Student, athlete, broadcaster…pastry shop owner? These are all roles Buckeye junior Christian Bryant plays or hopes to play in the future. A hard-hitting defensive back from Cleveland Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio, home to former Buckeyes Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr., Donte Whitner and Ashton Youboty, among others, Bryant hits the books with the same intensity with which he tackles opponents on Saturdays in the Horseshoe. He sat down to discuss his life as a student-athlete at Ohio State, physical ailments from the past and his possible future plans in the bakery business.
Two-and-a-half weeks into the fall semester, did you find it difficult adjusting to class in August? There has been a bit of a juggling act between classes and practice, but it hasn’t been too much of an adjustment. Even though we started school earlier, our weekly routine really hasn’t changed – you still have to go to class, do your homework and go to practice. It’s nice having everyone back on campus though and I am really looking forward to seeing all of the students in the stadium for the non-conference games.
You recently changed your major from African-American and African studies to communication. What prompted that change? After talking things over with my parents, coaches and advisors, we all felt communication was a better choice for what I want to do in the future. I enjoyed my previous major, but I don’t think it was the best fit for me.
How do you plan on using your education to begin a career? I’ve thought about going into broadcasting and using my communication degree and football experience for TV or radio. I also really want to open a pastry shop, which I’m sure would be a surprise to a lot of people. Someone I know from back home goes to culinary school, so we’ve talked about going into business together.
To what extent is the coaching staff involved in your academics? All of our coaches take school very seriously. They communicate with our teachers, tutors and counselors on a weekly, if not daily, basis and they make sure to stay updated on our grades and attendance.
You played high school football at Cleveland Glenville, a school that has produced some great talent for the Buckeyes. What has made the Glenville program so successful? The work ethic at Glenville is what makes the teams and players great. The school has produced some of the best talent in the state because of Coach [Ted] Ginn and Coach [Tony] Overton. They are awesome coaches who put players in positions to be successful on and off the field.
Some publicized health setbacks (a foot infection in 2011 and shoulder injury in 2012) have limited your playing time in the past. Have these problems given you a new outlook on football? The injuries have made me realize football can be over in a split second and you have to be ready for that possibility. That is one of the reasons I chose to switch my major, so I’m better prepared when my football career is over. I’m very thankful I still have the opportunity to play.
We’re now one week into the season. Tell us why 2012 Christian Bryant will be an improvement from the 2011 version. This is the best I have ever felt coming out of the summer. I am faster, stronger and better prepared to perform. My knowledge has improved tremendously and things are really slowing down for me. I feel like I am ready to make a lot of plays this season.