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8/9/2008 1:01 PM
OT Bryant Browning  (United States)
Smarts are just the start for tackle
Intelligence helps Browning to fill opening on line
Saturday,  August 9, 2008 3:17 AM
<p>Known for having the answers while studying film, Bryant Browning will use his intellect on the field to fill Ohio State's opening at right tackle.</p>

Known for having the answers while studying film, Bryant Browning will use his intellect on the field to fill Ohio State's opening at right tackle.

In the mind of Bryant Browning, playing offensive line is nothing more than an interactive game of applied mathematics.

"Going up through school, math was something I guess I clung to and enjoyed doing," Browning said.

He also continued to grow and grow, putting him in position to become the starter at right tackle for Ohio State. A third-year sophomore who was the sixth man for the line a year ago, he's in the only spot that needed filling this season, the hole left by Kirk Barton, now with the Chicago Bears.

"There's a bunch of seniors on the offensive line, so I've got a lot of guys who are giving me input, and a coach who is working with me trying to make me better," Browning said.

Browning also has taught his teammates a thing or two, senior left tackle Alex Boone said.

"Here's the thing: You look at us O-linemen, we don't look like the brightest guys," Boone said. "But he is honestly one of the smartest kids I know. He is just a funny kid to be around and a great person."

The intelligence of Browning, a business major who was class valedictorian at Cleveland Glenville, shows up often when the line is studying video.

"We'll be taking about stuff and thinking about stuff, sometimes thinking really hard about a problem, and B.B. will always have the answer," Boone said. "He will always know it right away.

"He is just smart all the way around. When he's playing he makes smart decisions, and that's what we need this year."

Offensive coordinator Jim Bollman, who coaches the line, enjoys Browning's presence.

"You can imagine, in offensive line play there is an infinitesimal amount that you can keep trying to undertake and master if one chooses to," Bollman said. "Bryant is really good about that."

It has been Browning's nature since elementary school, when his older brother, Robert, set the parameters.

"He was always good in school, he was always up there with his grades while also doing sports and things," Bryant Browning said. "I wanted to be like him, and maybe even be better."

Although Browning is penciled in at right tackle, there are several players pushing for playing time, including freshmen Mike Adams, Michael Brewster and J.B. Shugarts. They must master the complexities of the game first, but Bollman can tell that Browning has the equations down.

"He's right on time, because in year three, that's when I really like to see guys starting to be really good players," Bollman said. "Then if that can continue through years three, four and five, that's when you can really be good."

It's all adding up for Browning, and why not?

"He was valedictorian at Glenville," senior left guard Steve Rehring interjected as Browning spoke with a reporter.

Browning smiled.

"Every once in a while it comes up, but I hold my composure and laugh it off," Browning said. "It's all fun and games with the guys. That's why we're a good unit."

No autographs, please

For the third straight year, the Buckeyes will stage a public practice in Ohio Stadium on the evening of Aug. 18, but there will be a major change. An athletic department spokesperson said yesterday there will be no autograph session.


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