Coby Bryant has created a title for himself in a Bearcats’ uniform.

Bryant has been named to the American Athletic Conference’s First-Workforce in back-to-again years, and in 2021, was named the Jim Thorpe Award winner, an honor presented to the leading defensive back in university soccer.

But on Friday, he’ll be symbolizing the participant for whom he was named: Kobe Bryant. The Lakers legend died in a helicopter crash along with 7 other people, such as his daughter, Gianna, in January 2020.

Much more: Why just isn’t The united states pulling for underdog Cincinnati?

Through No. 4 Cincinnati’s Cotton Bowl Vintage matchup in opposition to No. 1 Alabama, Coby Bryant will use No. 8 instead of his usual No. 7 to honor his namesake.

Named after Kobe Bryant

The equivalent-sounding title is no coincidence: Coby Bryant is named for Kobe Bryant, just with a distinctive spelling.

In accordance to The Cincinnati Enquirer, his dad and mom changed the spelling of the title so he could form his possess legacy.

“I am really grateful for my title,” Coby Bryant explained to The Enquirer.

Coby Bryant has worn No. 7 during his Bearcats’ occupation, but determined to change it to No. 8 for the CFP semifinal sport versus Alabama. While with the Lakers, Kobe Bryant wore both of those No. 8 and No. 24. In advance of the CFP matchup, Coby Bryant informed The Enquirer that he wanted to “go classic Kobe” and “convey that playoff mentality.”

Coby Bryant explained to reporters ahead of the recreation that he was named following Kobe Bryant “for a rationale” and that he carries the “Mamba Mentality” on to this day, according to ESPN.

“I constantly go back again to the famed estimate from Kobe Bryant: ‘The career is not completed,'” Coby Bryant mentioned, according to ESPN. “And that goes from Working day 1 to now. We have to remain hungry.”

Additional: Betting traits in advance of Cincinnati-Alabama | Professionals picks

Is Coby Bryant relevant to Kobe Bryant?

Coby Bryant is not associated to Kobe Bryant, but he does have some athletic family ties.

Coby Bryant’s more mature brother, security Christian Bryant, appeared in 12 video games in the NFL and used a number of other seasons on the apply squad for other groups. Christian Bryant was drafted in the seventh spherical by the St. Louis Rams in 2014. He appeared in nine game titles for St. Louis in 2015 and appeared in 3 the up coming season for the Cardinals. He used time on the apply squads of the Giants, Cardinals again and Browns just before briefly joining the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Soccer.

Christian Bryant, like his youthful brother, also had practical experience taking part in beneath Luke Fickell. Christian Bryant went to Ohio Point out from 2010 via 2013. In the course of that time, Fickell was the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers mentor and was the interim head coach in 2011.

Coby Bryant NFL draft projection

Cincinnati will be getting a key hit in its cornerback depth following the 2021 season officially concludes. Coby Bryant and Ahmad Gardner are equally leaving, with Bryant a redshirt senior and out of remaining eligibility and Gardner likely to go away early as a projected initial-spherical decide.

Coby Bryant has been a star corner for the Bearcats, specifically above the previous two many years, as he has recorded six interceptions, 18 passes defended and 3 compelled fumbles in 2020 and 2021. Pro Soccer Concentrate graded him as owning been tied for the ninth-ideal defensive quality among the FBS cornerbacks at 86.3, the highest of any cornerback in the University Football Playoff.

BENDER: Cincinnati earned its shot on CFP stage

Harmless to say, he’s had a great deal of NFL eyes seeing him engage in. ESPN’s Mel Kiper has him listed as his 10th corner in the 2022 draft class. Gardner and Bryant will have their operate lower out for them defending Biletnikoff Award finalist Jameson Williams.