The next Budda Baker? Former walk-on Myles Bryant has earned the chance to shine for UW’s secondary

He doesn’t come with the hype, the anticipation and the admiration that Budda Baker arrived at UW with. But some inside the UW football program believe he isn’t far off from producing at Baker-like levels.

They marvel at Myles Bryant the way many of the same coaches and teammates used to marvel at Budda Baker.

To be clear: Myles Bryant isn’t Budda Baker — not in production, nor prestige, and certainly not with the kind of anticipation and admiration that surrounded his arrival at the University of Washington.

No, Bryant isn’t there.

Not yet, anyway.

But there are some inside the UW football program who believe Bryant isn’t far off from producing at the level Baker did as a do-everything All-American defensive back for the Huskies last season.

“We all love him,” said Jimmy Lake, UW’s co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach. “The guys love him. They see how hard he works in the weight room, on the field. He’s smart. He knows his position, he knows other people’s positions, so he can make the checks, make the calls.

“He’s one of those guys who’s similar to a Budda Baker, where he’s an extension of a coach out on the field. And then he plays with a motor you want them to play with. We’re really, really excited about him.”


Bryant came from Pasadena, Calif., to Seattle last season as a walk-on defensive back — a 5-foot-8, 172-pound walk-on who managed to crack the rotation on one of the best defensive secondaries in the nation.

He saw the approach that Baker, Sidney Jones and Kevin King would take to their craft and soon he was trying to mimic their every move, joining them for extra film sessions, spending more time in the weight room. Jones, now with the Philadelphia Eagles, and Bryant had lockers next to each other last season, and Jones said he took the freshman under his wings.

“He’s always been the guy to put in the extra work. Back when I was there I used to see him working on his technique after practice on a consistent basis,” Jones said in a message to The Times this week. “He was always there in Coach Lake’s office watching film and trying to critique his game to be the best. …

“I just love the way he plays the game — always around the ball, he has great instincts, great movement skills and a passion for the game. That’s my guy.”

Now a 180-pound sophomore, Bryant has taken over Baker’s starting nickelback role in No. 6 Washington’s 2-0…

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