make it rain, chris.
...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
There probably isn't a more anticipated position group for the Michigan coaches to get on campus than the 2011 offensive line commitments. With only three signed in the class they need all the depth they can get. When Illinois lineman Chris Bryant announced his commitment to Michigan it was a sigh of relief for the fans and coaches alike. The 6-foot-5, 340-pound guard waited all the way until January 28th to announce that decision and chose Michigan over the likes of Arizona, Illinois, Pittsburgh, and Stanford.
Now that Chris is only a week away from making the trek to Ann Arbor to start his new journey he says it's all starting to become real. "It hasn't really hit me yet, I don't think it will really hit me until I get down there," he said. "We're moving in on the 25th, I'm not going to be there this weekend [the 17th] with Jordan because I want to spend time with my family. The whole process is something you dream about and it doesn't even seem real yet." While everything is sinking in, Bryant has already started to think about what he's most excited for once he gets to campus. "I think seeing my name in the locker room, and having it be official. Putting on that winged helmet and just being a part of all that tradition is just exciting," said Bryant.
Often times offensive linemen can have one of the more difficult transitions from high school to college. Their training both on the field and off the field can be drastically different, which is why Bryant is trying to follow everything by the books. "It's a big jump from high school and a lot of work, but I'm trying to do the workout book they sent me," he said. "They want me up there at 335 pounds and I'm at 340 right now. The conditioning was the toughest part but that's preparing for the next level."
Preparing his body is only one part of the process for Chris, and he also understands that he will have a huge adjustment to make in his academic and social life. "I'm going to try to balance my time with all the things being around my class, the weight room, in everything I do balance will play a big part in that," he said.
As Bryant gets closer to joining the Wolverine family he's had plenty of time to reflect on his journey. The recruiting process was long and sometimes tiresome for Bryant which is why he's passed on some of his knowledge to teammate Jordan Diamond. "I waited everything out and took my time, which was good and bad. It got to be really long for me," Bryant said. "It's Jordan's decision and he has a lot of offers from great football schools and great academic schools, but I tell him Michigan has both. He grew up a Michigan fan, so that makes it a little easier, but he'll make the right choice."
Bryant may not be nudging Diamond to join him in Ann Arbor, but the sheer fact that he'll be there makes it a little more comfortable for Jordan without saying anything. Having close friends and family close by makes it easier for anyone to adjust, and that holds true for Bryant as well. "When I went up there for the spring game that's when a lot of kids in my class went up and we all just bonded. We are really close, and there's not one person that I bonded with more than another. It's just a big family there and that's what's special about it," he said. Chris will be rooming with fellow 2011 signee TE Chris Barnett once he gets to Ann Arbor, and said that he's ready for everything in front of him.
make it rain, chris.
Chris sounds like a great kid - humble and serious about school. This is exactly what we need.
Oh - and this quote makes me feel very good about JD -
"It's Jordan's decision and he has a lot of offers from great football schools and great academic schools, but I tell him Michigan has both. He grew up a Michigan fan, so that makes it a little easier, but he'll make the right choice."
There is no school like Michigan - Chris. Sounds like you get it. Time to make sure everyone gets it.
I like the "he'll make the right choice" part even better
Our O-line is going to be huge in the coming years.
Great to hear from Chris. Also good to hear about Jordan Diamond. It sounds like a good chance he will be Blue!
Chris, We know you'll be a part of the Michigan tradition of which to be proud.
Can't wait to see him in the maize and blue, not to mention some gaurs depth. Man, he is BIG. With that body he could find himself on the field sooner rather than later.
Bryant is the best player in the class, in my opinion. Hopefully he paves the way for a series of 1,000-yard backs in the next 3-5 years.
I agree. Bryant is going to be a major piece of our OL in the next few years.
Hopefully Hoke & Co. will find RBs who can stay healthy for more than 3 games at a stretch.
With Bryant at either guard postion, Magnuson at one of the tackle postions and the possiblities of a Diamond, Banner, Peat, or Braden at the other sets up for a BIG o-line.
Don't sleep on Caleb Stacey. He's not a bohemoth yet like Chris Bryant, but he'll be 300lbs by the time he's past his RS year and pushing for PT. And he's good.
Great work as always. I'm sure most students and grads can all appreciate the anticipation he feels.
A great Michigan man AND a Yankees fan...now that I can get behind!
We've got a bunch of guards who are upperclassmen right now. Barring injury or early departure for the NFL, I doubt Bryant will be a contender to start until 2013.
He weighs 340 pounds.
I have nothing more.
AND he's in shape, not 340 because of too many turduckens like guys my age who weigh that. I'll dream of the holes Chris will be tearing in opposing lines (pun intended).
Any time a kid weighs 340 pounds it means he is carrying bad weight. His playing weight will likely be between 315 and 325.
He'll peel off some bad weight, no doubt, but he'll put on more muscle as well. I bet he plays at 330, which is still a very big OL. He'll pretty much move whoever he wants to move, and bum-rushing him will be an exercise in futility.
that really captures not only the emotion of any HS grad about to embark on the next great challenge, but also the feelings of a young man about to see a lifelong dream come to fruition.
Godspeed, Chris Bryant, and remember that every challenge you face will make you better, stronger, faster, and wiser. Winners endure.
Thanks Tom. Hope we get Diamond soon!
MgoTom strikes again...
Nice to see Jordan get the 5th star on Scout also ... just makes me happier than the average happy guy
will be a beast. Now we just need Jordan Diamond to follow him on in. Dimaond at tackle and Bryant at Guard .... How could Diamond resist playing with his old teammate?
Brionte Dunn, look at the line you would have in front of you.
Chris seems like he is the nicest guy in the world off the field, a big happy bear. But I also get the feeling that if you are on the field, he'll flatten you and then jump up and down on your squished remains. Heck of a combination for a lineman.
And making things better, Magnuson absolutely seems to share those qualities too . . .
Also, I was just looking, and before Bryant even committed to us, he could bench 400. Maybe he really is part bear. He is either a very large man, or a relatively compact bear. I'm not sure which . . .