When we talked to Coach Hoke the other day, you were one of the guys he singled out. He said that you are a better athlete this year. Do you feel like you’re in better shape, in better condition?
Oh yeah, the off-season definitely was a good one for me. I dropped weight and got stronger and faster, so once you do all the work in the off-season, it definitely carries over the field, so I definitely feel the difference.
I know it’s about the unit, but he said ‘Chris Bryant is coming on’. What do you feel like you’ve done? Do you feel like you’re having a better camp than last year?
Yeah, I feel like, you know, I’ve just been in the system for a year, so everything’s coming to me now; and you know, just improving every day, that’s my main goal, and just taking all my coaching points and trying to put them on the field. I feel like I’m having a better one, just because I’ve been in the system for a year and had a great off-season; so it all plays into it.
Yeah, you’re talking about the technical aspect of the game, but one thing that Coach Hoke has talked about is being more physical. I mean, you – windy city guy – you’re physical by birth, but do you feel like maybe they’re seeing it a little bit more?
Yeah, I feel like I’m coming off the ball a little bit harder, a little bit faster. That comes from being in shape and having better endurance from the off-season, like I was saying, but you know I’m just trying to play football now. You know, the red shirt freshman year is over, and I’m just trying to show up and just show what I can do.
Now clearly, everyone is saying ‘wow, they had Dave Molk and Mark Huyge, but the rest of the guys are back. The backups are back. Do you guys really feel cohesion amongst – do you feel like you can go out there and maybe silence some doubters?
Oh yeah, you know, we lost a great center, but we had a great center come in right behind him, so I mean, we work as a unit, and that’s the main goal. I mean, we play together, we stay together. We lost a great player, like I said, but it’s just one player, and then it’s – and Barnum’s right behind him. I mean, Ricky Barnum’s a great center. He knows the call; he knows everything he needs to do, and he’s a very physical player, so we have a great center coming too.
Now, you see the defensive line from a different perspective, right? Especially Will Campbell. Have you matched up with Will?
Yeah, me and Will went at it a couple times.
So what difference do you see in Will Campbell? Everybody says he’s more of a leader. What about on the field when he actually plays? What’s different about him?
Will goes hard every play. That’s one thing about our defense, you know? Coach Mattison has them coached well, and very disciplined to go hard every play, and that’s what they do, so it’s competition every time we get on the field, you know? Big Will’s a great player, and our defensive linemen are great players, so everything’s going real well.
What about the backs? You paved the way for this, but this group, man, tell me what you see from the backs thus far in this camp.
All of our backs have been showing up. You know, it’s kind of hard to say who would be where, or who would start, but every back that we put on the field has been showing what they can do, and showing what they can do in a different way.
I know as far as the team goes, you guys want to win the Big Ten. But individually, what’s a good season for you?
You know, I just want to improve every day. Just like, our whole team goal is that whatever our coaches need us to do, that’s what we do. So whatever my coaches need me to play, that’s where I’ll be, no matter what it is.
To watch the video of the interview with Chris Bryant, click play below.