While coaches have taken notice of Chris after his combine testing, that wasn't the case coming out of high school when he played for Colbert County HS in Leighton, Alabama.
Chris had talent but wasn't highly recruited. "Not many schools recruited me," said Chris when asked who recruited him. "Southern Miss was one. Auburn came in real late. Southeast Missouri State came in late. Coming out of high school I was 6-foot-3, but I was only about 170 pounds."
His size wasn't the only thing that kept some of the bigger named schools from looking at him. "We were mostly a running team," said Chris. "I had 38 catches for almost 900 yards and 10 touchdowns."
His high school coach was also going through cancer treatments which kept Chris' name from getting out that much.
Chris wound up signing with Southeast Missouri State. His freshman year he was primarily used as a backup. "I started three games and had 11 catches," said Chris. "In the spring, I earned a starting spot."
However, even though he had earned a starting spot, he knew he could play on the DI level.
His first thought was to transfer to Auburn, but he ran into an academic snag. "I was going to transfer to Auburn and sit out a year there, but all of my grades didn't transfer," explained Chris.
Once that fell through, Chris decided transferring to a junior college was his next best option. Lucky for him, the new head coach at Northeast Mississippi CC, Andy Greening, knew about Chris from his high school days, so Chris decided to transfer there.
Because NEMCC didn't have any out of state scholarships available, he had to sit out his first year.
While sitting out, Chris made good use of his time in the classroom. "I took 19 hours my first semester and 17 in the spring," said Chris, who will graduate in December, 2003. "I had a 3.4 grade point average my first semester. I've got 59 hours right now."
Chris, even though he has his academics in order, plans on taking a course this summer. "There are two more required classes that I have to take to graduate from junior college," said Chris. "I need speech and science. I am going to go to summer school at home and take speech."
Now that he has all but gotten his academic requirements out of the way, he can focus on football and recruiting.
Coach Greening's new offense will be using four receivers quite a bit, which will allow Chris to showcase his talent.
As for recruiting, Chris is starting to receive attention. "Troy State and UAB have called my coach and said they are going to get in touch with me this summer," said Chris. "Auburn has shown some interest in me. Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Memphis have come to the school because we have one of the top cornerbacks in the nation, Mario Stevenson. Just about everybody you can think of have come through."
With his recruitment starting to heat up, Chris has a list of schools he would be interested in attending. "I would love to go to LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee and Louisville," said Chris.
With a great season this coming year, Chris might just get his wish.
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.