One of the most anticipated signees from CSU's 2017 class is Denver (Colo.) Mullen cornerback Christian Cumber. The first team all-state selection could see early playing time as a true freshman because of need in the defensive backfield and because of Cumber's versatility and college ready skill set. A strong fall camp could net him early playing time, but time will tell. Inside The Rams caught up with Cumber for another Get to Know the 2017 feature.
Inside The Rams: Christian, we've spoken previously about your recruitment (article: Cumber excited to stay in-state), but break down your recruitment from CSU from start to finish and how that whole process played itself out.
Christian Cumber: "It wasn't anything too cinematic, but they offered me after my sophomore season. They were always just super loyal and always showed interest in me. They'd always get me up there to see the campus and get to know the coaches better. We just built a really good relationship and that's why, in the end, that ultimately felt like the best decision for me to see myself at. The best decision to make was CSU."
ITR: Do you know how many times you got up to CSU for visits during your recruitment?
Cumber: "I think I went up there about six times."
ITR: Break down your relationships with Marty English and Terry Fair and what did you like about each coach?
Cumber: "Coach Fair, I just liked how honest he is. He's just super down to earth and he knows his stuff. I just believe that he's the best DB coach out of anywhere I could have chose from, because he has the experience and he knows what it takes to and he knows exactly what to do and how hard you've got to work. With Coach English, I like his defensive play calling and his schemes. I think he's a great defensive coach. I'm just looking forward to how he incorporates me into that defense."
ITR: Was there anything about those two coaches that really stuck out to you in the recruiting process compared to the other coaches recruiting you?
Cumber: "Yeah. The biggest thing was just the loyalty, just how often they would call me up and check in on me. They had the most communication with me."
ITR: How did your official visit in December go and what were some of the highlights of that trip?
Cumber: "Oh, it was great, other than the cold weather. It was super cool to see the new stadium. It was still in the earlier stages of it being built, but I could see the vision there. It was cool to meet and hang with some of the players. Actually, that was the best part - getting familiar with my future teammates. That was probably my favorite part."
ITR: Who was your player-host and some of the other players you connected with?
Cumber: "Yeah, it was Rob Awunganyi. Then I hung out with Arjay (Jean), Shun Johnson and Isiah Pannunzio."
ITR: Even though you and (Mullen teammate) Marcus (McElroy) are close, it seemed you two didn't necessarily have intentions of being a package deal. Is that true, or did you guys kind of come together towards the end and decide you wanted to go to CSU together?
Cumber: "I don't know. I mean, we never really planned it, but I think it was subliminal more than anything. We both kind of knew CSU was the best place for us if we were to stay in Colorado, so we were on the same page that way. But it was never, like, something we ever really talked about. It was just something we always felt."
ITR: What was your favorite part of the recruiting process?
Cumber: "Making my commitment and signing my NLI."
ITR: What was your least favorite part of the recruiting process?
Cumber: "Just the waiting game with certain coaches and schools. Like, waiting a couple of days to hear from coaches to see if they could offer you or not. Stuff along those lines."
ITR: Was it a dream for you to play in-state or was it more that CSU was the best overall fit for you?
Cumber: "A little bit of both. I've always wanted to still be around my family, because I feel like it's important that they're still able to come and see my games in person, rather than having to fly across the country. But, yeah, CSU was ultimately the best fit for me and I really couldn't imagine myself going anywhere else. I'm so happy with my decision."
ITR: What other offers did you accumulate throughout the recruiting process?
Cumber: "CSU, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, Montana, Montana State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and I think that's it." (note: he was also offered by Purdue and Northern Colorado.)
ITR: Were Wisconsin and CSU the only official visits you took/
Cumber: "Yeah Wisconsin was the only other one."
ITR: Were there any other schools that came in strong closer to signing day that tried to sway you from your commitment to CSU?
Cumber: "No, not in particular. Just normal communication. Once I committed to CSU, I told other schools, 'I'm done.' So they knew."
ITR: What is your height and weight?
Cumber: "I'm 6-foot, 185."
ITR: If you've tested your bench or squat max recently, do you know what those are? And your forty time?
Cumber: "I haven't tested my squat and bench in awhile, but my most recent forty yard dash was a 4.52."
ITR: You had an impressive track season. Do you know your personal bests in the 100 and 200, as well as how you finished at state?
Cumber: "My 100 (meter) PR was a 10.83 and my 200 was a 21.90. I also ran the 4x1 and 4x2. I placed sixth in the 100 and 4th in the 200. Neither of our relay teams did that well."
ITR: Do you remember your senior year awards and accolades?
Cumber: "I made the all-state team, first team."
ITR: What was your favorite high school football memory and why?
Cumber: "I'd probably say when I blocked the extra point against Columbine in overtime. Then we came back and won on the next series."
ITR: Who is your favorite athlete and/or NFL player and why?
Cumber: "My favorite NFL player was Michael Vick, but now that he's no longer playing, I'm going to have to say Patrick Peterson."
ITR: Why's that?
Cumber: "He's quick, knows how to lock down receivers and he's a role player - does his job well."
ITR: What are some specifics that the CSU staff shared with you, as far as what they like about your game and your skill set?
Cumber: "They like that I can come downhill and make a tackle, and also run with faster receivers. They like that I'm physical at the line and down the field. They like that I'm a playmaker."
ITR: From what they've shared with you, how do they plan on utilizing you in secondary?
Cumber: "They've expressed that they want to put me at corner, but they also want to see what I can do in nickel against certain teams and against schemes that other teams run."
ITR: From what you know about CSU's returning personnel this fall, do you believe you can see significant playing time as a freshman?
Cumber: "I definitely believe in myself and I have confidence that I can play at that level. But it'll come down to me knowing the playbook and film study, then doing what I practice. I definitely think I could get on the field my freshman year."
ITR: It'll come down to how fall camp goes for you, of course, but have coaches shared their desire for you to come in and play immediately?
Cumber: "Yeah. They said we need all the help we can get in the defensive backfield. They said it's up to me and how I handle all my business, as to whether or not I see the field."
ITR: Did you do any other varsity sports outside football and track?
ITR: What are some of your hobbies outside football?
Cumber: "Mainly photography."
ITR: Do you have a favorite genre of photography?
Cumber: "Just a lot of portrait."
ITR: Do you have a favorite pair of shoes?
Cumber: "Yeah I do. They're called Nike Blazers, but they're the Area 72, like the limited edition ones. They came out all-star weekend in 2015."
ITR: What's something about you that most people may not know?
Cumber: "Probably the photography."
ITR: What's your favorite food and why?
Cumber: "My favorite food is barbacoa tacos."
ITR: Do you have any nicknames?
Cumber: "Yeah. A lot of people call me cucumber or Q."
ITR: Do you have a jersey number preference to wear at CSU?
Cumber: "Either 7 or 17. 17 has been my favorite number ever since I was twelve. I've always had a football number that had 7 in it, so I'd like to continue that at CSU."
ITR: Have you selected a jersey number yet?
Cumber: "No, not that I know of yet."
ITR: Do you know who you will room with as a freshman?
Cumber: "Yeah, Darius Wise."
ITR: What is your dream job and why?
Cumber: "I'd have to say an NFL player."
ITR: What will you major in at CSU?
Cumber: "I'm still undeclared, but I kind of want to pursue something in the sport rehab area, like physical therapy or something like sports medicine."
ITR: What are you most excited about in starting your college career?
Cumber: "All the new opportunities, the people I'll get to meet, the new teammates, all the teams I'll get to play, and all the new places I get to travel to. Really, just all the new experiences."
ITR: How excited are you to be part of the first freshman class to play in the new stadium?
Cumber: "It's going to be awesome. I know it's going to be jumpin' those first few games. As long as we just get some momentum behind us, it'll be a madhouse. It'll be fun to play in."
ITR: And how excited are you to play in your first Rocky Mountain Showdown, especially since CU recruited you?
Cumber: "I can't wait. I can't wait to see those dudes."