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February 19, 2010Considered by many as one of the best tight ends in the state of Ohio, Darien Bryant has the ability to stretch the field and create multiple mismatches for his opponents.
Unfortunately for Reynoldsburg (Ohio), they never gave the talented junior the opportunity to demonstrate this so he decided to make the move over to Pickerington North for his upcoming senior season.
With his recruitment just getting started, Bryant is beginning to settle in at his new school.
"I'm starting to adjust to it," said Bryant. "I just got back to lifting weights with the team. I've had a chance to talk to the head coach about how they plan to use me on offense and defense this year, which has me pretty excited."
Pickerington North head coach Tom Phillips has broken down to Bryant exactly where he plans to use him and according to Phillips, Bryant will be seeing the field plenty in 2010.
"They plan to use me in many different ways. On defense, they are projecting me at outside linebacker between rushing and dropping back in coverage a lot and using me as an H-Back on offense in doing anywhere from a flex to a slot receiver. Might even some work at fullback. Basically wherever they want me to play because I just want to play," said Bryant.
With all the playing time on the horizon for Bryant, the one thing that will be key for him is staying healthy throughout the entire season. A strained hamstring bothered the tight end during his junior year, which is an injury that tends to be more of a nuisance than anything else. Shortly after the season ended, it appears the injury was put to rest for good.
"I had blood platelet therapy after the season, where I was having blood platelet injections into my knee which was related to my hamstring injury. Ever since I had that done, I've been good to go," said Bryant.
Now feeling 100 percent and wrapping up his hockey season, Bryant's focus will be getting his film out and visiting a few schools. While Toledo is still the only school to offer him so far, it appears more school, including Ohio State, may be inching closer to making an offer.
"I just got my film back about three weeks ago and I'm in the process of sending that out. I'm trying to get out to a few college visits but it's been kind of tough with the weekends being taken up by hockey. But the season is about to end so I will have time soon to visit more colleges and see what their response is on the film," said Bryant.
"I got a little more interest from Purdue and my head coach has talked to coach Gillum from Ohio State and they said that if they would offer, it would be more as an athlete or h-back since my weight is not at what their tight ends are typically at, which is around 250 or 260. I'm just kind of going with the flow at the moment."
Bryant had the opportunity to take in the Ohio State vs. USC game last season with Rivals250 offensive lineman and good friend Landon Turner. With Turner naming the Buckeyes in his top five recently, one has to wonder if the childhood friends could end up playing side-by-side at the next level.
"I talked to him after he got back from San Antonio from the combine and even during the USC game, we joked around about him being a tackle and me being a tight end and playing right next to each other. I guess it depends on how our recruitments go but that would be interesting (playing together)."
Despite looking at him at multiple positions, the Buckeyes are looking to add at least one tight end in this class. With the recent offer to Nick Vannett, it may take a strong senior season for Bryant to get the offer from the scarlet and gray.
"I think the (offer) is pending on a little more on how it goes this season. When I was at Reynoldsburg, they did not pass a lot and I was not able to show off my athletic ability. With the way it looks like I'll fit in at Pickerington North and the way they plan to use me, I will be able to show off my athletic ability this year. Hopefully more interest will build up before and after this upcoming season."