Cullen Christian, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound three-star cornerback from Penn Hills High School in Pittsburgh, Pa., has 12 scholarship offers but there’s really only one school that stands out in his mind – Michigan.
“I like the big time corners they’ve produced,” Christian said. “They always have a great defense and that’s one of the school that I’ve always loved. I just love the Blue and Maize.”
The Wolverines were Christian’s first offer last November and are still recruiting him the hardest. “I like all the changes at Michigan,” he said. “It’s coming up and I think the coaches will have them back on top. In the next few years they’ll be a top team again.”
Christian likes the Wolverines so much he says there’s now an “85-percent chance” he’ll end up at Ann Arbor. “Distance doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “I’d actually kind of like to get away and become my own man.
“I really like that they are showing me the most love,” he said. “I want to go where I feel that I’m wanted and needed and I get that feeling from Michigan. Plus, I know the coaches would get me in good shape to go to the next level.”
The Wolverines now lead solidly over Pittsburgh, Maryland, West Virginia, UCLA and Illinois. All of his favorites have offered.
The Bruins are actually another program that Christian says he’s always liked. “I loved their colors too,” he said. “They actually just offered me about two weeks ago. I was surprised they did because they are all the way on the West Coast. I’ve never been to California, so I’d like to go there and check them out.”
Christian plans on attending a practice at Pittsburgh on Wednesday (April 8). “I like how they run things at Pittsburg,” he said. “They don’t really waste any time during practice and everything has a purpose.
“Plus, I like how they don’t scream and yell but still stay on you and let you know when you mess up,” he said.
Christian, ranked as the No. 13 cornerback in the country by Scout.com, says he’ll also try to catch practices at West Virginia, Maryland and Illinois later this month. During the summer he plans on going to the Nike camp at Penn State.
He already attended a junior day at Ohio State but says the Buckeyes aren’t showing a lot of interest.
“I want to get some early playing time,” Christian said. “And go where they have good alumni support in case the NFL doesn’t work out. I want to go to a diverse campus and play where the coaches and players get along and are on the same page.”
Another coaching staff that stands out for Christian is West Virginia’s. “I talk to (offensive line) coach Dave Johnson a lot,” he said. “I’ve never been up there but he says I’d really like it. He also said they need big cornerbacks and that I could probably play as a freshman.
“Maryland also said that I could probably play early,” he said. “They have good coaches there too and a good history of winning.”
Christian finished his junior season with 35 tackles, two interceptions and one fumble caused.
“I can jump and have good quickness,” he said. “I have good movement and am smooth and have a great back peddle.
“I want to improve my speed,” Christian said. “That’s the main thing and I also want to make more of an impact when I hit. I need to be more physical when I tackle.”
He benches 245-pounds and can squat 315 20 times.
Christian reports a 2.7 core GPA and is taking the SAT in June.