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January 3, 2010SAN ANTONIO - When Latwan Anderson and Christian Bryant dominated in the same defensive backfield during an event last summer, they figured things were going to work out great at Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville.
Bryant has been a mainstay at Glenville, but Anderson transferred from Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward for his senior season - so a feeling-out process was necessary.
That happened at Gridiron Kings, a seven-on-seven tournament in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., in late July. It could not have gone better for the duo.
"It was one of the reasons I chose to go there to be able to play with another big-named player," Anderson said. "I wanted to see what it was like. We meshed together good. I felt like it was a big move, for me and him to be on the same team, so I jumped on it.
"The whole way home (from Gridiron Kings) we said, 'We have to do this. We have to be in the same defensive backfield.' That carried over to this season and it went great."
Anderson is the second-best safety prospect in the country according to Rivals.com; Bryant is rated No. 6 at cornerback. One thing they like about playing on the same team is that they can take more gambles than normal because they have each others' backs. They play off each other and become even more dominant.
"With Latwan coming in, I didn't really know him," Bryant said. "But it seemed on the field we just clicked real fast because I had heard about him and I've seen him play one or two games.
"I knew he would help our team coming into this season. As practice and games came along, we were just playing good together - not only me and Latwan, but our whole defensive backfield. We had one of the best defensive backfields in the whole country this year."
Comfort level was evident between Anderson (14 interceptions this season) and Bryant in Glenville's secondary. So was their speed. Opposing quarterback Mark Myers can attest to that. In a 30-13 win against Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius, Anderson had four interceptions and Bryant added one to lead Glenville - which lost in the state championship. Myers, a four-star recruit committed to Pittsburgh, said the duo was the fastest he'd seen all season.
"They were probably the best defensive backs I played all year," said Myers, rated as the No. 13 pro-style quarterback by Rivals.com. "They were really fast and they read plays really well. The way they played, it's definitely going to be like that in college. They made up for the other one all the time. They were all over the field. It was really tough to get completions. They're just really good."
Playing together in college makes sense, but it's no guarantee. They have both visited Michigan State, which is considered a long shot. Anderson said West Virginia is his leader, with Miami, Ohio State and North Carolina also still in the mix.
Bryant has a visit scheduled to North Carolina for Jan. 15. Each has also been to Ohio State, a potential destination if they want to stay together at the next level.
Anderson seems to like the idea that both could play for the Buckeyes.
"We talked about being at the same school in high school and then possibly playing at the same college," Anderson said. "It was a good thing for both of us when we both got the offer (to Ohio State) because we could go to a big-named school and still be on the same team."
Bryant said he's considering a visit to Miami or Virginia on Jan. 22. Neither recruit has given many clues if they'll end up on the same college team. According to Bryant, there is not too much recruiting chatter between them. Not yet, anyway because it's not decision time.
"We really don't talk about recruiting at all," Bryant said. "We really find that as the last thing on our minds being teenagers. We're going through the recruiting process and we're trying to talk to some colleges.
"If the subject comes to our mind we'll talk about it for five minutes, but we don't talk about going to college together or going to this college, going to that college. We've visited some colleges together - Michigan State and Ohio State - and probably North Carolina and Miami, but we haven't talked that much about going to college together."
It could be a fantastic combination if they end up together. Not only are Bryant and Anderson two of the best players at their respective positions, they're already comfortable with each other and play together with an easiness that usually takes years to develop.
"There are two characteristics that separate both of them from the pack," Rivals.com recruiting analyst Greg Ladky said. "Both are ultra-competitive guys. They're the guys in practice who will go hard during seven-on-sevens or one-on-ones.They want to win every time.
"And they're both football-smart kids. Latwan is so gifted athletically, but people write off how smart of a football player he is. Christian even more so, they just seem to anticipate things and see things a half-second quicker than everyone else. They have great cover skills and the Glenville speed to go with it."
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