In a family of scholarship shortstops, Christian Evans dares to be different.
“I’ve always been more aggressive,” said Tecumseh High School’s high-energy fullback, who finds America’s pastime a bit too docile for his taste. “I like hitting people.”
Football — not baseball — is the sport of choice for Evans, the son of former Reds minor-leaguer Tony Evans and the younger brother of Ohio Dominican signee Tony Jr.
“I’ve had a passion for football ever since third grade, when I took out a lineman and thought that was the coolest thing ever,” Christian said with a grin.
Once the fastest kid on his Springfield Broncos youth team, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior now finds himself on the cusp of a gridiron dream.
Averaging 110.8 yards per game for the 3-4, 1-1 Arrows, Evans and his 4.5 speed have college coaches’ attention heading into tonight’s Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division matchup with unbeaten Tippecanoe (7-0, 2-0).
Bowling Green, Tiffin, Toledo, Dayton, Urbana and Miami (Ohio) are interested in the fleet-footed standout — a future medical sciences major with a 3.8 GPA who rushed for 1,352 yards and 21 touchdowns last year.
“I’ve gotten at least 20 e-mails from Harvard, too,” Christian said with disbelief. “I’m not kidding. They e-mail me every single day.”
One letter, in particular, caught him off-guard.
“The University of Cincinnati sent me something about playing baseball,” he said, rolling his eyes. “I was like, uh, I don’t play baseball.”
Christian, who doubles at linebacker, worked tirelessly this summer to improve his college stock, adding an extra training session to his two-a-day workouts.
He gained hip strength, quickened his lateral movement, and pushed his bench press from 275 to 330 pounds — all courtesy of Tramain Hall’s Enhance U Sports Academy.
“Evans has the opportunity to be a great college football player with his work ethic and speed. We’ve just got to find him the right spot,” said Tecumseh coach Kent Massie, whose young Arrows have weathered three unbeaten squads in Urbana, Shawnee and Cincinnati Northwest.
“The kid has a motor in him that just doesn’t stop.”
Named the 2012 CBC offensive player of the year, Christian has eight TDs and 665 yards through six games this season.
A deep thigh bruise at Vandalia Butler sidelined the speedster for the Arrows’ 47-24 setback to Northwest — their only three-TD loss of the year.
“I took a helmet between my thigh and knee pads and it really knotted up,” he said. “It was the most pain I’ve ever been in — worse than breaking a bone.”
Christian wasn’t yet 100 percent in a 42-28 loss to Urbana.
“We’ve had some kids dinged and banged up,” said Massie, whose teams have advanced to the Division II playoffs six of the past seven seasons, including five straight.
“This game (tonight) is a great opportunity for us to go out and surprise some people. … We’re 3-4 and fighting for our lives.
“Adversity introduces us to ourselves. I don’t like to lose, but at the same time, you learn a lot about people’s character. We’re finding out who we are.”