Bryant is Finally Healthy, Talks First Start

STORY: Chris Bryant discusses his journey through injures and now a starter on the offensive line.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Chris Bryant is the newest addition to Michigan's offensive line – and at times it looked like he would never make it there.

"It was long process," Bryant said. "Anytime you get injured -- it's tough. But you know, my coaches and my teammates they kept my spirits lifted, my parents kept me lifted. I just knew what I needed to do to get back out here."

Last season Bryant broke his leg before the season opener against Alabama, and was hit again with some nagging injuries before this season, which cost him an opportunity to start the season opener versus Central Michigan.

"Just coming back off injury, when you kind of have not been working so long, just sometimes overworking it a little bit and (my leg) swells up a little bit. Nothing major, just stuff I needed to get taken care of," said Bryant.

However, Michigan's offensive line struggled this season through their first four games. And then Wolverines had a Bye week – and with Bryant finally healthy – he got his shot to start against Minnesota.

"Once I was healthy and was able to go, that was just the biggest thing – staying healthy," Bryant said. "I was a little banged up in the first game of the season or whatever. Once I had that bye week, just it actually helped me a little bit. Since I didn't play those first few games, I was able to heal up a little bit. Now that I am healthy, that's just the biggest thing – I am able to play hard and play physical."

Bryant admitted he was a little nervous before his first career start -- but once the game started – he said it was "just playing football."

"Before the first snap I was obviously nervous," Bryant said. " Like anybody who would be playing in front of 110,000 fans as redshirt sophomore in his first start of his college career, you know? Once that first snap is gone – it's just playing football. Like being in a high school game, football is football. It don't matter what level. It gets faster and faster as you get higher – but it's football."

His own worst critic, Bryant admits he needs to work on all phases of his game, specifically pass protection. But in the end, he said he just likes play physical and throw his 6-foot-4, 315-pound frame in front of opposing defenses.

"I just try to play physical," Bryant said. "I have a big body and I try to use it. I try to block people physical as I can. And try to get as much movement on the ball to help our running backs to open some holes up and get some yards. Just trying to play low, physical and hard."

And now he has an opportunity to do that.

Bryant will start his second career game this Saturday, as No. 16 Michigan (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) travels to Penn State (3-2, 0-1 Big Ten) for their conference road opener. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN locally.

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