If you haven't seen Chris Wells run the football, make your plans to get to Akron now. The junior from Garfield high school is a special football player, but more importantly, Chris Wells is a special young man. For someone who just turned 16, Wells is a very mature young man and a joy to be around.
We caught up with Chris and mother, Paulette, at Friday's scrimmage with Canton GlenOak at Fawcett stadium. On the field, Wells had limited carries but electrified the crowd with a 70-yard touchdown run, outrunning the entire GlenOak secondary to the end zone. Off the field, Chris was articulate and humorous as we chatted about his career. When I jokingly demanded he tell me his college choice today so I could announce it to the world, Chris laughed and said, "Oh no, don't do that to me today."
Once the scrimmage began, I spent some time with Paulette Wells, Chris' mother. When I asked her if Chris was getting tired of people asking about his college plans, she replied, "No, not at all. We think it's exciting that people are interested in him."
When I asked her if there was one college she wanted Chris to select, she was quite adamant in her choice.
"I want him to go to Ohio State. It would be a lot closer to travel to see him, but I'm really not sure what he's going to do. I feel that Ohio kids should go to school in Ohio, not leave the state."
After the scrimmage, I was able to chat with Chris about his future plans, but not before GlenOak star and future Buckeye, Brian Hartline came over to congratulate Wells on his performance and tried to convince Wells to commit to Ohio State. We overheard Brian telling Chris "I want you down there with me. We need to play together." When Brian asked Chris what his top schools were, Chris replied, "Ohio State, Michigan and UCLA."
I asked Chris what his "official" height and weight are right now, and he said, "I'm 6' 1" and 220 pounds, as I've lost five pounds since camp started." When asked if he preferred playing offense, or defense, Chris said, "I really don't care. I like playing linebacker just as much as running the ball."
Finally, when I asked Chris when he was going to announce his college choice, he said, "I have no idea. It won't be soon."
Chris Wells is going to make some school very happy when he decides where he'll attend college. He is a top notch student and a leader on and off the field. He comes from a good family, and it shows in the way he conducts himself. Chris Wells just might be the best football player in Ohio, regardless of grade level. I've seen a lot of great football players in the past 40 years, but this one has a chance to be the greatest of all of them.
Wells chats with Bill Greene
Brian Hartline and Chris Wells
Chris Wells and Mike Hartline, possibly Ohio's top two juniors