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Big Chris, as they call Chrisdasson Saint Jean, is of Haitian decent, the son of immigrants.
Usually Haitian mothers are not too keen on their sons playing American football. They fear their son could get injured and most of the time they really do not understand the game of American football.
“She thinks it’s good and that it’s a good opportunity for me to go to college,” Saint Jean said. “My grades are good ... 3.4 [GPA].”
They call the 2024 tackle Big Chris for a reason. He has formidable size at 6-foot-7, 320 pounds.
Saint Jean received his first two scholarship offers from USF and Maryland last summer, but it’s been a bit quiet on the offer front since then.
He’s optimistic more offers will start trickling in, but also said it has been a bit frustrating.
“A little bit, but I just gotta keep on working hard,” Saint Jean said.
He’s had conversations with UCF offensive line coach Herb Hand and would love staying home to play for the Knights.
Saint Jean said he has taken advantage of having former NFL star Kenard Lang as his head coach. Lang played defensive line for 15 years in the league and knows the techniques it takes to block against a defensive lineman like himself.
“I’m learning little techniques of how to deal with things during a game,” Saint Jean said. “He knows like the counters and stuff. It’s good with him because you get to learn both sides of the ball.”
Lang says the sky is the limit for Big Chris.
The big fella is a solid run blocker with good hand technique, and his footwork and quickness are “above average,” Lang said, but, according to his coach, Saint Jean has one attribute that a lot of linemen do not.
“He bends real well. He’s a great knee-bender. Most guys his size can’t squat down and grab their toes without their heels coming off the ground. He has great bend and he has great length and he uses it,” Lang said. “He’s real flexible for a guy who is 6-7 and he’s more flexible than a lot of little guys.
“Also his footwork is nice for a big guy. A lot of times on a double-team he’ll be blowing them out of the water.”
Lang played with numerous big-time players during his NFL days and his time at the University of Miami, so he knows what it takes to succeed.
“Potential-wise, he reminds me of some of the guys I played with at Miami,” Lang said. “If I were to say one person, as far as his body build, he’s a lot like Bryant McKinnie [UM, 1999-2001].
“Bryant McKinnie might be like an inch or two taller, but that’s how [Saint Jean] is built. He’s also a great kid and has great work ethic.”