Former teammate reflects on Greg Bryant Jr.

Posted at 4:19 AM, May 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-09 16:39:29-04

Family and friends are mourning the loss of a South Florida football star.

Greg Bryant Jr. was declared brain dead Sunday after he was found shot on Interstate 95 early Saturday morning. Bryant remains on life support at St. Mary's Medical Center.

The investigation is now reclassified as a homicide.

As the investigation continues into what happened on I-95, the grieving process begins.

"It's hard to fathom that he's not here anymore. It's just a terrible situation," says Bryant's former teammate Nick LaSala.

He's reflecting on a life cut far too short.

"To see him not smile, it almost felt like a joke," said LaSala, who was the quarterback at American Heritage High School when Greg Bryant Jr. was the running back.

His fondest memory of his playing days was Greg's first game in 8th grade.

"The year before we were 0-6. We were terrible, and I remember him taking a hand-off going 70 yards and thinking like, 'OK this is different now.'"

LaSala watched Bryant become a star and a South Florida celebrity.

"Everybody recruited him," said LaSala.

A five-star recruit, Bryant took a Division I scholarship to Notre Dame. Last year he transferred to UAB. Before Saturday morning, Greg was ready to hit the gridiron at his new school.

LaSala says throughout his career, he impacted so many lives on and off the field, which was on display during his final moments.

"I was at the hospital yesterday and there was just so many people coming," said LaSala.

Now, those who knew him best say the NFL was in his future. Those dreams now gone.

"The toughest part about it is that was his dream. We all wanted it for him because he wanted it so badly. I'll never forget the talent he was. All the NFL players that have come out of Delray, Greg Bryant's name is right there," said LaSala.

West Palm Beach police are asking any witnesses with information to come forward.