South Carolina CB Ahmad Christian to join Utes this fall, sit out one year
Former South Carolina cornerback Ahmad Christian will transfer to Utah this fall and be eligible to play in 2015, he told The Tribune by phone Wednesday night.
As a redshirt sophomore last season, Christian was credited with 18 tackles, two pass break-ups and one forced fumble. He played in every regular-season game and started once, against Georgia in Week Two.
It was reported that he was expected to compete for a starting spot in 2014, but he announced he was leaving the team before the Capitol One Bowl.
"It just was a matter of me and some of the coaches on the South Carolina staff didn’t see eye to eye on some things," he told The Tribune in June, when it was first reported that he would transfer. (The Tribune originally held off on the news, given uncertainty about his eligibility.)
He then enrolled at Seminole State College, near Orlando. Christian’s cousin put him in touch with Utah defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake, who sold Christian on the atmosphere at the U. and the opportunity to play man defense against the top receivers in the Pac-12.
Also courting Christian were the likes of UCLA and Miami, but Christian expects to be on campus this August and says he’s told other schools that he’s committed to the U.
Christian will still receive financial aid to work toward his degree while he sits out. He said Wednesday that he may study sports management.
He also played briefly for South Carolina’s baseball team and was drafted as a prep out of Jacksonville’s Trinity Christian Academy in the 46th round by the Milwaukee Brewers.
Utah told him he could play both sports, but he reiterated Wednesday that he prefers to focus on football from here out.
Christian is the latest one-to-play-one guy brought in by Ute coaches. This season, Utah wideout Kaelin Clay and safety Tevin Carter are expected to play key roles in Utah’s bid to return to bowl eligibility.
Asked if he has anything to say to Utah fans, Christian said: "I love the game. I promise you, I’ll make a lot of plays."
— Matthew Piper