The Ohio State Buckeyes had a dominating defensive unit it 2012, helping the Buckeyes to a 12-0 season. This season the Buckeyes will be looking to replace all that was lost to graduation and to the NFL Draft. The Bucks lost 2 members of their defensive back field in Orhian Johnson and Travis Howard. So the remaining members of that backfield are going to have to use their experience and lead the way for this young defense. One of those guys is going to have to be #2 Christian Bryant.
This fall Christian will be entering his senior year at THE Ohio State University to finish up his degree in African-American & African Studies. Christian hails from a place where many Buckeye greats come from, and that is Glenville High School in Cleveland. You may remember that both Ted Ginn Jr. and former Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith graduated from Glenville. While in high school Christian helped the Tarblooders to a 13-2 record and was named an all-Ohio Defender, as well as being named to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl as a senior. He also ran track along with being an honor roll student.
Christian made his Ohio State debut in 2010 as a true freshman replacing an injured Tyler Moeller against Illinois; he finished the game with 5 solo tackles. That year he went on to play in 7 games for the Buckeyes. In 2011 he became a full time starter for the Bucks at safety, recording 69 tackles, 1 forced fumble (FF) and 8 pass break ups (PBU). 2012 was an even bigger year for Bryant where he played in started in all 12 games. He recorded 70 tackles one was a tackle for loss as well as 2 FF, 12 PBU’s and his first career interception (INT) as a Buckeye which he returned it 38 yards. His 70 tackles were good enough for 2nd on the team last year only about 40 behind Ryan Shazier. Bryant’s one and only interception came at a crucial time in the week 3 matchup with the California Golden Bears in the 4th quarter with about a minute left to go in the game. It sealed the deal for the Buckeyes and helped them remain undefeated. Christian is a good run-help safety that isn’t afraid to come up and knock someone on their ass; just ask Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez or TTUN’s wanna be QB Denard Robinson since Bryant forced him to fumble. Bryant also had a huge play in the Wisconsin game by recovering the fumble that Shazier knocked out of Monte Ball’s hands at the goal line.
In the preseason the group of defensive backs has been trying to improve on increasing the number of interceptions. Even though in 2012 they led the Big Ten with 14 INTs. During the spring practices the defensive backs have been doing push-ups if they touched a pass and dropped it. There is an old saying that goes that if a Defensive Back (DB) could catch he wouldn’t play defense. I think that needs to change. INT’s can change the whole course of a game, gives you better field position, ends drives and sets you up to score either on the INT or on that offensive possession. I think that this is going to help improve Christian’s game a lot; it will make his side of the field a lot more dangerous for opposing quarterbacks to throw to. Just ask Braxton Miller who had to throw against him in the 2013 spring game.
Christian Bryant was on the Gray squad in this year’s 2013 spring game so he got the honor to pick up Buckeye Grove. Christian played well in the spring game he recorded one tackle and one PBU. I don’t think he played the whole game so this game shouldn’t be an indication of what he is going to do this season.
With a young defense the Buckeyes are going to need Bryant to be a leader on this team; both physically and mentally. I see Christian having another big year for the Buckeyes with his tackle numbers high and hopefully his interception numbers rising as well. If that happens the Buckeyes could be on their way to Pasadena.