A senior at Colerain (Oh.) High School this year, three-star cornerback Jeffrey Christian had his work cut out for him on the gridiron. As a leader on a young Cardinals squad, Christian helped propel his team to an undefeated conference record (7-0) in 2014.
“It went good,” Christian told GoBlueWolverine.com. “Better than I expected because we had a bunch of sophomores and everything. I didn’t even know how the outcome was going to be. But it went good. I had a good senior season and everything was cool.”
Christian finished his senior campaign with 40 tackles, five interceptions-- four of which were returned for touchdowns-- and one punt return touchdown to round out what is described as an ‘aggressive’ approach to the cornerback position.
“Just aggressive,” says Christian of his playing style. “I just want to take over and make plays. In games, there were a lot of times where I had to make plays and lead the team because we were down in some games and I did that.”
Coaches from across the Midwest have taken notice of Christian’s antagonistic play at corner as well. Christian has 10 offers as of now, and has been regarded as a Purdue commit for the past month.
That is suddenly changing, however, as Christian describes the course of his recruitment and where he is at right now.
“It went cool,” said Christian. “It was just a lot of coaches calling me left and right. I made a decision to go to Purdue, but that’s kind of, well, I’m decommitting. I want to look for more options. I think I committed too early. I already talked to the coaches and I’m decommitted.”
Now that Christian finds himself back on the market, several factors stand out in terms of his criteria in evaluating a new destination. Above all, the ability to earn early playing time is a high selling point for Christian.
“Just somewhere I can play early,” said Christian. “[Purdue] was Big Ten and it was a good opportunity for their program, they just need to get their stuff together so that my talent can be used and I can do what I can to change that program around.”
One school that could offer early playing time, given the right circumstances, is Michigan. With new head coach at the helm, Michigan’s 2015 depth chart could conceivably look a bit different than it did last season. This, along with the Wolverines’ recent head coaching hire, appeals to Christian.
“I was like dang, that’s a big move,” said Christian. “Jim Harbaugh don’t like to lose, so he will try to make a big impact in the next year or two. He will basically play the people he thinks will help the team out. He won’t be on that, ‘oh, youre a freshman so you will redshirt.’ I think he will put the best out there.”
Although Michigan recorded its third losing record (5-7) in seven season, the Maize and Blue still holds clout with this Ohio product.
“Michigan, man, that’s big time,” said Christian. “I think they found the right coach. I think the other coaches, I don’t think they were right for the job. I feel like people will really do their thing for Harbaugh because they know how Harbaugh is, he’s a military guy so he wants stuff strict.”
With less than a month until National Signing Day, Christian is contemplating his official visit schedule. While time is waning, Michigan may be a team that comes into the picture late according to Christian.
“I want to take an official to Bowling Green, maybe Purdue after I talk to the coaches,” said Christian. “But I really want to take the last week at Michigan, the last week of officials before I know where I really want to go. I will [visit] if they offer me.”
As director of Player Personnel under Brady Hoke, Chris Singletary handled much of the recruiting responsibilities. Although his role on Harbaugh’s staff has not been announced, he has remained active in recruiting and recently followed Christian on Twitter. Whether the Wolverines will offer the three-star Ohio prospect in the near future remains to be seen.
“I feel like they will, I don’t know when though. Only time will tell.”
If that does happen, however, consider Michigan the heavy favorite to land Christian’s signature on Signing Day.
“Yeah, that’s a school I’d commit to.”