Standout Trait

McKeesport football coach Jim Ward lists several aspects that make WVU commitment Hodari Christian an outstanding college prospect, but many of those have their roots in one physical trait.

"He's not only an explosive player, but he's quick in a short space off the edge. He gets to the spot quickly," Ward detailed. "And then, he can get down the seam and cover receivers in the slot."

Those statements should be enough to identify that trait – speed – that sets him apart."

"His speed is just elite, especially at his position," Ward continued. Last year, getting ready for his junior year, he ran a 4.55, and this year I think he's faster. That's where he separates himself."

Christian isn't just a track guy on the football field, however. He's a complete player who has excellent strength (400+ pound bench press) with a good grasp of the fundamentals of defensive play.

"He has long arms, and he uses them well. He keeps people away that are trying to block him, and he's very focused and drive. I think he has a chance to be great," Ward said.

Ward also credits Christian's even keel with his ability to make plays on the field.

" He remains even most of the time," Ward said, agreeing with the notion that he's not loud or boisterous on the field. "He just like that. He's a quiet kid. You don't have to worry about him doing what he is supposed to do. You may not see him out there talking, but he is going to do his job effectively."

That quiet nature doesn't hinder his performance on the field at all. Christian is a big hitter who also executes well in tackling. He runs through the hit and finishes the contact and tack;e all the way to the ground, which is a point of emphasis for Ward and McKeesport. That's made him a standout who was up to 12 scholarship offers when he committed to WVU.

"I think a lot of the early recruiting interest you get is from exposure – from getting them in camps and taking them all over the country," Ward noted. "That's not not something we are big on. Our kids might get offers later in the process because of that, but people were noticing him. I think his offers would have continued to grow through his senior season, but that's o.k. He ended up where he wanted to be."

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