Recruiting: OU in the mix for Kansas star

Lawrence, Kan. tight end/defensive end Christian Ballard talks about his interest in Oklahoma.


Often times when you talk about a 'big men' on the recruiting scene they are set to one position, but that isn't the case with Christian Ballard. The 6-foot-4 Kansas product one of those rare bigs who could play a number of positions not only this season, but in the future.

"This is our week off. We start practice Monday. I am looking forward to it. I am going to play tight end and defensive tackle. This is going to be my first year in a 3-point stance at defensive end, but I think I like tight end better. I played defensive end last year. I create a lot of mismatches at tight end, because I am so quick for my size. I think I have more of an impact at tight end."

"Most college recruiters talk to me about playing tight end, defensive end, defensive tackle and offensive line. I really don't know where I will play. KU is talking to me about going both ways, but most other schools are talking to me about defensive tackle. The reason I like KU so much is that they want me to play tight end and they want me to play rush end on defense. I like the fact they want me to go both ways."

As a junior, Ballard caught 13 passes for 173 yards. On defense, he recorded 37 tackles (25 solo), six sacks and he blocked three kicks. He has also been working hard this summer to become an even better football player.

"I was a contain player last year so my stats weren't that great. This year, I am going to turned loose and I am going to cause all kinds of havoc. I have been doing resistance training all summer and I got my 40 time down to 4.62. I was able to get my bench up to 280 pounds and my squat up to 470."

Ballard committed to Kansas very early, but as the recruiting process developed he has continued to talk to several schools including Oklahoma.

"Oklahoma is still in the mix a little bit. There are a lot of other schools that I am still talking to, like Georgia and Iowa. I made an early commitment, but I didn't think I was going to have any other offers. Now that I am getting other offers, I need to make sure I am making the right decision. I am going to be spending the next four years of my life at that school and I need to make sure I am comfortable where I go."

So just what does he think about Oklahoma?

"Oklahoma is recruiting me as an offensive lineman. They have given me some good recruiting pitches, especially showing me how many offensive linemean they are sending to the pros. But my high schools coaches feel I am a better tight end or defensive end than I would be an offensive lineman college. My high school coaches will play a big role in my decision. I am doing a lot of research on Oklahoma and thinking over whether I should be more interested in OU. I am taking a hard look at OU."

Ballard will fly down to Georgia this weekend for an unofficial visit. He is expected to qualified.

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