Pat Bryant is entering his 2nd season with the Illinois football program.

As a freshman, Bryant made 6 catches for 98 yards in 2021 across 8 games, becoming just the 14th player in program history to play 3 or more times as a true freshman. Now, the sophomore is in the midst of preseason training camp ahead of the Illini’s season opener against Wyoming on Aug. 27.

New Illinois offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr., with the team after 2 seasons with UTSA, has enjoyed what he’s seen so far from the Jacksonville, Fla. product.

“I don’t know a whole lot else to say about him but he gives it, now. He’s special,” Lunney said, according to “He’s a competitor. He loves football. That’s one thing that sticks out to me…Pat will block on the perimeter, he’ll run routes, he’ll try to make a contested catch. He epitomizes what we’re wanting offensively from us overall.”

Bryant was pleased to hear the praise of his OC.

“He always encourages me every day just coming in and practice, how proud he is of me, how hard I work,” Bryant said. “But hearing it in the interview was pretty special.”