Badger Exploring His Options

Although BYU was the first to offer him, Timpview High School safety Chris Badger has gained quite a bit of interest from colleges across the nation. Total Blue Sports caught up with the talented Provo safety to get his thoughts on the latest recruiting news and his feelings about the process.

Chris Badger is the next talented Thunderbird football player in line to be courted by many top colleges vying for his services. BYU was the first to offer, followed by Utah a week later. Since then, Oregon, Florida State and others have shown interest in his abilities.

"I've been talking with Coach Neal of Oregon," said Badger of the Ducks' defensive back coach. "I went up there and visited and took a tour of the facilities, and he sent me an email, and so I called him. He said he showed all the coaches my film and that they were going to offer me, so I got that one. I emailed a couple of other coaches and stuff. One of the coaches from Florida State emailed me back and said to call Coach Andrews, and so I did that and he just told me that he really liked me. He told me that he was just going to talk to Coach Wong and then I would have the written offer. It's more of a verbal offer right now but I should receive the written offer next week."

Badger had sent film out of from last season and has received some positive responses.

"I sent my film out to a bunch of different schools and Florida State was one of them," said Badger. "It's kind of out of the blue, but it's kind of exciting. It's pretty cool and my brother Troy, who is really big into my career, told me they were one of the biggest teams out there years ago and they have a big history. It's kind of funny because they've offered some kid from Utah. It's a really good honor."

"[Badger has] putting himself out there and just wants to know his options," said Badger's best friend, neighbor and former high school teammate Craig Bills, who recently signed with BYU. "I think it's great and he's a good guy."

Back in his home state of Utah, Badger is currently in a tug of war between Utah and BYU. The two universities are among his top choices for various reasons.

"There are different things I like between BYU and Utah," Badger said. "I like Coach Mendenhall a lot and what he's doing over there with BYU. I like how many friends I have on the team and their program, and then Utah is kind of a cool school and they offered me a week after BYU. I have a good relationship with Coach Scalley, the secondary coach, and he's kind of a young guy. I like him a lot and he's a great guy and he went on a mission to Germany and I'm taking a German class. I also like the way [Utah] plays their safeties."

"I think wherever he wants to go will be a good place for him," said Bills about Badger. "I think he's a good player. I think he likes Utah and he likes their coaches, but wherever he goes I'll support him just like Xavier [Su'a-filo]. I want him to come to BYU and think that's the best place for him, but whatever he wants to do, I'll support him. He did tell me that he likes Utah and BYU, but he didn't tell me where he was leaning to."

Badger happened to have a chance to learn more of how Utah uses their safeties during a meeting while he was on campus for an unofficial visit.

"They were showing me the strong safety they have when I went out there a couple of weeks a go," Badger said. "I actually sat in on a safety meeting, and so I kind of learned a little bit. I really like how that strong safety plays because he's blitzing, he's playing cover-two and doing a lot of different things. So BYU has a couple of different things and Utah does a couple of different things. I haven't sat in on a meeting at BYU like I did at Utah. I just happened to get lucky because I just happened to be up there at the time when they were doing that, so it was cool. I've been to BYU's camp and they showed us a couple of coverages, but it's a lot different than Utah's were. They play a lot more zone."

There has been some rumblings among BYU fans concerning Badger's interest in BYU due to the recent success of Utah and how the Utes use their safeties and play defense. Badger is impressed with how Utah uses their safeties within their defensive scheme, but that doesn't mean he doesn't like what BYU has to offer.

"I'm still really high on BYU," said Badger. "I'm over there every once in a while because I go use their indoor pool and kind of run around over there too. The football team always comes in after me, and so me and my friend stay around and talk to them and the coaches. I also went to BYU's Junior Day and that was a lot of fun too. I was in a small group with Bryson [McKenzie], the kid from Alta, and a couple of other kids. Ricky Heimuli was there and he got offered, and then there was a kid from Texas and a kid from Bingham. We went over to the stadium and that was cool and they showed us some other stuff as well."

Badger wants to focus on continuing to develop his athletic skills prior to his senior year of high school football.

"Well I've been in the weight room and trying to do track and just keeping busy," said Chris Badger. "We have a good track coach, and I think he ran for BYU, named Paul Smith. I'll probably train in the 100x. I'm cleaning around 250 pounds right now. I squatted 375 pounds the other day and then I benched 245."

In the meantime, Badger is going to take a careful look at his options and weigh the pros and cons prior to making a decision.

"It's going to be up there with one of the biggest decision I'm going to make in my life," said Badger. "I want to be educated with the schools that I'm going to look at as much as I can before I make a decision. There's going to be a lot that goes into it. I want to see if I'm going to be comfortable living in the area for the next four or five years, if I like the coaches and if they'll be around for a while, how I fit in well with the team and if I like how they play, and if the depth chart is in my favor a little bit and if I can play early, what the environment is like and if I'll be comfortable there. I'm just going to get educated about the schools and then pray about it and then make a decision.

"It's a really tough decision," Badger continued. "[I'll choose a school] probably if I can see myself playing there and if I have a good relationship with the coaches that I'll be playing for. There's so much to think about but I'm really lucky because my older brother Troy has been really helpful to me. He's played football and I kind of grew up watching him. I have a lot of people around that will definitely help me decide. I'll be making a decision this summer to try and get it out of the way. I just kind of want to get it out of the way. I'm going to pick like two or three schools and then go to their football camps and then probably decide in July."

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