The past few weeks have been pretty crazy for me with spring break, midterms, and spring ball starting. I must admit it has been a struggle to find free time to sit down and type out my thoughts. This got me to thinking, how does Bryan do it? How does he find time to balance his academic life with his football life, love life, and of course, still dress to the nines? Well, this week I thought I would take the opportunity to give the readers out there a closer look into the author of this blog, the Hoosiers starting RB, and more importantly my friend, Bryan Payton.
I remember when I first joined the team; Bryan was one of the first members to introduce himself to me. We small talked for a little bit, but we soon found out we shared a passion for the Miami Hurricanes football program. Since then, we have been good friends who debate all different types of topics, and enjoy talking sports (possibly the reason he offered me this column). The Bryan I met then to the Bryan I know now has matured and changed in numerous ways but still has been able to keep that core that makes him who he is.
In the lockeroom, he is a leader and a role model to all of us and paves the way by setting the example of what an Indiana University football player should be on and off the field. During our winter workouts Payton is pushing himself and everyone else in the weight room, and is always running as hard as he can whether it is the 1st sprint or the last (I’ve had a pretty good view of his back numerous times). He is very aware of how hard he has worked to get to where he is, and isn’t about to stop now - especially with this being his last year of eligibility.
“BP” exemplifies the term “student-athlete” and isn’t afraid to challenge himself off the field. Bryan takes demanding courses, writes for the school paper, magazine, and posts a blog all while playing a division one sport. His days start early and end late. I recall one day walking into breakfast at 8 am and seeing Bryan finishing up his meal and asking him, “Wow, here kind of early huh”? He replied right back, “This isn’t early, I am usually up at about 5”.
What is so refreshing about being Bryan’s friend is that he is always himself, and treats everyone with the respect they deserve. Walking through the stadium you may catch Bryan chatting it up with Coach Springer, his position coach, discussing fashion with a few lesser known players, or most likely, asking the cooks and the rest of the stadium staff how their lives are - joking around with them.
“Pops” has numerous opportunities this summer and post college, and he deserves them all. He has stayed focus his entire collegiate career which is something we all know is hard to do. But if I know Bryan, he isn’t about to get complacent with where he is. I ask readers of “ A Renaissance Man’s Daybook” to seriously take advantage of each entry because when Bryan Payton makes it big in either the sports business, the writing world, or whatever he puts his mind to, you can say “I knew Bryan when…”, because I know I will.