Ohio athlete sets first official

With Nebraska looking to take at least one TE in this class, it seems the Huskers attention may have turned to Darien Bryant from Pickerington (OH). The talented prospect also recently set his first official visit of the year, making plans to be in Lincoln when Nebraska hosts Missouri later this season. We talk about that upcoming visit, plus much more, in this latest update with Big Red Report.

One of the more recent offers made by the Husker coaching staff went out to Darien Bryant, a 6-foot-4 DE/TE prospect from Big Ten territory. And according to Darien, the offer from Nebraska has really piqued his interest.

"It was kind of crazy. I had been getting just the generic mail that I'm sure hundreds of kids get. Then a few weeks ago I had just got out of practice and I got this text from my Mom. It said something like ‘Big News!', then she said something about my 12th offer had come.

"So of course I called her to see what was going on. But you know, she started messing with me, and tried to make it a guessing game. She told me this is the biggest one you've gotten yet. And I'm like ‘Mom! Just tell me!'.

"Then she tells me it's from Nebraska, and I was really shocked. I mean, this is one of the top teams in the country, it means a lot to get an offer like this."

Did you speak to anyone from the Nebraska coaching staff?

"Oh yeah, I spoke to the coaches from Nebraska the next day, it was coach Brown. He seemed like a nice man. And I think it was last Tuesday, coach J.P. came by my school, I've also spoken to him over the phone, and we get along great so far."

Do you know much about the Husker program at this stage?

"I really don't. I know the head coach, coach Pelini, is from Ohio. I watched them a couple times last year because of Suh, everybody was watching him. I do know football is big out there though, but that's about it right now."

Can you give me a little information about your background, are you originally from the state of Ohio?

"No, I was born in Morgantown, in West Virginia and lived there for a couple years. Then we moved to Norman (Oklahoma) and lived there for awhile. Then we moved up here to Ohio and I've been here ever since."

What about some of your skill sets, how are you used on the high school level?

"Up until this year I've always just played offense, but my coaching staff I have here, has decided to put me in a good spot at DE. I still play TE on offense, they also flex me out as a slot receiver. I also line up at a little full back and do some blocking. Just whatever it takes, whatever the coaches need me to do."

Darien said it's still a mixed bag when it comes to his college suitors, some say offense, others like him on defense as an edge rusher.

"I know Bowling Green offered me as a defensive end, but most of my other ones are for tight end. I just spoke to the coaches at West Virginia, I think it was last night, and they just got my DE film from this year. The DE coach is supposed to watch it today then get back to me on where they see me.

"Wake Forest, Ohio State, Wisconsin and UCLA have also been talking to me lately, and the like me on defense."

What is Nebraska saying?

"From what coach Brown said they see me on offense, as a guy they could move around. Flex me, put me on the end as a blocker, and use me in play action, stuff like that."

Do you have a preference?

"I really don't know yet, I like both. If you would have asked me before the season I would have said tight end no doubt. But it seems like some of the bigger schools like me on defense too, so I have to step back and think about things. I still like offense though, I like making plays on offense a lot.

"I feel like I could play either, so I could come in as an athlete and decide later. It really doesn't matter to me where I play."

What does your offer list look like?

"We've already talked about the one from Nebraska, and I have Maryland, Duke, Kansas, Air Force, Toledo, Ohio, Marshall, Kent State and Miami (OH). I have a couple other offers from smaller schools too."

Let me ask you this, is there any offer out there that would make you commit on the spot if it came your way?

"I can't say there is. I didn't grow up here so it's not like there is some offer around here I'm dying to get. I wouldn't make a choice like that, I'll have to visit some schools before committing anywhere."

I hear you already have one official set for Nebraska.

"Yeah, me and my mom are coming for the Missouri game. We get there at like 10 a.m. Saturday, so it will be perfect. I have a game that Friday, but it's the last one of the season. I know that is supposed to be one of the bigger games for Nebraska, I'm excited to see it."

How do you see this process playing out? Will you take other officials? Do you have any set date in mind you would like to commit by?

"I really don't have any idea when I'll decide. I'd like to take as many officials as I can before I do anything. But I really can't say right now, I haven't even taken one official yet. This is such a big decision, if I don't take four or five (official visits), I could be hurting myself down the road."

In a nutshell, give me a few of the things you're looking for in a college. In other words, what will your decision be based on?

"Distance won't be an issue for me, I'll go anywhere. Honestly, I'm going to base everything off my trips. You can do all the research you want on the computer about these schools, and they'll probably all tell you how great they are.

"But until you actually get on campus you won't know. I'll have to get to these places and get a feel for it, see the coaches and players eye-to-eye. I think that's the only way you can make a good decision. When I get that feeling like this is the place I have to be, I'll commit."

When asked if he'll be tuned in tonight to see Nebraska play Kansas State live on ESPN, he replied "Yes sir, I'll be watching for sure". As always, look for more updates throughout the year on Darien Bryant from Big Red Report.

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