Spring practice continues to be an extraordinary recruiting tool for Bronco Mendenhall and his staff. After adding transfer offensive lineman Jared Cohen last week, the Hoos picked up another commitment from one of this weekend's visitors: three-star defensive lineman Tommy Christ from Sterling, Virginia.
Announcing my commitment pic.twitter.com/XWJi88KELe— Tommy Christ (@tschrist50) April 2, 2016
Christ is listed as a defensive tackle on most of the recruiting services, but at 6'5 and only 255 pounds, he seems more likely to play a utility D-line role—a run-stuffing defensive end or a pass-rushing inside tackle. He's rated a 3-star by Rivals and by 247, and both services have him in the top 30 Virginia prospects in the class of 2017. Nineteen other schools had offered Christ, including Pitt, West Virginia, Maryland, Cincinnati, and Navy.
One of the Virginia's best staying home to rep the VA! #HoosONBoard— Justin Anderson (@Coach_JJAnders) April 2, 2016
#HoosOnBoard ⚔ ⚔— Shane Hunter (@hotohunt09) April 2, 2016
Where Christ shines on tape is against edge/stretch run plays. He does a good job holding off the blocker and forcing the play toward the sideline. There are also moments he sets the edge and forces the runner back into defensive help. Christ has a nasty streak too that shows mostly on his offensive line highlights. He hits with aggression and plays to (at least) the whistle. There are definitely better athletes to have played defensive line, and the size advantage he has over the opponents in high school will be a thing of the past against ACC teams. But his combo of smart, high football IQ play with a clearly evident tenacity makes him look like a quintessential Mendenhall player.