Mike Lantry, 1972
Michigan has gained a commitment from PA CB/S Cullen Christian, from Pittsburgh's Penn Hills High School. Yay and whatnot. How about we move on to the informative portion?
|4*, #3 CB||4*, #6 DB||4*, 79, #18 CB|
Christian can play either safety or corner, but he's ranked by all three sites as a corner. Scout.com's Bob Lichtenfels offers a scouting report:
Christian is a nice sized cover corner who gets better with every rep and only lacks experience at the position. He has the ability to a true lockdown corner. Right now he relies a lot on instinct, but is getting better at being aware of everything that is going on around him and jumping routes. He is tough to beat in press coverage and he will hit you. Plays very physical football and is not afraid of contact.
From the start, Christian is noted for his physical ability. As a corner, that means he's good in press coverage or in Cover-2. It can also mean he's suited to switch to safety. Rivals's report echoes the sentiment, but points out that he isn't a speedster:
Needs Improvement: Needs to improve his speed, which will help him to recover when beaten on a route. Christian will also need to add some muscle mass and strength, which will help him make solo tackles in the open field.
Most Impressive: He has hips on a swivel, excellent ball skills and the ability to steer receivers off their intended route by using his long arms as weapons. His long arms also allow him to reach around receivers and bat down balls that smaller corners couldn't even reach. Christian is very confident and does not let getting beat affect him on the next play.
ESPN has more of the same, though they're the outlier with a low ranking:
The only asset Christian is missing is great speed. He has coveted size, quickness, fluidity and savvy as a D-I corner prospect. Utilizes his long arms and frame well jamming and pressing receivers off the line. Consistently forces receivers to the outside in zone, Cover 2 schemes and takes away....
I'm not linking it because they've hidden most of their coverage behind a paywall for the express purpose of annoying me. Take that, corporate drones!
For a guy who gets a lot of talk about moving to safety from corner because of less-than elite speed, hearing that he has loose hips is encouraging. Still, after entering a college weight-training program, it's unclear how much mass he'll add to potentially become a safety. His coach gives standard coachfluff on Christian's abilities:
"He's an excellent cornerback," Graham said Thursday. "And he's a leader on and off the field. He brings leadership to a team, and he has big-play ability. He has excellent hands and is very quick. He runs excellent patterns. He's just a well-rounded athlete.''
Yay, meaningless quotes. For his part, Christian prefers CB:
• WHY ARE YOU PLAYING SAFETY THIS YEAR? Just the fact that at cornerback, the other team can take you out of the game and not throw your way. Teams didn't throw the ball to my side much last year. At safety, I can make plays.
• DO YOU LIKE SAFETY? It's OK. I don't like it better than corner. I love corner. You can show your athletic ability more at corner.
Christian had offers from a number of programs across the midwest and nationally, including Pitt, BC, Cincinnati, Colorado, and Illinois. His finalists were Michigan, West Virginia, and UCLA, and all had offered. "DB offer from Ohio State" is just as ringing an endorsement as "QB offer from USC" or "LB offer from Penn State," so knowing that he also held a Buckeye offer should be a hugely encouraging sign for Michigan fans.
High school DBs rarely have easily found stats. Christian is rarely mentioned in articles following Penn Hills games, so I assume that's a good thing (though it likely means he's not contributing a ton on offense either). If you find something, leave it in the comments.
FAKE 40 TIME
Christian's Scout profile gives him a 4.55-second mark, which is about where you'd expect for a DB. However, since every scouting report on the kids says he's not that fast for a corner, that sounds like a 1 FAKE out of 3 score. His Rivals profile says 4.68, and is combine verified. It is quite obviously not FAKE.
Christian has a long junior highlight on Youtube, uploaded by a user who calls himself "cullenchristian." Coincidence, I'm sure.
Part 2 can be found on the tubes.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Despite a widely-reported lack of great speed, the recruiting sites are still very high on Christian. This means he's probably very good at most other things. His rankings are pretty even across the different recruiting sites, which mean's he's pretty-well scouted, and probably accurately rated.
The big question is whether he ends up playing corner or safety once he gets to Michigan. He's known as a big, physical presence who doesn't have elite speed. That sounds like a future safety to me. His position, at least for year one in Ann Arbor, will depend on where JT Turner plays (and whether Donovan Warren stays for his senior season). Christian is likely to end up at the other spot, and take a redshirt year or play exclusively on special teams as a freshman.
In his second year on campus, Christian will probably play a big role in nickel packages, in addition to special teams duty. After a couple years getting acclimated to college ball, he can be a starter down the road.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan needs about a thousand DBs, so taking a highly-rated one probably won't change the way they're recruiting. It might give them the ability to be a little more selective with the guys that they do take. Tony Grimes and Rashad Knight are still realistic options, and definitely wouldn't be turned away. Any top prospect, such as Tony Jefferson, is not affected by the commitment of Christian.
Etc.: Penn Hills is also the home of D-1 prospects DT Aaron Donald (Pitt commit) and S/WR Brandon Ifill. Neither is considering Michigan at this time.
Nice. Welcome to Michigan!
I think that we could see an interesting shake up in the Secondary next year. I think that the Corners will be #1 Warren, #2 Turner, Safetys IMO will be Wolfolk and Vlad. You will see Cullen and Witty on the field next fall in Nickel and I think that JT Floyd will be a safety backup by the end of the spring. Mike Williams will have a roll in the run support end as long as he can learn to find the gap before he try's and kill somebody. I think that this should sure up the play in the back but I have no idea how to project the LB's! Hopefully they get a clue! The D next year will still be young but with Campbell starting in the middle with Martin it will add some size and Vanbergen will be the SDE imo.
yeah I get the feeling that by the time Turner was ready to go it was worth it to redshirt him. Also, we don't know if maybe he had some minor nagging injury in practice or something. I'm not jumping on the ZOMG TURNER SUCKS!!!!! bandwagon. My other real interest (with the players we have) is Thomas Gordan. I think RR called him out as a guy who is impressing so I'll be interested to see where he is slotted in next year
Finally it's official. Now we just got to continue getting defensive guys.
Anybody else think Cullen Christian looks like Donovan Warren? If they were secretly brothers, that would be excellent. But I think he's Donovan's clone; a result of a mad experiment by Zoltan's minions (under Zoltan's orders, of course).
And I play the 'he reminds me of ___' game constantly.
But I don't think Christian looks anything like Warren.
Hopefully, his play will remind me of Warren someday. Welcome to the team, Cullen.
I didn't mean his play looks like Warren's play. I meant his face physically looks like Warren's face. Same chin and same head. They look like they could be brothers.
I'm nowhere near good enough to compare play styles of CBs.
I knew what you meant. I just don't think he physically resembles Warren.
And thus ends the most pointless sub-thread in history.
/Accepts full share of blame
just to play him on special teams and in garbage time. We did that with a few guys this year, and we probably could have been able to use them in 2013.
If he makes the regular rotation, that's different.
If you are talking about Emilien blowing his redshirt, I think it makes sense. The guy missed his senior year of football. Do you really want him to go two years without hitting the field? Having him run around and gain some confidence in his abilities again is a good idea.
I would imagine that some of the guys who burned redshirts this year are ones that the staff doesn't think they'll need by 2013.
for the offseason. I truly think RR has some things up his sleeve to close this class out, and as I saw in earlier posts.........I am very excited about next year, I just hope that RR keeps handling this rediculous "divided fannation" the way he has, or we could find ourselves not firing him, but rather losing him.
I'm very happy with this commit, and my sources tell me that Furman will commit in December, but to say that we risk losing RR is like saying that a hooker risks losing herpes. Hopefully, RR gets his act together next season and avoids second half meltdowns...but I don't want to hear anything about "he needs more time; our defense is all freshmen and red-shirts" and "but we lost Graham; who would expect the D to improve so quickly".
(and said some stupid things) but you sir for this comment "but to say that we risk losing RR is like saying that a hooker risks losing herpes."
Um... Seriously Get the fuck out. Get banned. That is terrible, it's not funny, frankly it's just degrading to a man who is just trying to do his god damn job.
Must be nice to sit on your sofa and say how easy it is to be a head coach.
First...My statement was very funny.
Second...Your skin is as thin as Ally McBeal after a colonoscopy prep.
Third...RR's job is to win games and maintain the dignity of the program. He has not done that. You might have more optimism for the future than I do, but don't fucking tell me to "get the fuck out" and "get banned" because my opinion is different then yours. Maybe you should stick to supporting the Lions. They accept failure just like you.
i have sources, too, and they say you're full of crap.
The same sources told me (a week ago) that CC would commit yesterday. Feel free to apologize when JF commits in Dec.
I'm not sure if you check on old posts, but I figured it's worth reminding you that I was 100% correct. Not only did I have the exact day of the Cullen commitment correct, I was correct on Furman as well.
So...no need to apologize...Just try not to be such an asshole to someone providing some good info to Michigan football fans without the same access.
No one was even talking to/about you? Where's all this rage coming from?
Someone called my insight "crap". Turns out...I was correct. No harm in a friendly reminder. Why do you even give a shit?
You're all salty eyed over a comment I made to SOMEONE ELSE??? That's pretty weak. But you're also salty over a RR/herpes analogy I posted long ago? What gives? You have a meltdown because I replied to a "month old thread"...and then reply about another part of the SAME MONTH OLD THREAD?
As to your question, my friend, I do still feel that losing Rich Rod would be much like losing a bad case of herpes. You might not love it, but that's my opinion. I hope that time proves me wrong on that...but only you can say why you're so sensitive over a month-old comment about herpes.
All the best.
just made my soul dong feel a little bit perky.
who thinks that all recruiting face shots should be captioned "'sup ladies"?
to show his skills
You know your time has come. Looking forward to you motorin' out onto the field for us!