November 3, 2009

In the film room: Christian Bryant

For nearly three years now, Glenville defensive back Christian Bryant has been one of the biggest names in Ohio recruiting circles. The 5-foot-10, 173-pound prospect has been dominating camps, combines, and games since his sophomore season with the Tarblooders.

Bryant's play has landed him offers from some major programs from around the country. Schools such as Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and many others have all thrown their hat into the ring for the outstanding senior prospect.

As a senior, Bryant has done as much for his team as any player in Ohio and finds himself firmly in the mix for Ohio's prestigious Mr. Football award. In week 3 against Huber Heights Wayne, Bryant showed why he is considered among the top players in Ohio with a big time performance in a lopsided Glenville victory.

What he does well…

  • If there is one word to describe Bryant, it's 'smooth'. Everything he does looks very easy, natural, and effortless. Whether it's catching the ball, making a cut, throwing the ball, or even kicking field goals, there isn't anything on the football field that Bryant can't do and look good while doing it.

  • Bryant has absolutely outstanding feet. He's quick, can cut on a dime, and is very smooth in his back peddle in man-to-man coverage. His quick feet allow him to not only excel in coverage but to react quickly to what the offense is doing.

  • Whenever people talk about defensive backs, you always hear them talk about how that prospect has 'great hips'. While that has sort of become a cliché, it's definitely true with Bryant. His quick hips allow him to easily turn and run with receivers.

  • One thing I always look for and strongly value in defensive backs is the ability to tackle both in space and in run support. Bryant excels in both phases. He's a very good open field tackler and he's fearless when throwing his body around in run support. Whether he ends up at corner or safety, he's not going to be a one dimensional player.

  • Finally, Bryant has outstanding ball skills. He really goes after the football when it's in the air and does a great job of catching it at its highest point. He has strong, reliable hands and as you can see on the reel, when he intercepts a pass he has one thing in mind and that's taking it back for a touchdown.

  • Areas for improvement…

  • The number one thing that Bryant will need to work on is adding muscle and strength. Right now he's undersized at about 175-pounds and will need to bulk up and add strength in order to be an impact player at the next level. As it stands right now, he's already a player that plays bigger than he really is so adding that extra size will go a long way for him.

  • I'm a big fan of versatility and being able to do a variety of things well but eventually Bryant will need to settle in at one spot. With all of the things that he is asked to do for his team, he has never really had a chance to focus on and master a single position. Throughout the course of a game Bryant will line up at quarterback, running back, receiver, safety, and corner in addition to special teams.

  • Outlook:

    Bryant may very well be the best pure football player in the state of Ohio right now. While he's not the long term prospect that Jordan Hicks or Andrew Norwell are, Bryant is an outstanding prospect in his own right and is one of the elite defensive back prospects not only in Ohio but in the entire Midwest.

    An 'old school' type of player that excels in all three phases of the game, Bryant brings a wide variety of skills to the table and his football instincts are as good as any player in Ohio. Overall, he's a no-brainer for any top ten list of Ohio seniors and he comes in at third on my list behind only Hicks and Norwell.

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