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April 12, 2013

Bryant to be inducted into N.C. Sports Hall of Fame

TARBORO — As a running back for the Tarboro Vikings, Kelvin Bryant mesmerized fans and opponents with his speed and quickness which earned him national attention. His work ethic as a Viking led him to be one of the most sought after high school players in the nation. He signed with UNC and became one the school's greatest running backs of all time. After Bryant's stellar college career, he became a star in the USFL for the champion Baltimore Stars. After the USFL folded, he signed with the Washington Redskins and was a part of the team that won Super Bowl XXII.

For Bryant's amazing feats, he will be inducted in the 50th Class of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame 7 p.m. May 2 at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh. Bryant is among 11 others to be inducted

"Thats a great honor," Bryant said. "I feel very thankful and blessed."

Each inductee is asked to deed a special item from their career to be placed in the N.C. Museum of History. Bryant, who wore jersey No. 44 throughout his entire career, did not reveal what item he would loan.

During his career at UNC, he averaged 5.5 yards per carry and finished with one carry short of 600.

 As a sophomore, he split time with Amos Lawrence at tailback, giving the Tar Heels one of the most dynamic duos at the position in Atlantic Coast Conference history. For his part, Bryant ran for 1,039 yards, including an 81-yard run against Virginia and a 199-yard game against Duke.

He exploded onto the national spotlight as a junior, rushing for 211 yards on 19 carries in the season opener against East Carolina. He also scored an ACC-record six touchdowns. He added five more touchdowns a week later against Miami of Ohio and four in the third game against Boston College. He didn’t play in the fourth quarter in any of those games. Bryant finished the season averaging 6.7 yards per carry and became the school’s third all-time rusher and scorer.

After three years in the USFL and five years in the NFL, Bryant retired from football. Today he is an avid fan of the Vikings, Redskins and UNC.

"I go to as many games as I can and get sideline passes so I can get the best view," he said. "I'll be there this weekend for the Spring Game. I love Carolina and the Tarheels love me.

"I'm still very beloved by the fans and although there have been several football coaches at Carolina since I stopped playing, I've enjoyed a great relationship with all of them."

Other honors Bryant received are, his jersey has been retired at UNC and hangs in Kenan Stadium; A life size action photo of him is on the entrance to Kenan Stadium; He was named one of the 50 greatest football players to ever play in the ACC by the ACC; he was named Carolina's Legend in 2009; he was honored at the ACC Championship Game between Clemson and Georgia Tech; He was inducted in the Twin County Hall of Fame.

A prelude to the Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be a Gala Reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 1, at the N.C. Museum of History. There is a fee to attend the event. The induction ceremony will follow the day after with a sports festival and reception. There is a $125 fee to attend.

Anyone interested in attending the event can contact Don Fish at 919-845-3455. When purchasing tickets for the banquet dinner, notify officials if you would like to be seated in Bryant's guest section.

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