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Tag:Cullen Christian
Posted on: May 10, 2011 12:05 pm
Edited on: May 10, 2011 12:07 pm
 

Buckeyes' Bell to transfer to Pitt

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

As headlines at Ohio State go these days, one delivering news no worse than that a reserve linebacker already suspended for the entirety of 2011 has elected to transfer might be downright welcomed, just for being something less than catastrophic.

We'll hope so for those beleagured Buckeye fans' sake, since that headline has arrived. According to 247Sports affiliate Bucknuts, redshirt sophomore linebacker Dorian Bell -- after being suspended for the 2011 season for repeated violations of the same team rule -- will transfer closer to home at Pitt rather than wait to be reinstated in Columbus in 2012.

That choice ends a brief, disappointing Buckeye tenure for Bell, who arrived at OSU out of Monroeville (Pa.) as one of the nation's hottest linebacking recruits. But Bell was forced to take a surprising redshirt in 2009 and played in a limited role in 2010. He had been expected to challenge for one of the two vacant starting positions in the Buckeye linebacking corps this fall, but the suspension ended any chance of that and Bell decided to move on.

The good news for Ohio State is that Bell's decision does nothing to change their outlook for 2011 (though the initial suspension did deal a minor blow to their depth in the LB unit) and would seem to have only minor repercussions down the road ... unless Bell blows up at Pitt. Panther fans will hope that the change of scenery helps him reach his five-star potential--as they have similar hopes for other recent Pittsburgh-area-recruits-turned- transfers-home Cullen Christian (from Michigan) and Brandon Felder (from North Carolina).

And in the meantime, the Buckeyes will hope this is as bad as the news this week gets.




Posted on: April 25, 2011 12:56 pm
 

Ex-Michigan CB Christian transferring to Pitt

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Apparently the Ann Arbor-to-Pittsburgh exodus isn't just for coaches.

Earlier this year, new Pitt coach Todd Graham took full advantage of Rich Rodriguez's dismissal to hire away three different former Wolverine assistants. It's a decision that's already paying dividends where the Panthers' roster is concerned, according to this report at Scout.com; thanks in part to his familiarity with new defensive backs coach Tony Gibson, former four-star recruit and 2010 Michigan cornerback Cullen Christian has elected to transfer to Pitt.

For the Panthers, it's a welcome addition to a 2012 secondary that finished 19th in the country in pass defense a year ago but has its work cut out for it under Graham, thanks both to the Panthers' new defense-straining no-huddle offense and a 2011 two-deep that could feature as many as four seniors. Christian (like virtually every member of Michigan's 2010 pass defense) didn't do much to stand out as a true freshman in Ann Arbor, but did see action in 11 games and recorded six tackles.

A Pittsburgh native, Christian's return home and ability to continue working under his original position coach could see him fulfill the potential that made him one of Pennsylvania's most sought-after prospects in the class of 2010.

But where Michigan is concerned, it's yet another blow to a secondary that's already sustained a decade's worth of blows the past few seasons. The Wolverine pass defense was already in tatters last August, and that was before Troy Woolfolk missed a season with a serious ankle injury, Vlad Emilien left the team, Jared Van Slyke broke his clavicle, Ray Vinopal left the team ... you get the picture. Christian's decision not only deprives Brady Hoke of a much-needed scholarship body at corner, but of the highest-ranked recruit remaining in the entire secondary.

It's not a pretty picture for the Wolverine pass defense. But don't expect an unproven, first-year staff like Graham's to have much sympathy.

 
 
 
 
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