Big brother is watching and helping: Glenville grad Coby Bryant motivated by Christian Bryants career – cleveland.com

Posted: October 12, 2019 at 10:46 am


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CINCINNATI, Ohio - Former Ohio State safety Christian Bryant managed to exhale as the seconds expired to give the University of Cincinnati a 27-24 upset victory over then-No. 18 Central Florida last Friday night.

It was the Bearcats first victory over a ranked opponent in 10 years. And, more impressively, the defense snapped Central Floridas scoring streak of 30 points per game, the longest streak among any major college team in the poll era (since 1936). The streak ended at 31.

The defense, in part, received a boost from Christians younger brother, cornerback Coby Bryant, a Glenville grad. Against Central Floridas explosive offense, Coby Bryants six tackles were tied for third best on the team.

Big brother, who also played for Glenville High School, was pleased with the outcome but continued his ongoing critique.

Were proud of him, said Christian, a former NFL player drafted by the Rams in 2014. But he has to keep going and make plays on the football.

The relationship between Christian and Coby has been a mix of tough love and instruction since Coby was born when Christian was seven years old. It was Coby who tagged along when his brother played pee wee football and Coby who imitated his brothers drills while he prepared for high school and college football.

Cobys earliest football memories are all about Christian.

Hes been the best big brother I could ever ask for, said Coby, whos 6-1, 190. Christian taught and still teaches me a lot. Each week Im asking him something about school or about something on the field. Im so grateful for my brother.

The bond between the Bryant brothers actually dates back before Coby was born, and it relates to the debate on which family member first suggested his name.

Coby, who was named after NBA great Kobe Bryant, says his parents gave him the name because they were fans of the basketball legend.

Christian says otherwise.

My dad and I still disagree with this story, but Im the one who said he should be named Coby, said Christian, who is involved in real estate in Columbus. Im also a fan and what better name can you name a boy, especially since the plan was already laid out that he was going to have that sports killer mentality like Kobe.

But Coby did not have to watch the great NBA player for his sports example. Coby lived in the same house with his idol.

I always stressed to Coby to duplicate what he sees, said Ronnie Bryant, their father. Hes always seen Christians work ethic and hes benefited from it.

Coby sucked in all of those benefits when he traveled along with his father to all of Christians high school games and during his camps in the summer. Coby continued to tag along with the family when Christian played at Ohio State, under defensive coordinator and one-year head coach Luke Fickell.

Coby would make his own name at Glenville, but unlike his highly-recruited brother, his college choices were limited. But Fickell became head coach at UC and a call was made.

I expected more [calls] but I was grateful for the ones I received, said Coby, a communications major. I was excited coach Fickell wanted me and I took the opportunity and ran with it.

But Fickell didnt take his familiarly with Coby for granted. He still put on the full-court press in his recruitment.

I told Coby that I didnt want him settling for us because I knew he had dreams of being just like his brother and following in his footsteps [at Ohio State], Fickell said. I told him that it was a different opportunity for his brother and this would be an opportunity for him, and wed have a great relationship and have a great time doing this.

The Bearcats are having an especially great time in Cobys junior year. After suffering a blowout loss to Ohio State, the Bearcats (4-1) have won three straight and are ranked No. 25 in the country.

Fickell credits Coby with the teams resolve.

That loss to Ohio State was tough and we kind of loss a little of our mojo, Fickell said. But guys like Coby, who are competitive, challenged the locker room, not so much by what they said, but by their actions and how they went about doing things.

In five games, Coby leads the team with four passes defended. Hes tied for fourth on the team with 22 tackles.

The Bearcats play 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Houston on ESPN2, which could possibly give Houston an upset opportunity given last weeks emotional victory by UC.

Coby said the team doesnt overlook anyone.

Weve come into this week like we do every week - by attacking it, Coby said. Well play our style of football and improve everyday in practice so we can play at our best in the game.

And just in case Coby forgets, Christian will remind him.

We always talk over the phone and when I call him today hell ask me how can I improve from how I played last week, Coby said. He tells me theres always room for improvement and to stay hunger. My brother will never allow me to forget [how to get better].

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Big brother is watching and helping: Glenville grad Coby Bryant motivated by Christian Bryants career - cleveland.com

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October 12th, 2019 at 10:46 am

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