Cotton Bowl 2021: Cincinnati Bearcats CB Coby Bryant honoring Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Brya...

ByChris Low ESPN logo
Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Cincinnati Bearcatscornerback Coby Bryant will honor his namesake, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, by wearing No. 8 in the College Football Playoff Semifinal against No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tidein the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (Friday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

The No. 4 Bearcats (13-0) are a decided underdog, and Coby Bryant quoted the late Lakers superstar Tuesday in his news conference.

"I always go back to the famous quote from Kobe Bryant: 'The job is not finished,'" Coby Bryant said. "And that goes from Day 1 to now. We have to stay hungry."

Coby Bryant won the Jim Thorpe Award as the top defensive back in college football this season. He normally wears No. 7 but cleared it with his coach, Luke Fickell, to wear No. 8 in the playoff. Coby Bryant was named after Kobe Bryant, who along with his daughter, Gianna, and six other passengers died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

As a youngster playing baseball, Coby Bryant also wore No. 24 as a tribute to Kobe Bryant.

"I was named after him for a reason," Coby Bryant told reporters last week. "The Mamba Mentality is what I carry on to this day."

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