young man football player

Moses Bryant — Game Changer

By Pat Sangimino


Moses Bryant  |  Elkhorn South  |  Senior

The first time Elkhorn South senior Moses Bryant played football was as a young boy, when he took a handoff and began running in the opposite direction — toward the wrong goal line.

Football, much like America itself, has become a game that is now second nature to Bryant, whose name has been etched throughout Nebraska’s high school football record book. In November, Bryant became Class B’s all-time leader in rushing yard (5,452) and 11-man’s leader in touchdowns (105).

It was only a decade ago that he was rescued from a Sierra Leone orphanage and brought to Waterloo, Nebraska, by Darrell and Diana Bryant, who battled bureaucratic red tape from two countries over four years to finally adopt him and make Moses their fifth child. “It’s pretty amazing that we have him,” Diana says. “Nobody worked so hard to get someone here.”

Life in Sierra Leone “was definitely a hard time,” he remembers. “But as a little kid, you didn’t focus on that or think about those things. You just wanted to have fun.”

He was good at soccer — the game he grew up playing in Africa — but his newfound American friends convinced him to give football a try.

“I didn’t know what the heck it was,” he said. “I went out for the team just because it looked like it was fun. At first, it was difficult to learn the plays and run the right way, but after a while, I caught on.”

That’s an understatement. Bryant topped 1,000 yards rushing in all four seasons at Elkhorn South and is the state’s career leader in touchdowns. Both the University of Iowa and the University of Nebraska have shown interest in Bryant, and he’s focused on making sure his grades meet NCAA standards.

“I feel really good about my schoolwork right now,” he said. “This is the last semester to get my grades and get offers. I am going to make sure there’s no way it slips by.” As Bryant prepares for this next chapter, there’s no doubt he’ll approach it much like he has other phases of his life—with a willingness to try something new, a determination to do his best, and a mindset for enjoying it along the way.

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