By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
January 15, 2015
Former Port Isabel Tarpon football player Christian Rodriguez is alive and well and doing fine as a student/athlete at Texas A&M Commerce. He is an offensive guard on the football team and is doing rather nicely as a student.
Rodriguez was in town over the holidays and sat for an interview with the PRESS at the athletic offices at Port Isabel High.
Rodriguez was a life-long resident of Port Isabel when he entered high school. As a freshman he was a lineman for the Tarpon JV team in the 2008 football season and moved up to the varsity squad as a sophomore for the 2009 season. He transferred to Los Fresnos in time for the 2010 school year and played on the Falcon varsity through the 2011 season and graduated from Los Fresnos High in the spring of 2012.
Rodriguez had not planned on or even thought much about attending college until the winter of his senior year at Los Fresnos. He thought his future, at least for a few years, was in the military.
“In high school I really didn’t see myself in college, especially playing football,” Rodriguez told the Press. “I’d planned on joining the Army. Around February of my senior year I started getting contacted by schools that were interested in having me come and play football. After those first few contacts I really started looking into the possibilities.”
Just days before signing day Rodriguez was contacted by Abilene Christian University. After a campus visit he had decided on McKendree University in Illinois. After meeting with representatives of the ACU program Rodriguez had a change of heart and he committed to Abilene Christian.
Things were going well until the spring season of his redshirt freshman year at Abilene Christian when Rodriguez tore his ACL. After carefully thinking through his options he decided to transfer to Texas A&M Commerce University.
The knee healed completely and the Div. II Texas A&M Commerce Lions won the Lone Star Conference title with a 9-3 overall record, 5-1 in conference.
Rodriguez was a tackle in high school and at Abilene Christian but was moved to offensive guard at A&M Commerce. He played at around 260 pounds in high school but weight room workouts allowed him to bulk up to 295.
In the classroom Rodriguez has a double major going; “… in criminal justice and political science. I’m a sophomore on the field but a junior academically because of my redshirt year.”
Rodriguez recognizes the opportunity that his football abilities gave him. “I’m only in college because of football. I see a lot of people today who struggle because they don’t have a college education. School has always been number one with me, so it’s not that hard for me to get motivated and finish my classes. I take about 15 hours every semester.”
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