By Dan McWilliams
Knoxville Catholic High School offensive lineman Bryn Tucker has been selected as one of more than 90 players nationwide to participate in the Under Armour All-America Game, set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, in Orlando, Fla.
“Bryn has been a great representative of Knoxville Catholic High School both on the field and off the field, just an outstanding human being, two great parents, and we’re very fortunate to have him as part of our family,” said Fighting Irish head coach Steve Matthews on Nov. 7 at a ceremony in the school gym during which Bryn was presented his commemorative Under Armour game jersey.
Bryn, a Clemson commitment and the son of Mike and Shay Tucker, is the second KCHS player to receive the Under Armour honor.
“I want to thank God for the blessing and the opportunity. Secondly, I want to thank my mom and dad and all my family for always being there every step of the way,” Bryn said after receiving the jersey. “I also want to thank the entire Knoxville Catholic football staff for helping me every step of the way. I would like to send a special thank-you to [KCHS offensive line] coach [Justin] Anderson for everything he taught me.
“I also want to thank my teammates for pushing me during practice and always sticking by my side. Thank you to Under Armour for recognizing me with this great honor. Lastly, thank you to the Knoxville Catholic family. You have made me who I am, and I will never forget that. Thank you, and Go Irish.”
Former Irish standout Amari Rodgers, now with Clemson, was selected for the game in 2017. Cade Mays of KCHS, now with Georgia, played in the Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio in 2018.
“We’ve been extremely fortunate to have some really good players, some of the top players in the country, come through these halls,” Mr. Matthews said.
Alumni of the Under Armour game include NFL players Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Amari Cooper, Jameis Winston, and Leonard Fournette as well as college standouts Jerry Jeudy of Alabama, Grant Delpit of LSU, and Justin Fields of Ohio State. Fifty NFL first-round draft picks have come from Under Armour rosters.
Bryn, who plays offensive tackle and offensive guard, had one word to describe his selection to the 2020 Under Armour game.
“It was awesome. Letting Under Armour pick me out of all the best players in the country to come into one town, Orlando, it’s awesome. I appreciate Under Armour for picking me, and I can’t wait to get down there,” he said.
His honor is likewise one for the KCHS team, too, he said.
“I couldn’t do it without my teammates. Every Friday night, every practice—they’re always pushing me and picking up my game when I’m down. For them being at my side all these four years, it’s awesome. I appreciate them very much,” Bryn said.
Head coach Matthews has known Shay Tucker, Bryn’s mother, since their days together as Tullahoma High School students.
“We knew each other in high school and stayed in touch via Facebook. It took off from there. Bryn was looking to go to a private school and was looking around and ended up choosing Knoxville Catholic. We’re extremely glad. Great young man, great family, and we’re excited about his future.”
The Under Armour All-America Game can be seen on ESPN2.