Christian Transfers To West Virginia

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

After three years at Pitt, and graduating from Pitt, Cullen Christian will transfer to West Virginia. He will go on scholarship, where he will be enrolled as a graduate student and be eligible to play in 2014.

After three years at Pittsbugh, Cullen Christian will be transferring to West Virginia.

Christian graduated from Pitt on Sunday, earning his degree in Administration of Justice. He will go on scholarship at West Virginia, where he will be enrolled in graduate school pursing a Masters in Sports Management.

"I know where I wanted to go after I graduate, and I'm going to West Virginia," Christian said. "This is something I'm looking forward to. I've already started conditioning, and getting ready. I went to the spring game, which was cool. I got to meet the coaches. I'm going to go there this week and get my apartment set up this week. I'll start school on (May) 19th."

Christian transferred to Pitt in 2011, after playing as a true freshman at Michigan. After sitting out the 2011 season, due to the transfer rule, he started the first two games of the 2012 season, including the Cincinnati game where he had two pass breakups.

Christian will be reunited with defensive backs coach Tony Gibson for a third time in his career. Gibson initially recruited him to Michigan. Gibson was his position coach at Pitt in 2011, the year he sat out. He's glad to have one more opportunity to play for a guy he's had a tremendous amount of respect for, his whole career.

"From the first time I met him, I knew he was a down to earth guy," Christian said. "He relates to his players, he gets it. The main thing, he puts everybody on the same level. Whether you're a senior or freshman, the guy who deserves to be on the field is on the field. At Michigan, he never laughed at me. He always kept it real. When I got to Michigan, everything was exactly what he said. Everything was good. I could pretty much trust him. That's a unique characteristic to have of a coach."

Christian is reunited with another familiar face in Tom Bradley, who was added to the West Virginia staff this offseason.

"I didn't know about Bradley when I went up there, but that will help," Christian said. "Gibby is one of the main reasons I chose West Virginia, and one of the main reasons I came back to Pitt. I'm happy I get the opportunity to play for him. They play the 3-3-5 defense, with five DBs. I'll probably play the spur position."

Attending the spring game was also a factor in choosing West Virginia.

"I'm trying to enjoy my time with this, trying to play in front of a big crowd, win some games," Christian said. "From what I've seen, when I went down for the spring game, the atmosphere was real different. I was expecting it be empty. I wasn't expecting it to be close to Michign, but it was. Definitely, it's a good feeling."

Christian has at least one year of eligibility at West Virginia. He could pursue an additional year of eligibility, since he only played in two games in 2013. After submitting a list of schools to be released to, Pitt blocked West Virginia, Arizona State and Akron. After an appeal, Pitt only blocked Arizona State.

Christian said that Paul Chryst asked him to think about it, but his mind was made up.

"All I had to do is graduate, but I asked for my release," Christian said. "At first, (Chryst) asked me to take a break, but I already knew I was going to leave. I wanted to graduate. I came in towards the end of the season, and I wanted to transfer."

Christian has certainly seen a lot in his college career, at his previous stops, with all these coaching changes. It should prepare him well for his Masters in Sports Management. He even talked about what he'd like to pursue after his playing days are over.

"I might go on and be a football coach, but I could really see myself becoming a trainer, doing something like that," Christian said.

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