A senior defensive end for the Allatoona football team, and a wrestler in the 220-pound weight class, Brindle didn’t have to be intimidating, and the results proved it.
In football, he led the Buccaneers with 126 tackles and had six sacks, helping the team to a 12-1 record and a trip to the Class AAA state quarterfinals.
Once he got to the wrestling mat, Brindle won his weight class at the Cobb County Invitational, added the Region 7AAA title and then captured his first state title.
For his contribution to both Allatoona teams, Brindle is the 2011-12 Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Male Athlete of the Year.
The intimidation factor may have a lot to do with Brindle’s size.
The Presbyterian football signee does exude a presence — he stands 6-foot-2, 230 pounds. He can also bench and clean 300 pounds and has a 31.5-inch vertical jump.
While Brindle could not be reached for comment, Allatoona wrestling coach Joe Lanier was quick to describe his state champion as “one giant teddy bear.”
“He’s a very loveable and likeable kid. He’s just big,” Lanier said. “Bryson is a giant 8-year-old on the mat. He doesn’t know when to stop. When we’d wrestle, I would keep screaming at him, ‘I’m old, I’m old. Quit, quit.’
“He was kind of a quiet leader. When we were in matches, he was probably our biggest cheerleader.”
As passionate as he was in both sports, Brindle took a more serious approach in football. He was often on the practice field to improve technique and prepare for Allatoona’s next opponent, and his determination paid off.
“He’s very normal but really turns it up once he gets on the field,” Allatoona football coach Gary Varner said. “His (on-field) personality was pretty much busy. He didn’t play around. He went to practice to get something done.”
Brindle’s future lies with football, where he has potential to be a defensive end or linebacker, according to different scouting reports. He has a low sack number for a defensive end, but he makes up for it in tackles.
While many opponents double-teamed Brindle, much of that had to do with Allatoona not facing teams who threw the ball. With most of the Buccaneers’ opponents built to run the ball, Brindle would play to stop the run.
Brindle reached double figures in tackles six times, including each of Allatoona’s final four games. He was at his best at the end of the season, when he recorded 16 tackles apiece in playoff wins over Franklin County and Mary Persons, and 15 in the Buccaneer’s quarterfinal-round loss at Burke County.
Brindle was also capable of playing both defensive end positions. The side he played on depended greatly on the opponent Allatoona was about to face.
“The thing that made him tough to deal with was that he was such a good athlete,” Varner said. “He was fast enough and good enough to play the weak side, and tough enough to play on the strong end. He could play both ends, and that gave me a lot of flexibility. Normally, (defensive ends) aren’t able to do that often. That was a big advantage he brought to the table as both a football player and an athlete.”
In wrestling, there weren’t many who were Brindle’s size, so he would often drill with Lanier himself.
Brindle progressed from a year ago when he came one point shy of winning a state crown. He pinned Wheeler’s Tommy Long in 1 minute to win his first county title. Then, after clinching the Region 7AAA title, he went into sudden-death overtime to beat Southeast Whitfield’s Carlos Fraire for his first state crown.
With the score tied at 2-all at the end of regulation, Brindle used an escape with 15 seconds left in the overtime period to win 3-2.
What impressed Lanier the most about Brindle was how quickly he picked up the sport after he first gave it a try as a freshman.
“I’ve had a few state champs,” Lanier said, “but (Brindle) having never wrestled before coming into the room and seeing him progress to this point — it was very fulfilling and satisfying.”