Fifth Down: Christian Bryant

Junior safety keeps the pipeline from Cleveland Glenville running strong

Updated: October 2, 2012, 3:20 PM ET
By Brad Bournival | BuckeyeNation

Fifth Down is a series at BuckeyeNation where we chat with impact players in Ohio State athletics.

Tutored by former Ohio State great and three-time All-American Mike Doss, safety Christian Bryant has shown flashes of brilliance this season.

The Glenville product's first career interception all but sealed the Buckeyes' 35-28 win over Cal earlier this season, and he has taken his role on the team to heart as Ohio State continues to navigate its way through its first year under Urban Meyer.

[+] EnlargeChristian Bryant
Greg Bartram/US PresswireChristian Bryant's first career interception sealed the Buckeyes' 35-28 win over California.
The junior played in 12 games last season and made nine starts.

His Glenville ties in the secondary aren't a surprise as Bryant is molded from the same fabric as former Buckeyes Donte Whitner and Jermale Hines.

An All-Ohio selection as a senior, Bryant was the Senate League's Offensive Player of the Year when the Tarblooders went 13-2 and reached the Division I state final.

One interesting note about Bryant is he scored four different ways -- touchdown run, touchdown pass, field goal and interception return -- during a 57-28 Glenville win over a Hubert Heights Wayne team led by current Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller.

BN: How do you assess your team's performance from the first week of the season until now?

Bryant: I think we've come a long way as a defense and as an offense. The offense has had a couple of three-and-outs from time to time, but if they continue to move the ball, we'll be fine.

BN: You guys have come under scrutiny for missed tackles. Where is the team now?

Bryant: I feel like it was kind of true, but we have to work on leverage. Missed tackles are a part of the game, as long as you have people flying to the football, it's not a problem.

BN: You and teammate Doran Grant played in the same area growing up. What is the connection with him?

Bryant: We have a pretty good bond. We've known each other since we were kids. We ran track together at the age of 8 or 9. He's a good person. He stepped up when we needed him.

BN: What does it mean to be a Buckeye and what have you learned the last few years?

Bryant: It means the world. Coach Meyer preaches to just be the best you can at all times. We know O State is a big-time program. We just try to keep the legacy going each and every year.

BN: How much have you grown under Urban Meyer as a player?

Bryant: I feel like I've matured a lot since I've been here. With Coach [Jim] Tressel and Coach Meyer, they all bring something to the table. You progress and mature as you get older.

BN: How much better will you be in a year because of what you learned from Coach Meyer?

Bryant: I think I'll be pretty good as long as I keep working on some things [like] reading the offense, making big plays and making those game-changing plays.