Another Thunderbird Taking Flight

With six member of its football team either having signed with a program or having received scholarship offers, Timpview High School possesses a lot of top-quality talent on its roster. There is, however, another up-and-coming prospect that could very well be getting some Division I offers in the near future.

Sure, everyone is familiar with gridiron hit man Craig Bills, and it's with a certainty that every wide receiver that has ventured across the middle has been introduced to Bills, whether they like it or not.

However, there is safety prospect that mans the position right next to Bills that is no slouch himself. His name is Chris Badger, and he's someone BYU fans will more than likely know more about in the coming years.

"I'm 6'0", 185 pounds and I'm going to work really hard to get to 190 pounds before the season starts," said Badger, a sophomore. "I was at a combine last month and I ran a 4.6 forty with a 30 inch vertical. My max for squat is 375, bench 235, and my clean is around 255."

Safety isn't the only position that Badger can play, though it is where his future lies.

"I play safety and I can also play corner," Badger said. "I love to bump and run off the line and jam receivers, but safety is a position that I know I'll play in college."

Having an upperclassman like Craig Bills playing next to him, Badger has the luxury of having a top Division I safety prospect as an example.

"It's great because I get to go against Craig every day in practice," said Badger. "He's gives me a great understanding of where I need to be because he's a D-I safety. It's always fun watching him get those big hits during games and knowing that I'll be able to do that next year and follow in his footsteps to get where I want to be."

Timpview head coach Louis Wong told Total Blue Sports in a previous interview that Bills has raised the bar for his Thunderbird teammates. Wong said that everyone tries to emulate the intensity and intimidation that Bills brings to the field. During team practices, Badger and Bills team up to ensure each is pushing the other for further improvement in order to continue their dominance and intimidation in the secondary.

"We push each other really well during practice," said Badger. "We do all the drills together so we can make sure each of us is going our hardest and getting better, faster and stronger."

College recruiters already have Badger on their radar, but because he is still a sophomore, the contact and expressed interest have gone to Coach Wong. Badger, who plans on going to Junior Day at BYU, said the Cougar coaches have shown quite a bit of interest in him.

The early interest being shown to Badger is no surprise; Badger comes from a large family of athletes, and he's had siblings star at Timpview before him.

The programs that have expressed interest in Badger include MWC and Pac-10 teams. However, there is one Pac-10 team that stands out the most for Badger.

"I've received interest from Utah, UCLA and Stanford," said Badger. "I really love Stanford. That's a school that I would like to go to. There is a coach from Washington State that was down at our school the other day and he expressed interest. Coach Gary Crowton was down here recently too and I'm going to be going to LSU's camp this summer."

At this point in time it would appear that Badger's two top interests are Stanford and BYU.

"I like BYU a lot, and from what I've heard they have really good coaches," said Badger. "I really like Coach Reynolds and all of the other coaches there at BYU. I'm pretty sure that I'll be getting a scholarship from BYU. I love the coaching staff and just the overall attitude of the team. Also, I would be able to play with a lot of my old high school teammates that will be at BYU. It will be like playing at Timpview all over again. I think my parents would love it because they could go to every game, and BYU has a great stadium and they fill it up every game."

While he is greatly interested in both Stanford and BYU, Badger isn't able to pick a clear favorite right now.

"It's pretty close," Badger said. "My dad when to Stanford and he's a Stanford alum. It would be fun to play at Stanford because in the Pac-10 you're playing all those great schools, so right now it's pretty even between the two.

"My parents like Stanford, BYU and UCLA. Norm Chow used to be in my ward, so we know him fairly well. So, they like UCLA as well and Washington."

Badger talked about the factors that will play a big role in his decision.

"I'm looking for a big-time school with a good team that will help me get into the NFL," said Badger. "I would like to be able to play against big-time schools. I also would like to go to a school that has great academics. My parents won't let me go to a school that doesn't have good academics."

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