Thomas Jefferson’s Nick Bryan commits to Kent State

Sunday, June 27, 2021 | 2:15 PM

After a frenzied five-month recruiting stretch, Thomas Jefferson senior lineman Nick Bryan offered a verbal commitment to Kent State on Saturday.

A dynamic 6-foot-3, 275-pound tackle, Bryan made three visits to the Kent State campus, two football related and one for academics. He projects to play on the interior for the Golden Flashes, who are members of the NCAA Division I Mid-American Conference.

“I felt at home with the coaches there and I feel like they have a very strong plan for me,” said Bryan, a two-time state champion at Thomas Jefferson. “And I was able to meet a few of the players throughout my time being recruited. It’s been a long road.”

On the recruiting front, Bryan experienced a sometimes hectic offseason, receiving offers from schools such as UMass, Marshall, Old Dominion, Holy Cross, The Citadel, Army, Fordham, Lehigh, Austin Peay, Duquesne and Ball State.

He also was slated to work out for the likes of Pitt and Wake Forest, and heard from Syracuse, UMass and Marshall were his other two finalists.

“I’m fortunate to be recruited by such prestigious programs,” Bryan said. “In all, I received 13 college scholarship offers.”

Bryan has played football for five years. He started at offensive and defensive tackle last season for TJ, the WPIAL and PIAA champion in Class 4A, and was a first-team all-conference selection on offense.

He also was named to the PA Football News Coaches 4A all-state team.

“As a returning starter on both sides of the ball, we expect Nick to be one of the team leaders and a role model for our younger players,” TJ coach Bill Cherpak said. “He will play offensive and defensive tackle again this season.

“We expect our offensive and defensive lines to be one of the strengths of our team this year. Nick and (senior) Owen Myer are the returning starters that will lead that group.”

Bryan is known for both his agility and physicality in the trenches. He moves well and is faster than other linemen, and he finishes his blocks.

It’s a safe bet that no one has worked harder or trained with more diligence than Bryan in preparation for the 2021 high school season.

“I’m fortunate to have been coached in such a storied program by coach Cherpak and coach (Pat) Oster,” Bryan said, “and have had the chance to be around phenomenal players such as Mac Duda, Shane Stump and Preston Zandier.

“The expectation this year is to be the first three-time state champ in TJ (football) history.”


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