Better Know a Buckeye: Bryce West Brings Versatility, Nose for the Ball to Ohio State’s Secondary

By Josh Poloha on April 18, 2024 at 1:05 pm
Bryce West

Better Know A Buckeye is our look at every member of Ohio State’s 2024 recruiting class and how they became Buckeyes as they prepare to begin their OSU careers this fall.

The best in Ohio stay in Ohio. That was the case for the state's top two prospects, at least.

Aaron Scott Jr. and Bryce West were the top-ranked Ohio prospects in the 2024 class, and the cornerback tandem decided to suit up together as Buckeyes.

West, the No. 9 cornerback and No. 64 player in the class, did whatever Glenville High School needed him to do to lead the Tarblooders to greatness. He now wants to do the same at Ohio State.

Bryce West

  • Size: 5-11/196
  • Pos: CB
  • School: Glenville (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Star Rating: ★★★★
  • Composite Rank: #64 (#9 CB)

How He Became A Buckeye

West has always loved the Buckeyes. Growing up in Cleveland, it was a dream come true the moment he received an offer from Ohio State on Dec. 3, 2021, giving him the opportunity to continue the storied Glenville-to-Ohio State pipeline that has produced plenty of talent over the years.

From that moment on, the Buckeyes were atop West's list of schools and it seemed like a matter of when, not if, he would eventually commit to OSU. Even though Michigan made a strong push to bring West's talents to Ann Arbor, the lifelong Ohio State fan never wavered from his love for the scarlet and gray. He committed to the Buckeyes on June 24, 2023, while on an official visit to Columbus.

“I just felt that was the place I needed to be,” West told Eleven Warriors of his decision to commit to Ohio State. “Just all the development that comes through Ohio State and the Glenville pipeline with all the first-rounders they’ve had, and you’ve got a DB coach like coach (Tim) Walton. He’s been in the league for so many years and coached guys like Jalen Ramsey, you’d love to play for a guy like that.”

West committed to the Buckeyes over the likes of Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Georgia, Alabama, Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa State, Kentucky, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.

High School Years

Mainly playing on the outside for Glenville, West showcased his nose for the ball and ability to make a big hit when given the opportunity. He also played safety and even made some noise on the offensive side of the ball.

West helped lead Glenville to a perfect 15-0 season and its first-ever state championship as a junior. He recorded four interceptions and didn't allow a touchdown catch to any opponent all season.

As a senior, West made the switch to safety for Glenville, showcasing his versatility and selflessness. West played a big role in the Tarblooders winning their second straight state championship, doing whatever was needed to help his team achieve its ultimate goal two years in a row.

Along with dominating on the defensive side of the ball, West was a playmaker returning kicks and punts.

West also ran track throughout his time at Glenville, recording a personal-best of 10.93 seconds in the 100-meter dash.

Immediate Impact

Although he was an early enrollee, West missed all of spring practice following shoulder surgery. While that injury put him behind to begin his OSU career, it shouldn't change much about his career as a Buckeye.

Much like Scott, West's first year as a Buckeye is likely to be a developmental season. With Denzel Burke, Davison Igbinosun and Jordan Hancock all returning as starters and Jermaine Mathews Jr., Calvin Simpson-Hunt and Lorenzo Styles Jr. behind them on the two-deep, it'll be tough for any freshman defensive back to see significant playing time this fall.

Long-Term Impact

Assuming West adds more muscle to his 5-foot-11, 196-pound frame during his freshman year, West will have a real shot to earn playing time in his second season in Columbus. With Burke, Hancock and potentially Igbinosun headed to the NFL following the 2024 season, plenty of playing time will open up in the defensive backfield.

While the likes of Mathews, Simpson-Hunt, Styles and Scott – not to mention 2025 five-star commits Devin Sanchez and Na’eem Offord – will also be fighting for playing time in 2025, West's talent and versatility could allow him to stand out in the group. 

Although he can line up anywhere in the secondary, his quickest path to the field could be in the slot, at least early on. But West has the coverage skill to also develop into an excellent outside cornerback for the Buckeyes if they choose to play him there.

Player Comparison: Doran Grant

Going from northeast Ohio to Columbus isn't the only comparison Grant and West have. The former Buckeye shares similar size with the current Ohio State cornerback as Grant checked in at 5-foot-10 and 196 pounds during his senior season in Columbus.

A captain of the 2014 national championship team, Grant totaled 25 tackles, one interception and one sack during his first two years at Ohio State before stepping into a starting role in 2013. In two seasons as a starter, the cornerback accumulated 115 tackles (three tackles for loss), eight interceptions (one pick-six) and 19 passes defended in 27 games.

Given that West's career trajectory is likely similar in terms of playing time early on, his versatility and ability to do whatever the team needs could allow him to be a leader for the Silver Bullets for what many hope will be a national championship team during his Ohio State career.

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