"Now starting for the Kansas City Chiefs: Bryan Witzmann."
Bryan Witzmann is the toast of Somerset.
The former Somerset football standout has continued to climb the ranks, all the way to the top.
Starting at left guard, in the 2017 NFL season opener for the Chiefs, was Witzmann. It's been an amazing ride for a player who was lightly recruited out of high school.
But there last Thursday, in front of a national audience, was Witzmann. And he earned stellar marks, as the Chiefs knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
Witzmann is a 2008 graduate of Somerset High School. He then attended South Dakota State University, where he was the starting left tackle for every game in his four-year collegiate career.
That was followed by a three-year journey, where he was signed by the Houston Texans and kept on the practice squad for a year. Then there was a season he was on injured reserve. In 2015, he was released by the Texans and signed by the New Orleans Saints, spending another year on the practice squad. His big break may have been when he was released by the Saints and signed with Dallas before the 2016 training camp. He must have impressed someone in Kansas City, because when he was among the final Dallas cuts, Kansas City scooped him up.
Witzmann played on special teams for Kansas City all through the 2016 season. In the OTAs leading into this season, Witzmann was inserted at left guard. He's been there ever since.
"It couldn't happen to a better guy," said Somerset coach Bruce Larson, who was Witzmann's high school coach. "It's the same with everything he's done. He does it the right way."
The Chiefs clearly value Witzmann's intelligence. He earned an engineering degree from SDSU and has always been respected for his calm, poised demeanor.
Witzmann was signed by the Chiefs as a tackle. He soon began getting reps at both tackle and guard positions and even some at center. It was clear, Witzmann had earned a place in the Chiefs' long-range plans. What those plans were showed when the team started its camps before this season.
Witzmann wasn't a prospect colleges were rushing to see. He missed his junior season with a knee injury. He was excellent in his senior season, but many colleges already had their commitments made. SDSU was the one college that showed sincere interest from the start. After Witzmann committed, other schools tried to lure him away, but he remained true to SDSU.
Having the values to stay true to commitment is true to Witzmann's character, according to Larson.
"I know anybody who has had contact with him is extremely proud. It was a privilege and an honor to work with him," Larson said.