by UofSC Athletic Communications
Former University of South Carolina two-sport standout Bobby Bryant has been named to the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame (SCFHOF) Class of 2019, it was announced today.
The 2019 SCFHOF Enshrinement Ceremony and VIP After-Party is set for April 23, 2019 at the Hilton Greenville. Other inductees include Stephen Davis (Spartanburg, SC/Auburn University), Steve Fuller (Enid, OK/Spartanburg High School/Clemson University), Steve Greer (Greer, SC/University of Georgia), and legacy inductee Dode Phillips (Bradley, SC/Erskine College).
Born in Macon, Ga., Bryant was a three-sport star at Willingham High School before going to the University of South Carolina to play baseball and football. While at Carolina, Bryant lettered in both football and baseball for three years and was named the ACC Athlete of the Year in 1966 and 1967 (Anthony J. McKelvin Award). Bryant still holds the record for the longest punt return in Gamecocks' history with a 98-yarder. The New York Daily News and the Detroit Sports Extra named him to their All-American teams.
After college, Bryant was drafted by both the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox for baseball, but elected to pursue a career in professional football. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the seventh round in 1967 and remained with the Vikings for 14 seasons. Bryant played in 11 divisional title games and is one of 11 people to play in all four of Minnesota's Super Bowl appearances. He played cornerback as a member of "Purple People Eaters" and is second in club history in career interceptions. Bobby has been named one of the 50 greatest Vikings of all time.
After retiring, he stayed in Minnesota for five years before moving back to Columbia to work and raise a family. Bryant was inducted into the University of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1979 and is also a member of the state of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame as well as the Georgia and Macon Sports Hall of Fame.