Bryson Rodgers

‘Clarity’ Brought Bryson Rodgers Back To Ohio State

For the first time in college football’s transfer portal era, the Buckeyes went into the portal and landed a wide receiver. Of course, that receiver was Bryson Rodgers, who was a true a true freshman for Ohio State last season and entered the portal following December’s Cotton Bowl.

After playing in just two games as a true freshman for the Buckeyes, Rodgers entered the portal. He spent a fortnight there before deciding that Ohio State was still where he needed to be.

On his decision to enter the portal, Rodgers admitted to not always seeing eye to eye with receivers coach Brian Hartline and head coach Ryan Day. Successful practices were not being met with playing time, which can frustrate anybody.

“I felt like I’m a very talented guy, and I can compete here. And I could compete anywhere in the country,” Rodgers said this past week. “I just feel like I just wanted to be valued somewhere and really seen what I was doing and not really taken for granted.”

It is rare that a player who enters the portal returns back to his previous school. Sometimes when a player moves on, so does the school. Many times, it’s the coaches telling the players that they should probably look for another home. That was never the case with Rodgers. He was wanted at Ohio State, but there is a difference between being wanted and feeling wanted.

Long conversations with Hartline and Day eventually hit home.

“When I had those talks with Coach Day and Coach Hart, it was nothing taken for granted, it was just the path God had me on. I just really had to get clarity and see that. Once I did see that, I hit the ground running from there. And it’s just been nothing but great vibe and great energy in the building.”

None Of This Is Easy

Rodgers was immediately welcomed back with open arms, both from coaches and teammates. The bonds have grown even closer between teammates, and the understanding of the task at hand has grown clearer.

There is no such thing as an easy path to playing time. The Ohio State receivers room is one of the most competitive position groups in America. The level of talent at OSU is “uncommon,” and so is the competition.

“Most definitely,” Rodgers said. “Like we say in our room, and coach Hart preaches every day in our room, you’ve gotta be uncommon amongst uncommon. And that’s the definition of Ohio State. You can’t have a bad day amongst the best athletes in the world, the most elite players in the country.”

Players have this explained to them during the recruiting process, but once they are in the deep end of it, the realization can begin to pull them under.

“Hearing that sounds good. Sounds hard. But even being in that and being in those shoes of being a player and actually going through that, it gets real,” Rodgers said. “Absolutely it gets real. There’s days you doubt yourself. There’s days that you second guess yourself, but I mean, it’s just all part of really just staying true to yourself and keep believing in everything you can do.”

It’s The Brotherhood

No amount of pleading from Brian Hartline and Ryan Day could have brought Bryson Rodgers back if there weren’t other factors at play as well.

Rodgers spent a year at Ohio State, working every day with his teammates. Bonds were formed. Pains and joys were shared. Experiences forged them all together.

So many players at Ohio State talk about “the brotherhood,” and Rodgers is no different. In fact, he cited it as the reason he returned.

“Really just the love for this brotherhood, man. There is something special here,” he said. “I let God really take control of my path and take control of my faith. Just long talks with my family. Long consideration with my family and just knowing that this was the right place for me. Long talks with Coach Hart and Coach Day as well, just getting clarity in the moments and the areas I needed clarity in.

“And just moving forward, man, it’s been nothing but the best decision I made in my life, even coming here in the first place. Just having that type of bond with Coach Hart now and Coach Day, and us seeing eye to eye, it’s just a wholesome moment for me and that’s what led to me coming back.”

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