June 11, 2011

MVP Profile: Kelvin Bryant, 1983

Running Back, Philadelphia Stars

Age: 22
1st season in pro football
College: North Carolina
Height: 6’2” Weight: 195

A three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference back in college, Bryant was chosen by the Stars in the first USFL territorial draft and went with the new league (the Washington Redskins selected him in the 7th round of the ’83 NFL draft even though he had already signed with the USFL). He moved directly into the starting lineup and quickly became the focal point of the ground-oriented offense.

1983 Season Summary
Appeared in 17 of 18 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 318 [2]
Most attempts, game - 27 (for 177 yds.) at Birmingham 3/21
Yards – 1442 [2]
Most yards, game – 177 yards (on 27 carries) at Birmingham 3/21
Average gain – 4.5 [7]
TDs – 16 [2]
100-yard rushing games - 7

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 53 [19, tied with Herschel Walker]
Most receptions, game – 6 (for 34 yds.) at Denver 3/6, (for 50 yds.) vs. Denver 5/8
Yards – 410
Most yards, game - 66 (on 4 catches) at New Jersey 6/12
Average gain – 7.7
TDs – 1

TDs – 17 [2]
Points – 102 [7]

Postseason: 2 G
Rushing attempts – 37
Most rushing attempts, game - 24 vs. Chicago, USFL Semifinal playoff
Rushing yards – 231
Most rushing yards, game - 142 vs. Chicago, USFL Semifinal playoff
Average gain rushing – 6.2
Rushing TDs – 2

Pass receptions – 6
Most pass receptions, game - 4 vs. Michigan, USFL Championship
Pass receiving yards - 29
Most pass receiving yards, game - 15 vs. Michigan, USFL Championship
Average yards per reception – 4.8
Pass Receiving TDs - 0

Awards & Honors:
USFL MVP: League, Pro Football Weekly
1st team All-USFL: League, Sporting News, College & Pro Football Newsweekly, Pro Football Weekly

Stars went 15-3 to finish first in the USFL Atlantic Division with the league’s best record. Won Semifinal playoff over Chicago Blitz (44-38 in OT). Lost USFL Championship to Michigan Panthers (24-22).

Bryant continued to be one of the league’s best runners, even though battling occasional injuries, again ranking second in the USFL with 1406 rushing yards in 1984 and tied for fourth in ’85 with 1207. He ended up gaining 4055 yards over the course of the three USFL seasons, and the Stars won the league championship in the last two. Following the demise of the USFL, Bryant joined the Redskins where he spent four seasons (1986-90). In the NFL, he battled injuries and was utilized more for his pass receiving skills, catching over 40 passes in each of his first three years but only once compiling as many as 100 carries (108 in 1988). With Washington, he rushed for a total of 1186 yards and caught 154 passes for 1634 yards.


MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself).

[Updated 2/15/14]