University of Washington

Huskies TE Hunter Bryant says his Fiesta Bowl status is “up in the air”

Washington freshman tight end Hunter Bryant, who has not played in more than a month, said Thursday he is unsure about whether not he’ll play Saturday against Penn State in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl.

Bryant suffered a leg injury in late October against UCLA. He was expected to miss the rest of the season but has participated in recent practices.

“Recovery has been going really good. Initially, I thought I was going be out for a really long time,” Bryant said. “The fact that I can get some reps on the practice field, it’s a blessing really.

“I don’t really know if I’m playing yet, so, that’s really up in the air.”

UW does not permit freshman to speak during the regular season but Bryant met with reporters during the team’s media availability as part of the Fiesta Bowl’s requirements.

The former four-star prospect was emerging as a viable option for the Huskies in the passing game. At the time of his injury, he hauled in 22 catches for 331 yards and a touchdown.

Bryant began establishing himself by the third game of the season. He caught three passes for 99 yards in a 48-16 win over Fresno State.

His breakout game came Oct. 7 in a 38-7 win over California. Bryant finished with a career-high nine catches for 121 yards and a touchdown.

Two weeks later, he got injured while running after catching a 17-yard pass against the Bruins.

“I was actually going to dive over the dude to score,” Bryant said. “And as I planted to jump, he dove in my leg and as it was planted, he hit it and it hyper-extended.”

Bryant said he didn’t face any mental fatigue while going through rehab.

He compared it to doing normal football workouts with the goal of getting better.

“I really stayed positive throughout the whole thing,” Bryant. “Knowing that it wasn’t as bad as it should have been, so really, I just remained positive.”

Ryan S. Clark: @ryan_s_clark