Bryce Petty has overcome adversity and uncertainty becoming one of college football’s shinning stars.
by Charlie Perry @CharlieHPerry
The Chickasaw Nation is built on the foundation of respect and advancement of its people. As the tribe flourishes in the heart of Oklahoma, one of their own continues to flourish on the football field.
“I count it as an honor to have Chickasaw blood flowing through my veins along with the history of a resilient and unconquerable people,” said Bryce Petty, quarterback for the Baylor Bears, in a recent interview with ChicaksawTV.com.
Petty rounded out his career for Baylor with a trip to the 79th Annual Goodyear Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas. There he became the first Native American in the bowl’s history to receive the Sanford Trophy as the “Outstanding Offensive Player.” Petty also became the all-time leading passer in Cotton Bowl history, airing it out for 551 yards. Petty helped lead Baylor to an 11-2 record in 2014, barely missing college football’s first “final four” playoff at the Sugar Bowl this year. Petty proved he could stand up to the completion as he was voted a Maxwell finalist and Heisman Trophy candidate. It’s a bit surreal that Petty would return to Arlington for the Cotton Bowl. Growing up in the Fort Worth area he originally committed to Tennessee but would ultimately land as a red shirt freshman for Baylor.
Petty waited patiently for three years as Robert Griffin III and Nick Florance went before him at quarterback. Ready to compete Petty was left at a low point in his college career. “I think the lowest point was when I thought that I guess with Nick Florance, as great a guy as he is, greatest competitor a he is, you know, I really thought that I would get an opportunity or a chance to compete. I thought that was great. And so, when I was getting two reps in practice and not really have a chance that was my low point.”
Petty however has taken full advantage of his time as the starting quarterback for Baylor. The Bears have went 22-4 and secured two Big 12 titles since he became the starter in 2013. “That’s the greatest part about it. That’s really what life is all about, is looking back. Petty said, you can’t tell yourself where you’re at if you don’t know where you’ve been. So for me it’s been an outstanding journey, one that I will cherish and, hopefully, tell my kids and my grandkids about. It really sets you up with things that have to come in life, the future. When you’ve been down before, you know you got out of it. And for me, especially my faith and the fact that you know God’s plan is 10 times better.”
Baylor head coach, Art Briles has seen a progression in Petty and admires his character on and on the field. “First of all, he is a tremendous person in his character and leadership and everything you need at that position to be great. Bryce has certainly been as great an ambassador for Baylor as possibly we’ve had. He’s great on the field, He’s great off the field. He is a great student of the game, and he’s a guy that will fight for wins. He will compete his tail off.”
Sophomore receiver, Cory Coleman described Petty as, “a really good dude, a good people person” Many of Petty’s teammates agree that he is the hardest working player for the Bears.”
When asked to sum up his experience as a Baylor Bear Petty commented, “The coolest part about what Baylor has done for me is as much off the filled as on the field. I’ve been through several challenges. So it’s a unique and very appreciative feeling that I have towards Baylor. It’s been a blessing to be here and couldn’t think of a better way to finish it out.”