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Cincinnati CB Coby Bryant changes number for Cotton Bowl to honor Kobe Bryant

Coby Bryant in 2021 American Conference Championship - Houston v Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, OHIO - DECEMBER 04: Coby Bryant #7 of the Cincinnati Bearcats celebrates an interception during the second half of the 2021 American Conference Championship against the Houston Cougars at Nippert Stadium on December 04, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

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Watch a Cincinnati Bearcats football game, and you might have thought you heard Kobe Bryant mentioned.

The actual player: Cincinnati star cornerback Coby Bryant.

The Bearcats’ Bryant is strengthening his connection to the late Lakers legend, changing from No. 7 to No. 8 ahead of Cincinnati’s Cotton Bowl matchup with Alabama in the College Football Playoff.

Coby Bryant, via Caleb Noe of WCPO:

“I was named after him for a reason,” said Coby Bryant
“The Mamba Mentality is what I carry on to this day,” said Coby Bryant.
“I just try to represent him as well as I can,” said Coby Bryant. “The best way is to put the number 8 on. I took it back to vintage Kobe.”

Coby definitely plays with a swagger befitting Kobe.

Cincinnati will need that attitude as a big underdog against Alabama on Friday.