9.5 tackles for loss. He broke up four passes, forced a fumble, had two quarterback hurries and three interceptions.
Bracey moved to Bryant for his season after a successful career at Rison. Sharing running back duties with Tanner Anderson, he rushed for 970 yards on 118 carries for 17 touchdowns. He caught three passes for 38 yards. Early in the season, Bracey played some linebacker and got in on 11 tackles including 1.5 sacks, a quarterback hurry and two tackles for loss. He also forced a fumble and recovered one.
One of the reasons, Bracey could move to full-time running back was the emergence of Aldridge at middle linebacker for the Hornets. Aldridge played H back and slot receiver as a sophomore and junior. His junior season, he caught 10 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns including a 60-yarder at Fayetteville. After moving to linebacker, he got in on 65.5 tackles, third most on the team, including 33 solo stops, four sacks, 1.5 tackles for loss, three pass break-up and a quarterback hurry.
With their second consecutive 13-0 season, the Hornets have won three Class 7A State titles in a row and carry a 30-game winning streak into this fall’s 2021 season.