Austin Bryant could not have ended his Clemson career in a more fitting way than with a celebration.
Upwards of 50,000 Tiger fans flooded the area attending the parade and celebration ceremony for the 2019 College Football Playoff National Champions. The team went on a parade through downtown Clemson and the university campus before settling in Death Valley for the trophy presentation and speeches.
Fans were filled with excitement and enthusiasm after the Tigers captured their third national championship and second CFP National Championship in the last three seasons. They finished the season unblemished at 15-0 and touted their status as “best team ever” by becoming the first 15-0 team in the modern era.
Bryant capped off a great season and is proud the 2018 Tigers finished as the best team to ever play the game and was blown away by the fan support at the championship celebration.
The weather was frigid and an hour before the parade fans were scarce, but the Tiger fans turned out in mass numbers before the parade began. And, they stayed despite some wintry mix falling from the sky during the Athletic Director Dan Radakovich’s speech.
“This is amazing, Clemson has the best fans in the world,” Bryant said. “They come out here to support us no matter the weather or what the situation is,” he said.
Bryant finished the season with 44 tackles, including three in the 44-16 national championship beatdown of Alabama. The perfect ending to a stellar career at Clemson which earned him All-America honors in 2017 and All-ACC honors in 2018.
“I don’t think you could write a better script than this. What better way is there to end it? It was amazing to go out like this riding into the sunset on a good note,” Bryant said. “It was an amazing feeling to see all the fans during the parade with their unwavering support,” he said.
In all honesty, after a long season having achieved all the goals, they set out to meet doesn’t even feel real for the senior defensive end. And, he knows that Clemson has not seen the spotlight for the final time.
“It’s always surreal, you put in so much work and sometimes lose sight of the end goal that when you finally reach it and reap the benefits it is amazing,” Bryant said. “I love to experience it and they’ll be back again,” he said.
Now Bryant’s focus is on preparing for the NFL Draft in April with aspirations of a professional career.