The ninth-ranked Cardinals welcomes Ohio into Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in just a few days for…
Christian 'just another weapon' for Cards
Before he played a down for the University of Louisville, tight end Gerald Christian built quite a reputation. The former transfer from the University of Florida drew comparisons to some of the top tight ends the Cardinals' had produced after a stellar season on the scout team and a solid spring performance. There were some who called the 6-foot-3, 245-pound Christian one of the team's top professional prospects. "He has a lot of talent," U of L offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said after the spring game for the Cardinals. It sure didn't take Christian long to make a difference, catching five passes for 74 yards and a touchdown last week against Eastern Kentucky. "It felt pretty good just to be back out there," Christian said. "It was tough to sit out and watch all of last season. I just had to keep working hard." In two games, Clark has seven catches for 85 yards and one TD. He's started both games at the tight end position for the Cardinals. "He's athletic enough that can move around and catch the ball and help us stretch the field and also block," Strong said. "He's an outstanding player. He worked really hard last year when he sat out on the scout team. "He's a real key player for our offense." Christian, who came to U of L with his close friend – wide receiver Robert Clark – after they left Florida, said he "learned a lot" by sitting on the sidelines for a year. He could practice with the Cardinals but could not play. "I just knew I had to work hard," he said. "Robert and I would watch every game together, even if they were on the road when we didn't travel. It was tough but I knew I wanted to make sure it was worth it." Christian was only targeted twice in the opener against Ohio U., catching two passes for just 11 yards. But with the tight ends being used more against EKU, Christian took advantage of an opening in the middle of the field. Against the Colonels, Christian caught five passes for 74 yards – including a 35-yard reception. He had a long reception called back because of a block in the back. "Scoring a touchdown always feel good," Christian said. "But I just wanted to get out there and just help the team and produce. It feels good." Christian is expected to become more involved in the coming weeks and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said he welcomes another weapon. "He's just another added weapon," Bridgewater said. "He's a great weapon and I want to use him more."
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