Ohio State Commit Bryce West Embracing Playing Safety for Glenville This Season, Looks Forward to Playing with Miles Lockhart and Aaron Scott

By Garrick Hodge on August 27, 2023 at 8:35 am
Bryce West

When Bryce West took the field for his first defensive snap on Friday, he was lined up in a different position than normal.

The four-star Ohio State cornerback commit proudly donning Buckeye gloves was deployed primarily as a safety in Glenville’s 34-10 victory over Olentangy Liberty and shut down most of the passes thrown his way. West also made a couple of nice stops in run defense as well. Coming off a state championship a year ago, Glenville coaches wanted West to have an opportunity to make more plays on defense this season, considering teams often avoided throwing at him while he was lined up at cornerback in 2022.

“Definitely,” West told Eleven Warriors when asked if playing safety had been an adjustment for him. “Instead of having me press guys all the time, they want me to be more involved in the game and get better film and learn how to play more off man. There’s a lot of things to learn because you have to make reads on guys coming from the other side of the field, you’ve got a lot of different coverages, it’s going to be a big part because right now I’m playing (safety) and casually sometimes moving to cornerback.” 

West was primarily dominant in the second half, not allowing a catch as his team shut out Olentangy Liberty after only taking an 18-0 lead into halftime. But despite the successful evening, West was upset at himself for the lone mistake he made in the victory. In the first quarter, West lined up at safety on the left side of the field, then missed a tackle after an Olentangy Liberty receiver caught a pass in the middle of the field that eventually led to a long gain.

“We went up 12-0 early, but they came back and scored. I made a bad play on the ball,” West said. “I definitely have to bounce back. I was frustrated about my mistake because I’m a very competitive kid and hate making mistakes. But it’s all about how you can respond to adversity. But in the second half, I was able to bounce back, and my team was able to bounce back. We never gave up, and we fought to the end.” 

Bouncing back was one of the many lessons West had soaked in from Ohio State secondary coach Tim Walton and safeties coach Perry Eliano the past few months in his recruitment by the Buckeyes.

“They always say it’s about a player's eyes, feet and hands,” West said of what he’s learned from Tim Walton and Perry Eliano over the past few months. “When I’m out here playing football, you have to be out there and be free. You’re going to make mistakes, everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how you respond. I have so many notes in my phone about past things they’ve said to me to help me become a better football player and I thank them for that.” 

West wasn’t limited to just defensive duties on Friday. He played special teams consistently, lining up as a punt and kick returner and handling kickoff coverage. But he was also a key cog to Glenville’s offense, as West tallied four catches lined up as a running back on swing passes in his first four offensive snaps of the night.

“I was getting the ball a lot out of the backfield, you usually don’t see that, but I was able to pick up some yards,” West said. “I was definitely happy with that part because when I came into high school, I was a running back. I blew up while playing defense, but I like getting to be back in that backfield and catching those swing passes and getting a few yards for my team. I’m just happy I could be a big factor in this offense.” 

As West continues his prep season, he’s focused on improving his craft daily and hopes to end his high school career with another state championship. But he also can’t help but look ahead to what’s in store for him at Ohio State, especially considering he’ll be playing with his close friends and fellow cornerback commits Miles Lockhart and Aaron Scott Jr.

“Miles is going to be more like a slot cornerback and nickel, then you’ve got Aaron and I playing corner. That’s a lockdown defense,” West said. “Those two guys, we were all heavy on recruiting each other. I love those guys to death. It’s going to be fun to watch (in college).” 

West isn’t done lending his peer recruiting efforts to the Buckeyes either, as he said he’s hoping Ohio State can flip defensive end Marquise Lightfoot from Miami.

“I definitely want to get Marquise to flip,” West said. “That’s definitely going to be a big task and I think it’ll be hard, but I think we can do it.” 

The 5-foot-11, 177-pound defensive back said he’s locked in visits to Ohio State for the Michigan State and Penn State games this fall and is hopeful to attend a few other contests.

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