Bryan was born in Birmingham, Alabama on June 7, 1979. Growing up in Birmingham, Bryan faced and overcame many challenges. From early on, Bryan's education was important to him. In December 2001, Bryan graduated on the Dean's List, with Honors, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, UAB, with a BA degree in Criminal Justice.
His Christian upbringing, along with his academic and football success, inspired him to provide scholastic and athletic opportunities for underprivileged youth.
In May 2010, Bryan along with his wife, Danielle B. Thomas, established the Bryan Thomas Foundation to nurture kids, plant the seeds of hope, and help them thrive. The Foundation promote literacy and education throughout the community.
After eleven years with the New York Jets Bryan retired in 2012. Apart from the Bryan Thomas Foundation, Bryan and his wife Danielle own a logistics company, real estate holdings and hospitality holdings. Bryan also enjoys playing golf and spending time with his wife and children.
Bryan was drafted by the New York Jets in the first round as their 22nd pick in the 2002 Draft. He signed a five-year contract extension in 2006. During the 2006 NFL season, Bryan was converted to a linebacker in the 3-4 defense for the Jets. Before that he had played his entire career as a defensive end.
Bryan used to wear jersey number 58 for the New York Jets. He stands 6 feet 4 inches and weighs 266 lbs.