The 2024 Kansas football roster continues to look better and better as First Team All-Big 12 cornerback Cobee Bryant has announced he will be returning to KU for his senior year.
Bryant, the first defensive back at KU to receive First Team All-Big 12 honors in back-to-back seasons since Ring of Honor member Aqib Talib in 2006-07, gives KU arguably the best defensive backfield in the Big 12 heading into next year.
Bryant had a stellar junior season tallying 32 total tackles, 4 interceptions, 5 tackles for loss, and 9 passes defended. His counterpart, junior cornerback Mello Dotson had 48 total tackles, 15 passes defended, and 4 interceptions – two of which he returned for touchdowns.
Bryant’s return is huge for KU’s chances to build upon their 9-win season from this year.
In a pass-happy league like the Big 12, you can never have enough good cornerbacks, and KU will now have two of the best in the league – perhaps the country.
Bryant’s skills will be especially needed next year as KU is set to lose a lot of talent on their defensive line, including All-Big 12 defensive end Austin Booker. If pass rush is a question mark for the 2024 KU defense, they’ll need to rely even more on their two stud corners to make plays.
There was a lot of speculation as to whether Bryant would return to KU, test the NFL waters, or perhaps transfer to a bigger-name program. His decision to return to Lawrence shows that KU is able to offer competitive NIL compensation to their players and that they are building a program that top players want to be a part of.
Bryant has a lot to gain in terms of his professional future by returning as well.
Bryant is one of the most physical players on the KU defense, and if he can continue to show his playmaking ability as a tackler and as an opportunistic pass defender, he’ll have a great chance at hearing his name called in the early rounds of the 2025 NFL Draft.
As for KU’s chances – the Jayhawks have a real shot at competing for their first Big 12 Championship next season, especially with Oklahoma and Texas heading to the SEC. And with Bryant now back in the fold, those chances just got a lot stronger.