(See Chris Little profile)
Tossing more pancakes than a spatula at IHOP on Saturday morning Little is a 6-5, 320-pound wrecking ball that disposes of defenders and makes room for the running backs behind him. Playing across the line from him must be like facing a firing squad armed with machine guns because you're going to get hit time after time after time. The moment the ball is snapped, the carnage begins and Chris Little becomes a one-man fear factor that lets his actions speak louder than words.
"My biggest strength is run blocking," Chris Little said. "I love to run block. I just love the pancakes. I average about eight or nine a game. We went to the third round [of the state playoffs] so I probably had over 100 pancakes last year."
The way he buries opponents, they have to have the dirtiest football uniforms in the state of Georgia. Is it any wonder that the players Chris Little emulates are some of the biggest and baddest men in professional football?
"I try and pattern my game after Jonathan Ogden of the Baltimore Ravens," Little said. "I think I can run block as well as I can pass block. I have good foot work. My coaches tell me I play like Orlando Pace."
All of this is why Little is one of the most coveted football players in America. All the big name schools are lining up to get a chance at signing Little and he's open to listening to whomever is talking right now. His list will be pared to about ten at some time in the near future. Already, Little can tell you a few of the schools that will make the short list.
The Florida Gators have gone a little guard heavy in the last two recruiting classes and their depth at tackle is somewhat sparse. Little says the Gators will be a team he takes a good hard look at even though he hasn't visited there just yet.
"Yes they are definitely a school that will be in my top ten," he said. "I haven't been to the stadium, but driven through Gainesville. Coach (John) Hevesy is recruiting me and he seems like a pretty good guy."
He already has a decent idea of a few things he likes about the University of Florida.
"I like The Swamp," he said. "Coach Hevesy is a good coach. The depth chart is going to be ready by the time I get down there. They said the fact that I can graduate in December and coming in January I can go through spring and get a shot as a true freshman."
His camp plans are a little up in the air, but at least two schools will get a look this summer.
"I am trying to plan my camps right now," he said. "I am thinking Georgia, but I might not do Georgia because it is right around the Florida State camp. I plan on being in Gainesville next Sunday June 4th. My parents will be coming up with me."
Because his parents will be in Gainesville with him, Florida will have an opportunity to sell the whole family on what it will be like as a Florida Gator. "They want to visit because they have never been down there and they want to see it also," he said. "I may meet up with Maurice Hurt and hang around him a little bit when I go down there and visit. I will probably go Sunday and stay overnight Sunday night."
A slew of head coaches came down to see Little practice this spring. It was a chance for some to make an impact.
"Coach (Charlie) Weis (Notre Dame) came down about 2-3 weeks ago," Little said. "Mark Richt (Georgia) didn't come down, but Coach (Urban) Meyer (Florida) came down and watched me. I have had a few conversations with him on the phone. He texts me every now and then saying good morning and that I would look good in Orange and Blue."
It is going to be at least a while before Little has his decision made. Being an early enrollee means he needs to have it done by December, but he wants to make sure he sees what he needs to see.
"I am going to make my decision after my visits," he said. "I want to see where I feel the most comfortable. I also want to get a chance to see the depth charts too."
One thing he may consider is the fact that some schools are recruiting him to play a little defense for them. It's not enough to make him a defensive player, but to get his physical abilities on the field where they can be used to benefit the team.
"I play defense too," he said. "A couple of schools said I could play a little defense and line up at the five technique in goal line defense. Florida State and Georgia Tech both told me I could do that."
His comfort factor at a school is something that will be important to him. Along those lines, Little has a good friend in the recruiting class that will likely look at some of the same schools. Presently committed to Florida State, Columbus (GA) Hardaway offensive lineman Antwane Greenlee and Little have gotten pretty close in this young recruiting season.
"Antwane and me are just alike," Little said. "We are like twins I guess. We talked about going to the same school and we might. But, if we go our own separate ways, it won't stop our friendship with each other. He should be coming to Gainesville on June 4th also."
Chris Little had a cookout planned for Memorial Day. Somehow I bet he makes it over to the grill and helps out the cook. I can see a smile on his face as he is flipping the burgers. He probably pictures jersey numbers on them and then presses the meat back onto the grill. That little sizzle is like a defender screaming in agony after the snap of the ball. Then he reaches for the next one.
Say hello to my 'Little' friend!