Michael back from the road

Beaumont Westbrook running back Christine Michael has been busy the last two weeks, and he visits with Aggie Websider about his recruiting process and his timeline to make a decision. Which schools are in his final two? Are there any sleepers? What are the Aggies' chances?

It's been a very busy and eventful last two weeks for the 5-foot-11, 205-pound running back Christine Michael since he participated with his Beaumont Westbrook (TX) teammates at the state 7-on-7 tournament in College Station in mid-July.

Michael took his first plane flight to Florida to participate in the prestigious Top Gun Camp, where the four-star prospect battled with some of the best athletes in the nation, and emerged as one of surprises of the event. However, Michael made it clear that his intention wasn't to make a statement, but rather to have a good time.

"I didn't go there to prove anything or make a statement," Michael said. "I went there to have fun and enjoy myself while competing with some of the best players in the nation."

However, whether intended or not, Michael did make a statement and turned heads of the national recruiting services in a camp performance that will likely boost the Texas blue chipper into the national elite category with a five-star rating a distinct possibility when services update the latest player ratings. But the humble Beaumont product said he gained something more valuable than a higher recruiting ranking.

"There were some great athletes there and they really pushed my performance. That's why I think I did so well. I like the competition," Michael said. "But more importantly I made a lot of new friends there and I enjoyed hanging out with them. I'm talking to them on the phone and staying in touch. It was a great experience."

Michael was supposed to take his road show from Florida to Baton Rouge to participate in the LSU elite camp last week. However, Michael did not make it to Louisiana after staying in Florida an extra day.

"I was supposed to go to the LSU camp, but I stayed in Florida an extra day and missed the camp," Michael said. "I still want to visit LSU before I make a final decision, and I'm talking to the coaching staff to set something up. They wanted me to come up Tuesday, but I can't do it."

The coveted running back still plans to make a decision in August before the season starts, but in addition to an unofficial visit to LSU, Michael also intends to visit Texas A&M one more time before he announces his commitment.

"I still want to visit Texas A&M before I commit," Michael said.

The Aggies have been high on his list from the start. In fact, he briefly committed to Texas A&M in February after his first junior day visit but quickly backed off that commitment to open up the recruiting process. However, his feelings for Aggies haven't changed and he's built a strong relationship in the process with the coaching staff.

"The coaching staff is great. They care about me personally and have always been right there in my recruitment," Michael said. "The staff has incredible knowledge about the game, but beside that they are good, sincere people."

Michael stopped short of saying that his recruitment is a two horse race between LSU and Texas A&M, but he did say that he's unlikely to take other visits to his finalists like Texas, OU, and Nebraska before ending the process.

"I was planning to go to Texas, but I don't think that will happen now. I don't know if I have the time," Michael said. "It will probably be just A&M and LSU. I'm close with the A&M coaches, and LSU is such a good football program and they are both close to home."

Going into his final round of unofficial visits, does the Beaumont native list an odds-on favorite to acquire his verbal pledge in August?

"I don't know. That's a tough question," Michael said. "But I'd have to say that Texas A&M has the upper hand right now."

If all goes as scheduled, look for a mid-August decision from the lone star state's highest rated running back. Will he stay in his home state of Texas and play for the Aggies or venture across the Sabine River to play for Les Miles and the LSU Tigers? Could a sleeper like OU, Nebraska, or Texas surprise everyone? We'll learn the answer to that question shortly.




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