CORNERBACK DEVYN BRYANT WANTS TO CHANGE THE WORLD
Junior University of San Diego cornerback Devyn Bryant is a mechanical engineering major. He selected the specialty, in part, because his mother is a researcher for a pharmaceutical company and he grew up with a passion for the sciences.
He chose the major for an altruistic reason as well.
“I wanted a major and a degree and a job where I could actually impact the world,” he says. “Knowledge is power, and power shouldn’t be kept to yourself. If I have a specialized knowledge in an area that can meet a need, I want to use it.”
Last January, Bryant backed his words with deeds. He joined other USD engineering students on a 15-day trip to the Dominican Republic where they built 16 low-cost concrete and ceramic stoves. The students, who paid $1,500 for the trip, also installed two chlorinators to disinfect drinking water in a mountainous village.
“It was tough work. I’m not going to lie,” says Bryant. “And oh my gosh, it was hot. So hot.”
Before the USD students built the stoves, the locals had been warming food by building a fire, then putting pots on wooden planks above the fire.
“Just going to the Dominican Republic made me more humble and grateful to live where I do,” says Bryant, who grew up in the San Diego community of Mount Hope and attended Horizon Christian Academy.
“They didn’t have warm water for showers. It was a very humbling experience, being on top of a mountain, apart from civilization. They use cattle to plow their fields.”
Bryant formed a bond with the locals.
“When we left, they were sad. We were like family,” he says.
Bryant also participates in the Autism Tree Project Foundation, a USD football program where players connect with autistic children during the season. In 2014, Bryant started meeting regularly with a family of three autistic boys.
“He really embraced the role,” says Dan Asher, father of the three boys. “One trait of autism is they have difficulty expressing feelings. But they could see the kindness and joy he has spending time with them. They love him.”
Bryant continued meeting with the family after the season.
“It’s from his heart,” says Asher. “There’s nothing insincere about the time he spends with them. He lights up our lives.”
Bryant is one of 197 players who have been nominated for the 2015 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team.
“He’s what I call a ‘USD man,’” says Toreros Head Football Coach Dale Lindsey. “Bo Schembechler always talked
about a ‘Michigan man.’ This is a USD man. He does all the right things.”
Pictured: USD cornerback Devyn Bryant, photograph by Brock Scott.
Watch Bryant talk about his experiences in the Dominican Republic.