Rick Bryan
No. 77
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born:(1962-03-20)March 20, 1962
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Died:July 25, 2009(2009-07-25) (aged 47)
Coweta, Oklahoma
Height:6 ft 5.5 in (1.97 m)
Weight:265 lb (120 kg)
Career information
NFL Draft:1984 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at PFR
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Rick Bryan" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (April 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Rick Don Bryan (March 20, 1962 – July 25, 2009) was an American college and professional football player who was a defensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for ten seasons during the 1980s and 1990s. Bryan played college football for the University of Oklahoma, and received All-American honors. He was selected in the first round of the 1984 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL.

Early years

Bryan was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He attended Coweta High School in Coweta, Oklahoma where he earned All-State honors in 1980. He began playing linebacker in high school but was moved to defensive tackle by one of his coaches, Ben Wasson. Bryan was named to the Tulsa World's All-century High school football team in 1999.[1]

College career

Bryan was a consensus All-American at the University of Oklahoma in 1982 and 1983. He was Big Eight Defensive Player of the Year in 1982 and Academic All-Conference from 1981 to 1983. He owns the school record for career tackles by a defensive lineman (365), ranking him ahead of Kevin Murphy and Lee Roy Selmon. He is OU’s eighth leading career tackler regardless of position. “No one outworked him,” said OU coach Barry Switzer.[1]

Professional career

Bryan was selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the 9th overall pick in the 1984 NFL Draft. Bryan was the NFC Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1984. He spent all nine years of his professional career with the Atlanta Falcons, and still has the tenth most sacks in a career in Falcons' history, with the eighth most yardage lost. He eventually was forced into retirement by a number of injuries, including neck and back pains and a popped Achilles tendon. He was diagnosed with a spinal nerve injury in 1989, but kept playing and started sixteen games in each of the next two seasons.


Bryan died on July 25, 2009, at the age of 47, in his home in Coweta. He had suffered from congestive heart failure and his family said he died of a heart attack.[1][2] 2,500 people attended his funeral in Coweta on July 30, 2009.He now has a sign dedicated to him on the road outside the Coweta High School.[3]