After Mykael Wright left for the NFL and DJ James moved to Auburn, Oregon had a clear need for a quality plug-and-play corner, and they found that in Christian Gonzalez. Gonzalez, who lost five tackles last year, explained his decision to transfer to Oregon on Tuesday.
“I felt like it was time for me to leave Colorado and I went into the portal and did a few tours and saw here and I knew this was an opportunity so I grabbed it.” González said.
The Texas native followed his cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin from Boulder to Eugene. Martin has coached at many different Pac-12 schools and Oregon is the sixth school he has coached at in the Champions Conference.
Gonzalez’s prior relationship with Martin played a huge role in his decision.
Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez in spring practice
“I don’t even consider him a coach.” González said. “He looks more like my uncle. We just hang out, we play together, he plays through me. He plays in all corners. It’s just a family connection and it’s fun, it’s great. Gonzalez expanded on saying that Coach Meat is like his father away from home.
While Gonzalez and Martin’s relationship goes back a long way, Gonzalez also spoke about how head coach Dan Lanning made Oregon so appealing to him.
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“Coach Lanning is a great guy, Southern dude. (He’s) kind of like my freshman coach [Tyson] Summers there. They are close to each other. Gonzalez continued. “So he’s the same type of coach and he cares about his players, and it’s a real family feeling here.”
Gonzalez instantly becomes the Ducks’ most experienced cornerback. Even though he still feels young, he understands that he needs to step into some sort of leadership role to help the younger ones in their development.
“I feel like I’m stepping into a veteran role in this corner piece.” González said. “I am young, but I have experience. But it’s not something like that in the play. Everyone knows it’s a family. Everyone in the room is close, we are a brotherhood. People look out for each other and we all help each other. We all help each other learn and work.
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