LB Chris Purtz

One of the earliest names you heard about this 2003 football recruiting crop out West was LB Chris Purtz from Clovis West. He put forth a strong showing at the recent Nike Camp in Palo Alto, and also had a whale of a time at the following Stanford Junior Day. His recruitment has taken a couple twists and turns of much interest to Stanford recruitniks...

LB/FB Chris Purtz (profile)
Clovis West (Fresno, CA)
Ht: 6-0: Wt: 212
4.53 forty; 4.14 shuttle
25 bench reps; 32" vertical

If the name of Clovis West is becoming an ever-familiar one to you, don't worry - it should be.  Stanford freshman point guard extraordinaire Chris Hernandez was the CW standout in 2001, while intense fullback recruit Brandon "The Hulk" Hancock was the headliner in 2002.  For the class of 2003, another football recruit in the mold of Hancock is grabbing Stanford fans' attention: linebacker and fullback Chris Purtz.  While not quite as outlandishly sculpted as Brandon, Chris is a very impressive physical specimen who passes the eyeball test with flying colors.  On the field he has logged most of his time as a LB to date, racking up 104 tackles his junior season, including 18 for losses with 7 sacks.  Off the field he carries a high GPA (circa 3.8) and projects a very intelligent and mature young man.


Like his famous Clovis West teammate before him, Chris tested quite well at the Palo Alto Nike Camp.  With a similar run in the forty (vs. 4.49), Chris did not display quite the gaudy numbers on the bench (43 reps) or in the vertical jump (39").  Though he did handily beat Brandon Hancock's shuttle time (4.39), in fact with an agility mark that is very exceptional for a linebacker.  It was after Chris ran this shuttle that I caught up with him at the camp...

The Bootleg: Chris, congratulations on a couple of great runs in the shuttle.  How do you feel about your numbers today?
Chris Purtz: I weighed 218 this morning, but stepped on the scales here at 212.  That's not consistent, but I'm not really worried about that.  I ran a 4.53, hit two 4.1's over there, 25 on the bench, and 32-something on the vert.  I'm really excited about all the position stuff now - time to play some football.

The Bootleg: You must be pretty pumped with all those numbers.
Chris Purtz: Yeah, I hopefully want to come out here and show everybody.  I thought I'd get some offers earlier, but today I want to show everybody I can play football.  Hopefully they will start taking a little bit more notice.  We'll see.  I'm really excited about everything.

The Bootleg: Running a 4.14 and 4.15 in the shuttle - those are very consistent.  Have you been training on the shuttle?
Chris Purtz: I've been training a lot of football-specific stuff, and just recently wanted to work on some of the drills.

The Bootleg: Brandon (Hancock) made himself kinda famous with what he did at this Nike Camp last year.  Did he have any advice for you?
Chris Purtz: Actually he called me while I was in line, just called me a few minutes ago.  Congratulated me, and said how he wished he could have been out here for me.  I just have to try to keep it going for Clovis West.

The Bootleg: Did you guys train together at Clovis?
Chris Purtz: Actually, when he comes back into town, we'll train too.  He's actually back in town right now, so when I get back tomorrow night after Stanford's Junior Day, we'll go work out a bit.  Get in shape for next year.

The Bootleg: The similarities are striking - you are both well-built fullback/linebacker's.  Now, he wanted to play offense in college and is at USC at fullback.  Is that what you want to do, or do you see yourself as a linebacker?...
Chris Purtz: Linebacker.  I want to play outside, probably weakside linebacker.  I like to run around and hit people - that's what I do.  Hopefully that works out.  Though some places, like Colorado, are looking at me at fullback.  We'll see.  I'll play anywhere, but do prefer outside 'backer.

The Bootleg: Is that where you will work out today?
Chris Purtz: Yeah.  On the one-on-one's, I might play a little fullback to catch the ball out of the backfield, since I might play some fullback next year at Clovis West.

The Bootleg: Did you play alongside Brandon this past year at LB, or did he play exclusively at FB?
Chris Purtz: He did mostly fullback, and played a little at defensive end.  Then we had some injuries at inside 'backer, so he stepped up there.  But I've mainly just been working out on defense.  If the opportunity presents itself, I'll play fullback, too.  The versatility will step into play there.

The Bootleg: You say that you see yourself playing outside.  What specific parts of your game make you best suited to play outside, instead of inside?
Chris Purtz: Outside, you're a little more free to roam.  You drop back into pass coverage - I love dropping back into pass coverage.  You're not constantly worried about linemen coming at you every time.  Of course, you are going to take on linemen, but you are more free to roam, and I like going sideline to sideline.  You do that a little more outside.

The Bootleg: If we can talk a little about your recruitment, who are the schools you have been hearing the most from so far?
Chris Purtz: Mostly the Pac-10 - I've heard from everyone in the Pac-10...

At that point, we were interrupted and Chris needed to move on to some drills.  I caught up with him again very briefly after the camp finished...

The Bootleg:  Well, Chris, you said you wanted to work on your pass coverage.  How did that go today?
Chris Purtz:  I felt really comfortable out there.  I went up about five times, and nobody caught a ball on me.  I think that was solid.  I was then about to go at fullback, but they blew the horn.  I had just wanted hopefully to show some of the coaches that I could catch the ball out of the backfield.  I was happy with how I performed.  I think I showed everybody what I'm about.  Hopefully it should be pretty exciting from here on.

Chris then attended Stanford's Junior Day the following day.  Chris gave me a call about a week and a half later to talk in more depth about his recruitment, and how he took in the junior day.

The day started with Chris and parents arriving early Sunday morning, and talking with Coach Tom Williams for half an hour before the events got started.  Tom told the Purtz family about his own background, including how he came from Texas to Stanford in his own recruitment over a decade ago.  Chris says that Tom Williams is "cool, a player's coach."  The family also met with the other co-Defensive Coordinator, Coach Mark Banker.  Mark is not only relevant to Chris' recruitment as a DC, but also

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