Penn Hill SHS (Pittsburgh, PA)
**** - Position Rank: 3
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His Recruiting Story
Defensive coaches are always after the “lockdown” defender who can keep a receiver from getting off the line or cover the deep threat with the ability to go up and take the ball away at its highest point. Cullen is that lockdown cover corner. Christian, 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, goes by the nickname “Buck Nasty”, and the latter half describes his play and shows why he received as much attention as he did. A Pittsburgh native, it is no surprise that PITT was his first offer. Christian finished his 2008 season with a Second Team All- County bid featuring 35 tackles, two picks, four pass breakups and a forced fumble. Add a 4.4 40-yard dash, 40-inch vertical, 250 pound power clean and bench press and many will and did come calling. Following Cullen’s great play, and equally impressive camp performances, he received offers spanning the states, notable offers being from Florida, Alabama, Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State, Minnesota, UCLA, Michigan, Pitt, Maryland, Central Michigan, West Virginia, Purdue and Illinois. Good thing for the good guys, he was a fan of Michigan.
“I actually gave them (Michigan) a verbal commitment back in May, during their 7v7 passing camp. I told them that is where I wanted to go. I grew up as a Michigan fan and have always wanted to play there.”
Cullen has some room to fine tune his mechanics, but plays smart and rarely puts himself in a bad position. He has the size desirable at cornerback, plus fluid hips, quickness and football smarts that are going to make him a top Big Ten defensive back. Cullen uses arm length and frame well to jam receivers, and loves to press at the line. He constantly takes away inside routes, forcing receivers to the outside forcing them often into cover two situations. His hip swivel is well above average and his lengthy arms allow him to bat way balls that smaller cornerbacks can’t reach. He has an aggressive attitude, and if he gets beat he is right back on it the next down ready to compete. Cornerback is a tough position, and even harder for a true freshman. With that said, we would not be surprised to see him on the field in some nickel and dime packages, nor will we be shocked if he is earning conference honors later in his career. He has average speed, but his length and jamming capabilities, along with his turn and acceleration are going to keep receivers from catching the ball. His physical style will also allow him to jump in on run support. Bottom line is he is the total package at cornerback, and one the best in the 2010 class, and he will make a huge impact in the Big Ten.