Bryce Bray exudes a lot of confidence, but why not. He is on a really good high school team. He has shown up well all offseason in a variety of camps. He has made his decision and is excited about playing in college at Oklahoma State. It all adds up for Bryce Bray.
MUSTANG -- It's hard to describe it exactly, but there is something different about Bryce Bray. The Bixby offensive tackle has had a very eventful year since I saw him in the Mustang Team Camp at this same time early last summer. The now 6-5, 309 pound Bray was still developing and had his good plays and a few not so good. You could tell he had a chance to be really good and Bixby head coach Loren Montgomery said as much. Since then Bray has become bigger and stronger. His junior season was a step-by-step series of developing from a young offensive lineman with promise to a confident pillar on an offensive line that had a lot to do with a third straight Class 6A-Division II State Championship. Along the way Bray attracted a lot of attention from college coaches and then in March he went to Nike's The Opening Regional at the Dallas Cowboys new headquarters in Frisco, Texas and blew away the competition to be named the Offensive Line MVP at the event. There were a lot of really good offensive line prospects on hand that Bray surged ahead of. His recruiting blew up and he committed to Oklahoma State and new offensive line coach Josh Henson.
"It's awesome being committed and now I can focus on football," Bryce said after putting on an impressive display with his work in the drills and then the scrimmage at the Mustang Team Camp. "Now that I'm committed, it (recruiting) has toned down and I can focus on my game and getting better."
That's dangerous to think about, but why not? Bray has really improved in the last year and it would make sense with the confidence he has now that he is going to continue to surge as he gets stronger and better at his craft. That confidence is something that has him working with and guiding another young Bixby offensive line prospect in Colten Cable. There is no doubt that Bray is a leader on the Spartans team that will look to make it four straight in Class 6A-Division II.
Bray told me he will be at all the Oklahoma State home games and that he wants to soak in all he can, but you can sense he is not trying to speed up his life and that he is focused on high school and his last season with his Bixby teammates. He also knows that he has access to get better through his high school coaches and also conversations with the Cowboys O-line coach and his future position coach in Josh Henson.
"There are several things I can work on to get better at this level and the next level," Bray said. "I talk to Coach Henson about things that I can work on, even little things that will help. I take seriously developing now for high school and developing for the future in college."
Leadership skills is an area that you can tell he has done a lot of work, but some of that comes with the confidence of having developed himself into a really good player. Oklahoma State fans can be happy that this home grown offensive lineman will be using his talents in Stillwater and in an OSU uniform.