Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Coach: Greg Bryant a 'man among boys'
By Bob Przybylo
Finding another running back was not on the top of Oklahoma’s priority list heading into last weekend. The Sooners already had snatched up one of the top tailbacks in the nation with Keith Ford (Cypress, Texas/Ranch) and there was talk about how that might be enough for OU’s 2013 class.
But you don’t deny talent. And if somebody as highly touted as Greg Bryant (Delray Beach, Fla./American Heritage-Boca Delray) wants to join the team, that’s something that isn’t refused.
So what will the Sooners be getting in the ESPNU Watch List back from Florida? We asked American Heritage head coach Doug Socha exactly why OU fans should be excited.
ESPNU Watch List RB Greg Bryant chose the Sooners over South Carolina, USC, LSU and others.
SoonerNation: Were you shocked at all about Greg committing to the Sooners over the weekend?
Doug Socha: I guess I could say I was a little shocked. I knew he was hoping to get the process done with soon. And I knew he would have a great time at OU, but I didn’t think he would do it right there on Saturday.
SN: When did you first realize that Greg had the potential to be something special?
Socha: Way back in seventh and eighth grade. Greg got here in sixth grade, and he started competing on the varsity level in seventh grade on defense. As an eighth-grader, he was our leading wide receiver. And by ninth grade, he was ready to be a big-time running back.
SN: What sets Greg apart from the rest of the crowd?
Socha: The biggest thing is he’s a hard worker. I could talk about his speed, strength and vision, but the main thing is the kid works at everything. He won’t be satisfied and he won’t be outworked. He’ll call out a 300-pound lineman just so he can see where he’s at and have a challenge.
SN: When did things first start to get crazy as it pertains to his recruitment?
Socha: I would say this past fall is when it really picked up. Everybody came through last spring and liked what they saw. Once his film got out there of some of our early games, it got crazy, and it really never let up the entire time.
SN: We’re talking a lot about Greg on the field, but what kind of kid is he off the field?
Socha: He’s a great kid. I’ve never had a problem with him in all these years. He is really humble. He’s soft spoken, you could almost call him shy. He has his priorities straight. And like I said, his work ethic puts him in a different category.
SN: In your opinion, was this process starting to weigh on him?
Socha: I think so. I think it was starting to bring him down a little. He is so laid back and humble. He doesn’t want the attention. I think he got sick of the Twitter messages and the Facebook messages. He’s glad to have it over with, and we’re real happy for him.
SN: When you think of Greg, you think of ...
Socha: How tough he is. He’s not just a running back. He plays both ways for us. It can be 90, 100 degrees for some of those games, and he’s playing both ways and never getting tired. He has played cornerback and outside linebacker for us in the past.
SN: What’s his biggest strength?
Socha: He has maximized his potential. He never has to wonder if he could have done more. With all his God-given talent, he dominates. He often looks like a man among boys. We know he’s happy. He has been wearing his OU gear this week and the students and coaches are excited for him.