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Driven to Inspire

Written by: Trystanne Cunningham

Photographer : Dontae Blinks @lastnameblinks

Austin Bryant: Mastering the Mindset of Greatness and Keeping His Eyes on the Ball

On and off the field, a playbook for inspiration. From the brink of victory to the sting of defeat: a story of resilience. Austin Bryant’s mindset drives his journey to greatness using setbacks as stepping stones towards success.

In the vast, echoing amphitheaters of the NFL, where dreams are as frequently made as they are dashed,
Austin Bryant’s journey unfolds—a testament to the tenacity and spirit of a professional athlete. On the field, amidst roaring crowds and under glaring lights, every snap is a narrative in itself. Yet, it’s off the field, in the quieter moments, where the essence of his story truly resonates.

We sit down for this interview in Emeryville, California. After a long and exhausting day of shooting the cover for
TrooRa Magazine’s Special Sports Issue ’24, the team is tired but still pushing forward, driven by the artistic energy and creativity that we all crave and enjoy together. As our set designer, cinematographer, and TrooRa videographer Baidi Kamagate, along with photographer Dontae Blinks and his assistant, wind down from a grueling day of shooting, we gear up for the final act of the day: the interview between TrooRa CEO Trystanne Cunningham and NFL athlete, Austin Bryant.

Photographer : Dontae Blinks @lastnameblinks

Bryant arrived earlier with his 120-pound dog, a Cane Corso named Chief, who has been his loyal companion throughout the day.

“Testing… testing!” Trystanne calls out.

“I need you to sit down for me, sir,” Bryant comically says to Chief.
“Good boy, Chief. Are we ready?” Trystanne asks.
“Let’s get it, let’s do this,” Bryant replies.
“Hello, my friend,” Bryant greets warmly.
“Hello, friend. Let’s get right to it. What made you fall in love with football?” Trystanne inquires.
Bryant smiles, reminiscing. 

Austin Bryant’s love for football was sparked by his older cousin, Charlie, who played at Thomas County Central High School in Georgia. “Every Friday, my uncle would pick me up and take me to the games,” he recalls. “Afterward, I’d be on the field with the other kids, throwing the ball around, running, and putting on my cousin’s shoulder pads and helmet. I was just being a kid, completely captivated by the game.” These early experiences left a lasting impression on Bryant, igniting a passion that would shape his future. “I had no idea then what football would do for me, where it would take me, or the incredible experiences it would bring,” he reflects. “It has been a tremendous blessing and an excellent vehicle for me to pursue my goals in life.”

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