It's tricky to have a more rollercoaster career in a four year span than Christine Michael. Flashes of supreme excellence were too frequently marred by unfortunate injuries and personal issues with the coaching staffs.
It's hard to understand why, but Aggie running backs (and frankly, other skill position players) have had odd regressions in their final year in the program. Courtney Lewis, Mike Goodson, and Jorvorskie Lane jump to mind on Aggie backs that showed immediate promise as soon as they arrived in College Station only to see their careers end with a relative fizzle.
C-Mike's challenges with his health and attitude are well-documented. In what was essentially a flawless team effort in the Cotton Bowl there was a palpable absence amidst the celebration - where was Christine Michael in his final game in the maroon and white?
It was an unfortunate ending for a guy with limitless potential and a physique carved from granite built to run a football at an elite level. Christine's legacy will largely be left with questions of "what if?" and "what happened?", but I'd like to take this opportunity to highlight the special moments (and there are many) for #33.
The Boy Named Sue Named Christine came to Aggieland as a consensus 5-Star running back out of Beaumont. To say that Michael passed the eye-test as a football player would be a cruel understatement. When you picture an elite running back, you think of someone that looks like Christine Michael.
As a freshman, Christine Michael made an immediate impact. He earned the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year from the league coaches and numerous news outlets. Michael led the team with 844 yards and 10 TDs. C-Mike also set a school record with a 97 yard scamper for a score over Baylor. Michael had an outstanding game in a program-accelerating win in Lubbock at night with 121 yards on 22 carries.
The sophomore season for Michael held a lot of hope and promise, but that was cut short by a very unfortunate leg break in the game against Texas Tech. The season started with promise as C-Mike tallied 631 yards on 126 carries and four TDs in the first eight games prior to the leg break.
Michael worked tirelessly in rehab to get back to form in the offseason leading into his junior campaign. He got off to a brilliant start and a 1000 yard season seemed imminent. After amassing 899 yards on 149 carries in his first nine games of the 2011 season, Michael succumbed to another brutal injury - this time to his knee - against OU. The junior year featured a 230 yard game with 3 TDs against Arkansas at Jerryworld. In games where he played, Michael averaged 99.9 yards per game and was one of the league and nation's best backs.
2012 brought a new coaching staff and new offense. How was Christine Michael going to fit into an Air Raid offense with other numerous unknowns? As it were, one of college football's best players ever was unveiled piling up silly numbers through the air and on the ground. Meanwhile, Christine Michael was facing off the field issues that led to benchings and suspensions. In the sparse times he saw the field, it was impossible not to notice the anger that C-Mike ran with in an effort to prove himself and see more action. For whatever reason, things never clicked between him and the new coaching regime. Michael only saw 88 carries on the year. Regardless, he still averaged 4.7 yards per carry for a total of 432 yards and 12 touchdowns. He shined in short yardage in the legendary win in Tuscaloosa and played with an earnestness that showed he cared about the team and his own future.
I believe in Christine Michael. In a very big way. It's hard to project what his NFL Draft fortunes will look like, but I believe a team is going to get a big steal when they get him. Michael has all the tools - he just needs to polish up some things - attitude maybe being the first priority.
Here's to Michael finding the right NFL situation for a lucrative, long career. Thanks for some excellent moments and performances in an Aggie uniform. GBH wishes you a hearty gig ‘em and all the best. Truck some fools in the League.
Arkansas 2011. Mother of God I have some horrible memories from this game. We lost, but it was of no fault of Christine Michael. He played balls-out and was the best player on the field. Take a look and try to forget the final score.