Chris Chukwuneke is a beast on the field for Peddie High School in New Jersey. At 5-11, 185 pounds, he is a game changer with the ball in his hands. He leads his team in not only rushing yards but receptions as well. Chukwuneke reclassified to 2018 after committing to the Wildcats last recruiting cycle and his recruiting is now reopened. There are not many backs in the nation with his elusive burst and the vision to see the hole and burst right through it.
Leader Johnson: What made you reclassify to 2018?
Chris Chukwuneke: Just more opportunities. I felt as if I didn't put my all into the 2017 year, not only athletically, in the weight room, etcetera, but also in the classrooms. I feel like this year, with me being a lot more focused, doors that were shut before will open up.
Leader Johnson: Do you still hold Villanova as one of your top schools and what are your top schools?
Chris Chukwuneke: Yeah, ‘Nova will always be a high team in my mind regardless of situation. They were really the first team to believe in my abilities. As of now, I don't really have any “top” schools.
Leader Johnson: What is your focus on right now and what schools are pursuing you the hardest?
Chris Chukwuneke: I've just been focusing and working and getting stronger and bigger for the upcoming season but as far as pursuing, it would be Rutgers. Me and coach Hewitt talk almost every other day. UConn and Bryant University have been texting me regularly.
Leader Johnson: What do you like about Villanova?
Chris Chukwuneke: What stood out to me was the academics and direction they were heading. They just finished building a new end zone facility and updating the weight room so you can just tell they are serious about wanting to win another national title.
Leader Johnson: What do you think of Coach Ferrante?
Chris Chukwuneke: Great guy, very down to earth. You can tell he cares for each individual kid outside of football.
Leader Johnson: Who recruited you?
Chris Chukwuneke: Coach (Ola) Adams. (Laughs) That is the boy.
Leader Johnson: Do you still talk to any Villanova players from the 2017 class?
Chris Chukwuneke: I was still in the group chat for a long time, but life moves on. They added a new running back who I hear is a heck of player so I didn't want to still be there while he was trying to incorporate himself into the group.
Leader Johnson: What is your 40 time?
Chris Chukwuneke: 4.6 laser.
Leader Johnson: I heard a lot about you .. went past me until I saw your tape. You jump out as a pure playmaker even at safety. What position do you like the most?
Chris Chukwuneke: (laughs) Thank you. I’ve been playing running back my whole life so it naturally comes easier to me but last year during the camp circuit, I took a liking to playing defensive back. Being on an island with a top tier wide receiver, it brings out the best...the experience is just riveting.
Leader Johnson: New Jersey has a pool of talent that people don’t see because its so packed - like Rob Rolle. I see you in that boat. Do you play with a chip on your shoulder?
Chris Chukwuneke: (laughs) That just comes with being born in Jersey, every baller embraces it. I've always had something to prove since I backed up my older brother freshman year. But this year, I guess you can say there's a more 'serious' chip on my shoulder than before - just having another chance to prove some critics wrong and turn some coaches heads, i'm itching for it.
Leader Johnson: What type of running back do you consider yourself?
Chris Chukwuneke: An every down type back … sort of like a Bell or a Tevin Coleman. If you need me out wide in the slot, I can do that for you and present a matchup problem for linebackers. I don't look to bounce it too much - just be patient and hit the hole when it's there.
Leader Johnson: Do you plan on visiting Villanova any time soon?
Chris Chukwuneke: I don't have any visits planned as of now but i'll probably look to get back up there more toward the middle of the summer.
Leader Johnson: Have you looked at Villanova football team and thought about your future and what you could add to this impressive bunch?
Chris Chukwuneke: Yea, the ‘Nova guys, we were all close. I was looking forward to seeing what me and Kyle McCloskey could have done together but everything happens for a reason.
Leader Johnson: What were your numbers last season?
Chris Chukwuneke: Rushed for 1000 yards with 10+ touchdowns.
Leader Johnson: What type of player is a team getting with Chris Chukwuneke?
Chris Chukwuneke: A player whose going to come in compete and make an immediate impact. That is what I look towards doing when I step foot on campus.
Leader Johnson: Great talking to you Chris.
Chris Chukwuneke: Thank you!
Follow Chris Chukwuneke on twitter: @_chrischuk1
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