COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Safety Christian Bryant doesn’t mince words.
He’s straight to the point, just like when he makes a tackle – head first, shoulders square, legs churning, leaving a calling card for a wincing ball carrier.
”I’m chasing a national championship,” he said. ”That’s what I’m chasing.”
If Ohio State is to pursue such a lofty goal – and the Buckeyes are coming off a glittering 12-0 season – then Bryant and a veteran secondary will likely be the ringleaders, so to speak.
Ohio State may have big question marks on defense, but none of them comes at the back end. Bryant, cornerback Bradley Roby and safety C.J. Barnett make up three of the four seniors on that side of the ball. No wonder the backfield figures to be a load-bearing wall for the rest of the unit.
”That’s going to be our backbone this year – me, Christian, C.J., Corey Brown,” said Roby, who flirted with jumping into the NFL draft in January. ”We’ve been here for a long time. We know how things are going to go, how things should go. We just have to lead these young guys.”
Barnett and Bryant are back to fill the safety spots. Doran Grant will get a long look at the other starting cornerback spot.
Filling in behind them are Brown and several youngsters, including two kids who are participating in spring workouts while other classmates are going to prom and planning graduation parties – corners Eli Apple and Cam Burrows.
”I really like ‘em. I think they’re playing at a reasonably high level for spring football,” cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs said of his charges in his typical, raspy, half-yell. ”The young guys are getting a lot of reps. We’ve got good leadership from Bradley Roby. And we’re competing every day. I really like the work ethic. They’re very diligent and very serious about their business. And they’re going to be very, very good as time develops.”
Continue Reading: Buckeyes defense relies on experienced secondary