Christian French, a red-shirt senior knows what it is like to work hard to get playing time and this year he is one of the leaders among the Oregon defenders. This weekend he and his team mates will take on FCS Eastern Washington and while it is the first game of the year, French is ready to go.
“(I’m) ready to get out there and compete,” responded French to the question of how things are going for him. “We worked so long and hard in fall camp so we are ready to get out there and get after it.”
Fall camp was a long, grueling process for the players and French not only worked on his skills and abilities, he helped with younger players as well. He’s capable of playing in several spots and likes to go after the quarterback.
“I want to rush the quarterback,” admitted French. “But I’m out there to help the team; whatever I can do to help the team is what I’m going to do.”
French came to Oregon nearly five years ago with some outstanding credentials. He had been a US Army All-American, playing in the US Army All-Star game in San Antonio, Texas as a linebacker although the Ducks recruited him as a tight end.
He spent his freshman year as a red shirt and worked on the scout team as a receiver, though he switched over to the defensive side of the ball during the spring workouts in 2012. From that point he continued his growth. During his red-shirt freshman campaign he played nine games and had tackles in seven of those contests.
The following year he saw action in 11 games and recorded eight tackles for the year then came his junior season, when things finally started to settle in. Last season (his junior year) French played in all 15 games and had 26 tackles including six and half sacks and is the only linebacker to record two sacks in one game against the Washington Huskies. In that same game French forced a fumble that led to an Oregon touchdown.
French knows the hard work it takes to be successful and this week the season starts.
This Saturday’s game will be carried on the Pac-12 Networks and is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Pacific from Autzen Stadium.