Former Calhoun High School running back Dustin Christian has some classwork to complete this fall. Upon doing so, Christian said, he will sign with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and enroll in January.
“I’m getting grayshirted, so what I’m going to have to do is take one more class, online, and then I’ll report up at UTC second semester,” said Christian, who last fall led the Yellow Jackets to their third straight GHSA Class AA state championship game and was the Times Free Press’s North Georgia Player of the Year.
The 5-foot-9, 185-pound Christian, rated a two-star prospect by Scout.com, committed to UTC last December. He didn’t sign with the Mocs due to uncertainty over whether he would qualify academically.
If Christian is able to enroll in January, he could participate in winter workouts and spring practice and have four years of eligibility remaining. His five-year collegiate eligibility window doesn’t start until he’s enrolled as a full-time student.
“It’ll be hard to miss [the 2011 season], but I know it’s going to motivate me to work really hard in the weight room,” Christian said
A three-year starter, Christian rushed for more than 4,000 yards in his Calhoun career, including 1,636 yards with 24 touchdowns as a senior.
The Mocs have two running backs in their incoming freshman class: Norcross (Ga.) High School’s Kendrix Huitt (rated 3 stars by Rivals.com) and Marquis Green of Palmetto (Fla.) High School.
The status of the Mocs’ top returning rusher, Keon Williams, remains uncertain. Williams, who ran for 500 yards as a freshman in 2010, was put on probation for two years last month after pleading guilty to simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Mocs coach Russ Huesman said this week that he and Williams will sit down later this month and determine the former Red Bank all-state back’s future with the program.
If Williams is suspended for the 2011 season — a possibility since he still has a redshirt year available — the Mocs’ only returning backs will be junior Chris Awuah and redshirt junior J.J. Jackson.
In 2012, however, UTC could have a very crowded backfield that includes Awuah, Jackson, Williams, Christian, Huitt and Green.
John Frierson is in his fifth year at the Times Free Press and fifth year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...