Quarterback Lamar Jackson earned most of the attention on the football field at Louisville. But NFL scouts also had eyes on another Cardinal – Geron Christian of Ocala.
Christian, an offensive lineman, did the dirty work in the trenches that helped Jackson win a Heisman Trophy and be drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft by the Baltimore Ravens.
Christian, 21, was selected in Round 3 (74th overall) by the Washington Redskins. The Redskins have a deep, veteran offensive line, but couldn’t resist the 6-feet-5 inch, 300-pound tackle who graduated from Trinity Catholic High School.
“His strength has been pass-protection,” Bill Callahan, the Redskin’s offensive line coach, told the Washington Post. “He’s really athletic and he’s just starting to learn the ropes. This is all new to him.”
Christian has been getting plenty of first-team work in training camp and is happy to be in the NFL.
“I know a lot of people just don’t get the opportunity to just go in and play…” he told the Post. “So I’ve appreciated it. I feel I’ve done pretty good as far as learning the offense.”
Adjusting to football is nothing new for Christian. Growing up in Ocala, he was more interested in basketball. He was an all-star at Forest High School. He took up football as a junior at West Port and by his senior year was a national prospect as a tackle.
Christian had plenty of offers from Division I football powers but picked Louisville because his older brother, Gerald, played there as a tight end.
At Louisville, Christian played 39 games and was an All-ACC selection for three seasons. Then the pros came calling this year. Here is part of the scouting report on Christian from draftanaylst.com: “Athletic offensive tackle prospect with big upside. Bends his knees, displays power and knocks defenders off the ball. Makes proper use of angles and displays better-than-average range off the edge. Stays square and gets his hands into defenders. Explosive at the point, keeps his feet moving and jolts opponents with terrific hand punch. Plays with mobility and agility.”
Louisville Coach Bobby Petrino was happy to see Christian drafted so high.
“I’m thrilled for Geron to receive this tremendous opportunity to advance his career to the next level,” Petrino said at gocards.com. “He was a stabilizing force up front – the only player to start every game over the last three seasons on the offensive line.
“With Geron leading the way, our offense was able to put up record-breaking numbers and assist in producing a Heisman Trophy winner. I wish him all the best as he pursues his professional career.”
These days, Christian has more on his mind that just football. He recently posted a picture of his baby son on Instagram.
Now, Christian is ready to make his mark in the NFL.
“I’m ready to give my all,” he said.