Browning Hopes Big 33 Prepares Him For OSU

Cleveland Glenville offensive lineman Bryant Browning is a key member of the Ohio team set to play in Saturday's Big 33 Football Classic (7 p.m., Ohio News Network). Browning, who was Glenville's valedictorian, talks about the selection process for the Ohio team and his future at Ohio State.

Seated at a lunch table before an afternoon practice session, Ohio State recruit and Cleveland Glenville product Bryant Browning was asked realistically what he feels he will bring to the table when he steps foot inside the Horseshoe for the first time in preparation for the upcoming college football season.

The space-filling lineman quickly answered.

"I don't know yet," he said. "I'm just working hard everyday so when I get there I have the best chance to play."

It's not that Browning is unsure of his ability, he just feels he needs to hone his game to a crisper point. He, along with 32 other teammates, including three other future Buckeyes, will get the chance to do so Saturday night when Ohio tangles with Pennsylvania in the 49th annual Big 33 Football Classic. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Hersheypark Stadium. (The game will be televised live on Ohio News Network.)

Browning, who was the valedictorian at Glenville's recent graduation ceremony, is eager to arrive in Columbus. He said he will attempt to break through on an offensive line that is a key for the Buckeyes potential title run this coming season.

"I feel it's just about getting stronger and learning more of Ohio State's plays," Browning added. "It's just about getting ready for the speed of college football."

Browning will line up opposite three future Big Ten linemen on the Pennsylvania roster. His job will be to protect against speed rusher Jared Odrick, Tom McEowen and Abe Koromoa, all headed to Penn State. It's expected that Browning against Odrick will be a feature match-up along the fronts.

"Here, you're going against one of the top guys in the country," Browning said. "It helps you prepare for the games in college and the practices and it helps you get ready for the speed (in college)."

Browning will leave Hershey immediately after the contest and head to Columbus for freshman orientation on Sunday. There, he will get his first chance to meet some of his future teammates and will get filled in on the Buckeyes' workout routine and begin learning the tricks and trades of Ohio State football.

"I'm taking some summer classes, so I need to start getting prepared for that too," Browning said. "I'm going to go in there and learn anything I can and take it from there. I'm trying to learn all of the positions on the offensive line to see where I fit in there. I just need to work hard and see where I fit in."

Browning will also have a head start on meeting other incoming freshman such as Thad Gibson, walk-on Zach Slagle and Glenville teammate Ray Small.

"I get to meet the others, practice with them, sit down and talk to them more and see what things we have in common so we can start bonding together so when we move on to the next level we have a head start as we can develop into a good team," Browning said.

The perception among many in Pennsylvania is that this is actually Ohio's third best all-star team, with the annual North-South game the same weekend. In years past, the Big 33 was able to land five-star prospects like Ted Ginn Jr., and players who have gone on to star at the next level like Mario Manningham and Ben Roethlisberger.

But with more and more college prospects enrolling early -- making them ineligible for the Big 33 in July -- the Big 33 moved its game to June. That moved it into conflict with the Ohio North-South Classic, which will also be played Saturday in Columbus Crew Stadium.

The Ohio coaches chose the North-South teams in a draft style first, with the Big 33 getting the third pick. The idea that this isn't Ohio's best has motivated Browning and his teammates so far this week.

"I feel that brings us together even more," Browning said. "People will try to talk us down and they'll say that Pennsylvania had the best team they could provide. We know we're a good team, we're having fun together, we're bonding together and I feel we'll get together as a team and we're going to win. We're going to get together play hard and come out with a victory."

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