The funniest Ohio State Buckeyes player, no joke: Meet Bryson Shaw

Lori Schmidt
The Columbus Dispatch

Bryson Shaw is not only an up-and-coming member of Ohio State's secondary. He is also a former lacrosse All-American, an OSU criminology and criminal justice major and a self-described country boy. 

Shaw has played in both games this year for the Buckeyes and started against Oregon. He has six tackles. 

The sophomore was a three-star prospect at The Bullis School, and 247Sports had him ranked as the No. 9 player in Maryland when he signed with the Buckeyes.

Learn more about Shaw with this Columbus Dispatch Q&A.

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Ohio State's Bryson Shaw saw action in five games as a redshirt freshman in 2020, including victory over Rutgers.

Meet Ohio State football safety Bryson Shaw

Do you ever Google yourself?

Every now and then. More so just looking up kind of my highlights from my high school and stuff. But I’m not really into myself like that. But every now and then I will, yeah.

Well, and your NIL advisors probably tell you to check that every once in a while?

Yeah, make sure all of our stuff is clean.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen said about you on the internet?

Somebody asked if I cut my own hair, which I thought was weird. I don’t really know what the deal is with that. I just Googled it, like you said, and it showed a tweet that said, “Does Bryson Shaw cut his own hair. If he does, he needs to learn how to cut his hair.” I thought it was funny. I didn’t take offense. I thought it was funny.

This now feels like the mean tweets (late night talk show segment).

Yeah. Mean tweets. I did think it was funny, actually.

Do you cut your own hair? It looks nice for the record.

Usually my Mom cuts it…

Oh, no! They inadvertently insulted Mama Shaw?

No, this was not one of her haircuts. When I got to school, you know she can’t come up here all the time, so I was trying out new places, and I did not like the haircut myself. So I thought it was funny. I thought the tweet was funny. My most recent haircut, Cade Stover, tight end on the team, one of my best friends, his dad actually cut my hair.

You talked about your Mom. How hard is it for you to stay in touch with your family during the season?

We’re able to FaceTime. Every day we try to FaceTime. … I’ve got a sister, too, and she’s got a son who’s about 7 years old. And she’s down there in North Carolina doing her own thing. We try to FaceTime each other as much as we can, but they’re hard-working, so we understand if we can’t get in touch. It is hard, but when I do get to spend time with them, it is precious time. I really like enjoying it with them.

Are you cool Uncle Bryson?

Yes, I would say I’m cool. He’s just now picking up a lacrosse stick. He’s playing some soccer. Trying to get him going on football. I like playing sports with him. Now I don’t get a lot of time with him at all, but when I do, I love playing sports with him, and he loves playing with me. So I would say I’m a cool uncle.

What is the deal with lacrosse players being able to do so well playing football?

It’s a fast sport. There’s a saying for it: the fastest game on two feet. That’s true. … And it’s physical. People who don’t follow lacrosse, they don’t realize how physical of a game it really is. Most of my injuries growing up came from the game of lacrosse. It’s a physical game. You’re running and you’re hitting, so it translates to the football field as well.

Ohio State safety Bryson Shaw has six tackles this season.

What is the most fun you’ve ever had away from football and lacrosse?

One year my family, we went to the Bahamas — Atlantis. And I’m not a big roller coaster guy or water slide guy, and I’m terrified of heights. And there’s this, it’s called the Leap of Faith. Big, big like pretty much straight-down water slide. I didn’t want to go on it. My sister is trying to get me to go on it with her. I get up there, and I’m young, young. So I get up there, and I’m scared, crying, all this stuff. I got on it, and I would say I probably got on it 15 more times that day. Ever since then, whenever I get a chance to get on a water slide, I still get nervous, but they give me a thrill. So, yeah, that was probably the most fun I’ve had on a vacation or something.

What is your greatest fear? Is it heights?

Yes. Yeah. It’s definitely heights. I used to be really scared of the dark. My buddy back home, he lives about three doors down, and I live kind of in the country, so it’s not like here where it’s kind of light out. It’s pitch black. I used to run back and forth from his house at night. I used to be pretty scared of whatever monsters are out there, I guess. So I would say the dark, but I’ve grown out of that just from running back and forth. Eventually I just overcame my fear with that.

Did you have a really cool nightlight, though?

Yeah. Yeah, I had this, it was like this — I don’t even know how to describe it. It was just like a little ball and it lit up all different types of colors. I would just shake it and start running. I was, I’d say, 8 or 9 when that happened. It was pretty cool.

If you had to estimate, what percentage of your friends are not athletes?

Not too many. I like being with kind of like-minded people, and I would love to have friends outside sports, but this is kind of my life. When I’m with guys who are playing sports, it helps me be more motivated, I would say. But if anyone wants to be my friend who’s not an athlete? I’m here.

What is a cause you’re passionate about?

I’m just guy, you know, I find myself to be tough. Always working hard for everything I have. And I just want to give back. I think that’s the greatest thing. We get to do all this stuff and the goal is to make money doing the thing I love, but I’m not a guy who’s going to go out there and buy all the fancy cars, fancy shoes, fancy clothes. You know, I just want to give back.

Do you have an NIL deal yet?

I do not. No. Few in the works right now, but I’m just sitting back waiting for the right one. Right now, I’m just worried about ball.

If you could get an NIL deal with any company out there, which one would it be?

I would say something to do with fitness, health. My dad a few years back, he got (stage IV prostrate) cancer. So he had to change his lifestyle. He’s pretty much beaten it now. He’s OK now, but I’ve learned a lot from him. Just seeing him battle through that has really inspired me. Seeing what all these great doctors can do, and stuff like that. Fitness, health: that’s what he’s really been about, especially since he got sick. So it’s really been around me most of my life.

How old were you when your dad fell ill?

Freshman in high school. … He’s a guy who’s really come from nothing. Like, nothing. And he’s built a great life for my family. It’s a great thing.

What does he do now?

He sells paper. He knows way too much information about the different types of paper. He does a great job with it.

What does your mom do?

She’s an esthetician. So hair, facials, stuff like that.

I should have known because of the lovely haircut.

Yeah, right!

Do you have any pets?

I do. I have a German shepherd. Her name’s Nike.

As in the goddess or the shoe?

The goddess.

Oregon running back CJ Verdell is tackled by Ohio State safety Bryson Shaw as he scores a touchdown on Saturday.

Do you have a nickname?

Some of the guys around here call me B-Rabbit. When I first got here, Damon Arnette, we were kind of messing around with each other, and somehow the movie “8-Mile” popped up. And Damon started calling me Cheddar Bob; and eventually, that just turned into B-Rabbit.

Because why wouldn’t it?

Yeah, and my name starts with a B, so that works out, I guess.

What are you better at than anyone on this football team?

I would say I’m pretty funny, but don’t ask me to make a joke! Because I’m not the kind of guy to come up with a joke. I’m the kind of witty guy who will come up with something fast if you say something to me. So I would say I’m pretty funny, one of the more funny guys on the team — once you get to know me.

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