Bryant Doesn't Like the Big Ten

You would think the 6-4, 230-pound Derrick Bryant, from Columbus (Ohio) Brookhaven, would have many Big Ten schools at the top of his list. But Bryant explains why he favors two Pac-10 schools, an SEC school and an ACC school...

Derrick Bryant, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound, three-star defensive end from Brookhaven High School in Columbus, Ohio, isn't your typical Ohio recruit.

First, despite living in Columbus, Ohio, he says he grew up following Michigan. "I know it's weird," Bryant said. "People don't understand how that can be, but when I was a kid they were my favorite. But I'm not looking at recruiting as a fan."

Second, he says he doesn't want to play in the Big Ten. "The Big Ten style isn't for me," he said. "I don't think I'm a Big Ten kind-type of player. I don't want to have to put on a bunch of weight. I'm a guy that likes to run and think I'd be a better fit for the SEC or Pac-10."

This explains why Bryant favors UCLA, Oregon, Kentucky and North Carolina. All of those programs have offered as well as Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue, Minnesota and Kansas.

He denies a leader but has already scheduled an official visit to UCLA for the San Diego State game on Sept. 5.

"I like the coaches," Bryant said about the Bruins. "Coach Rick Neuheisel is great and I feel like I can talk to him like I do a friend or something.

"I also like the defensive line coach (Todd Howard)," he said. "They seem like they're real patient and helpful people. They said that it would be a priority for them to get me ready to play early."

Bryant admits that early playing time is a plus, but says the prospect of playing for an up-and-coming program is an even bigger draw. "I'd like to be part of helping a team come up," he said.

"That would be something special to say you were part of that," he said. "UCLA is definitely on the rise and I can see them getting better and better each year."

Oregon, is also high on Bryant's list. "I just like their whole style," he said of the Ducks. "They've got all that cool Nike stuff and I've checked out their website a lot and it seems like a great place. I've heard it's beautiful out there."

But Bryant isn't just impressed by the glitz of Oregon, he says he also likes the program a lot. "They are always a top Pac-10 team," he said.

"I really like the coaches and their plans for me," he said. "They think that I could be a big part of the program and they play a good defensive style that I like."

The only school on Bryant's list that he's already visited is Kentucky. "I like their coaches a lot too," he said. "(Offensive head coach/wide receiver) coach Joker Phillips is gonna be the head coach next and he's real cool. He's a lot of fun to be around.

"I think that Kentucky is a good program too," he said. "They are still up-and-coming and they really need help on defense. They think that I'd be able to play real early there."

Another coach that has made a good impression on Bryant is North Carolina head coach Butch Davis. "Coach Davis is a defensive coach," he said. "He has some great experience and has produced some good defensive players."

The Tar Heels also fit Vryant's criteria of being an "up-and-coming" program. "They seem to be getting better every year," he said. "People didn't really talk about North Carolina football a lot, but now that is changing."

Bryant admits he had originally thought about committing before the start of the season, but now says he is going to wait. "I'll be patient and take my visits," he said.

"I'm looking for a good fit and where I feel 100-percent comfortable," he said. "I'd really like the opportunity to play early and make an impact on the team. The coaches are going to be a big part of it too."

Bryant finished his junior with 85 tackles and 12 sacks.

"I have good speed and play very intense," he said. "I'm very aggressive and go hard, but I want to make sure I go 100-percent on every play and be more consistent."

He says he also wants to work on "staying low and being more of a leader."

Brookhaven opens their 2009 season on August 28 against Marion-Franklin.

Bryant also plays forward in basketball and runs track (43.0 300-hurdle). He'll only focus on football in college.

He plans on majoring in either business or communications and reports a 3.0 core GPA and a 19 ACT.

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