Iowa standout in no rush

With summer approaching, football recruits from around the nation will use their free time to check out different programs in an effort to get an up-close look at what each of those schools has to offer. Such is the case with Christian French, a gifted athlete from Cedar Rapids (IA), who recently received his offer from Nebraska. We get the latest from Christian in this update from Big Red Report.

One of the more intriguing prospects in the Mid-West region for the '11 class has to be Christian French. Not only does he have good size at 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, with the ability to play a multitude of positions on the college level, he also possesses rare speed for a player of his stature.

"I'm running a 10.7 right now in the 100 meter, a lot of people don't believe me when I tell them that. I put that time down not long ago. I can move well for a guy my size. I take long strides, but get my knees up quick, and cover a lot of ground."

And because of that great combination of size and athleticism, offers from several colleges have started to come in.

"Right now, my offers are Louisville, Missouri, Iowa, Iowa State, Notre Dame, Kansas, Kansas State, Wisconsin and I just got Nebraska like last week. I get contact from a bunch of others, but those are the offers I have so far."

He then went on to tell me about his play in high school, and where college coaches see him playing at the D-1 level.

"I started out playing free safety my sophomore year, but this past year I played free safety, outside linebacker, wide receiver and running back. When I play that outside linebacker, it's like being a defensive end. They just send me off the edge with the blitz to get after the quarterback.

"Most of the colleges have said the same things, they all like me at tight end. Notre dame is the only one recruiting me for defense, but they also said they would leave it up to me if I come to school there."

Do you have a preference?

"You know, to be honest, I would rather be on offense and get the ball in my hands. But if it looked like I could be a better player on defense, I could make the switch."

When did the interest from Nebraska start up, and do you have any knowledge about the Husker program?

"I would say I've been getting a lot of contact from Nebraska for like the last three months or so. I started getting a lot of the questionnaire type letters, then the ones telling me about the graduation rates, and just what the school has to offer.

"Then about two weeks ago they called my coach and said they were coming by, right after that coach Cotton came by the school. He couldn't really talk to me other than say "hi", but he came by and talked to my coach and picked up some film I think.

"A day or two later I gave coach Cotton a call and he said I had an offer from Nebraska, he offered me right over the phone. It felt good to get that offer.

"I don't know a lot about the school yet. I know they just produced a great player in the draft and I know overall, like with their tradition, their a really great school. I really think they are on they way up."

And if things go right, NU could be on the agenda for this summer.

"I want to get out and take a bunch of visits this summer to different schools, and Nebraska is one of those schools I'd like to see. If not, I'll get over there for an official this fall for sure. I'll definitely visit them one way or the other."

I then asked Christian if there was any local pressure to stay instate, and play for one of the home state schools.

"Oh yeah, I get that kind of stuff all the time around here. You kind of expect that, so it's cool, I just can't let it affect my decision. Many people have told me I should stay close for college. But I tell them I don't care if its a thousand miles away or right down the street, it's about the best fit."

But Cyclone and Hawkeye supporters aren't the only college football fans that reside in the state of Iowa, it appears some even bleed Husker red.

"You wouldn't believe it though" laughed Christian. "We've got this other coach at our school who is a huge Husker fan. Every time I see him, he's like ‘man, you need to go to Nebraska, that's where it's at'.

"I was in his class the other day, and after I turned my paper in, he pulled his Husker banner off the wall and just held it up in the air so I could see it. It was funny, we both just started laughing about it. Actually there are a lot of Nebraska fans around here."

Christian said he has no plans for an early decision, so look for his recruitment to last at least until the fall.

"I don't want to wait until signing day or anything like that, but I don't want to commit anytime soon either. I want to take my time and get to know the schools and all these coaches. Last thing I want to do is pick the wrong school, then regret my decision later on. I'll study each school in-depth before I make a decision. After I take a few officials and see some of these schools on game day, I should be able to make a good decision."

In summation, I asked Christian for some of the factors he will take into consideration before making his decision.

"I want a school that is going to help me in life even if I can't make the NFL or go on to great success in college football. I still want to have my education to fall back on. I want a program where the players all get along and like playing with each other. I think that's important for team unity, you can't have a bunch of guys going off and doing their own thing.

"Then I would say my relationship with the coaches is important. I'll be learning under those men for four or five years of my life, there should be a bond there. The football atmosphere is something I'll look at too, a big-time football atmosphere would be nice."

Christian was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, but when questioned if the in-state schools had the upper hand, he said "Of course I grew up liking Iowa and Iowa State, but it's not like I'm stuck on either one. Now I'm just a fan of college football, not just a team".

Big Red Report will keep tabs on the recruitment of Christian French, and update you on any new details as they arise.

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