Christie Shocked Over Unexpected Terps Call

With Maryland lineman targets Brock Ruble and Marcus Applefield off to other destinations, the Terps looked to Medford, N.Y., for another lineman to add to its 2014 class. Patchogue-Medford High's Sean Christie, a late-blooming, under-the-radar tackle, committed to the Terps on Saturday night.

Senior tackle Sean Christie never thought this would happen. Division I-A football? The Big Ten? A full ride?

A dream, that's all. … Right?

"The University of Maryland and Coach [Keith] Dudzinski came to my school the other day," said Christie, a 6-foot-5, 280-pounder out of Patchogue-Medford High in Medford, N.Y. "And they said they had like two other guys with offers ahead of me (Marcus Applefield, Brock Ruble), but if that didn't work out they'd call me back and I could be next in line [for an offer]. I talked to my coach about it when the Maryland coaches left, and I told him, ‘Hey, if Maryland did offer, I'd take it right away.'

"But I honestly never thought I'd get that call. I honestly didn't ever think it would happen. So when it did … it's indescribable. Amazing."

Christie received that phone call from head coach Randy Edsall Dec. 14. The Maryland head man asked the New York tackle what his best attributes are and what he could bring to a team. After a bit of small talk, Edsall dropped what Christie described as "the big question."

"And I was like, ‘Oh my God,'" said Christie, who has a thick New York draw. "In my head I thought, ‘Yes, I'm going to take this right now.' But [Edsall] told me to take some time and talk to my family first, so that's what I did. "

Needless to say, it didn't take much convincing.

"My dad was ecstatic and just said, ‘Congratulations,'" Christie said. "And I was actually going to wait until my mom got home from work, but I decided to call her anyway. She started crying she was so happy. She was very emotional about it."

Two hours later, Christie became the 14th Terps commitment and the fifth offensive lineman in UMD's current class. Edsall told him he was happy for him and he'd be another key line addition as Maryland heads to the Big Ten in 2014.

"All the hard work, it's a dream come true to play big-time football," Christie said. "It's literally been a shock since last night. I'm just so happy I can't really put it into words that do it justice."

Maryland actually began taking a look at Christie a few weeks ago when Dudzinksi, the New York area recruiter, contacted the Patchogue-Medford coach about him. Soon, Christie began speaking to Dudzinski personally, and eventually they set up a College Park, Md., visit.

Christie made the trek down for the UMD-Boston College game, and though the Terps ended up losing on a last-second field goal, 29-26, he was more than thrilled with his experience.

"I went down there and had a great time; I loved the campus and I loved the fans [at Byrd Stadium]. I'm sorry they lost, but it was great," said Christie, who will officially visit UMD in January. "I talked to Coach Dudzinksi and Coach [Tom] Brattan and they really liked me then. Coach Brattan was saying how he liked my athleticism and how they're looking for more O-linemen like me, and that I'd be a great fit. And Coach Dudzinski, he's a great guy an a great personality."

Christie stayed in touch with Dudzinksi on a weekly basis since then, but he didn't think it would go much farther than casual conversations. He was well aware the Terps had Marcus Applefield and Brock Ruble targeted and figured one of the two would commit to Maryland, ending the school's pursuit of him. But on Dec. 13 Applefield chose Rutgers, while Ruble opted for Florida State, leaving Christie with a chance for that much-coveted scholarship.

"I had offers from UAB and Wagner, and Temple was looking at me, but Maryland, with them going to the Big Ten, it's just a different brand of football," said Christie, who wants to major in business. "Playing nationally ranked teams, going against that kind of competition, it's a really exciting opportunity.

"I know the coaches there are working their hardest to make the program better and ready for that level. And I'm just happy to be along for the ride and to help them any way I can."

The Medford tackle has been a three-year starter at Patchogue-Medford, which finished 5-3 this season. Christie said he was mainly known as a pure mauler early during his career, but his pass blocking has actually caught up to, or maybe even surpassed, his run blocking.

"In 11th grade we did primarily I-formation and we ran the ball all the time, so my run blocking was good but my pass protection was just OK," Christie said. "But I went to camps in the offseason, and I put it a lot of work on pass blocking. Then this year we threw the ball 250 times and I did really well in pass sets.

"So right now I'd say pass blocking is my strong point, along with my run blocking. There's still some technical things I have to work on and shore up, but I'm pretty well-rounded."

As a football player at least. When asked if Christie had any hobbies or had any interesting experiences, he took a long pause before responding.

"My life," he said, "Pretty much revolves around football and working to get better."

Music to Maryland fans' ears.

You can view his Hudl film, HERE.

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