March 11, 2011

West Coast tight end sets FSU visit

Last season, Florida State hit a home run when they landed the No. 1 ranked tight ends in the country, Nick O'Leary. The 'Noles are hoping for a repeat performance with another tight end that is rising quickly up the charts - Lutheran's (Orange, Calif.) Christo Kourtzidis.

The west coast's best kept secret is soon to be known nationwide. The standout tight end previously held offers from Colorado, Washington and Washington State. But recently, he picked up an offer from a team thousands of miles away on the opposite coast - Florida State.

"I really like Florida State. I like the coaching staff a great deal and I already have a pretty good relationship with Coach Coley," Kourtzidis said. "He's a very high energy guy that loves Florida State. I can just feel that when I talk with him on the phone. So you know when he tells you something he truly believes it. He just lays everything out there about Florida State and what they are looking for. My dad will be coming to Tallahassee with me when I visit for FSU's spring game."

His April visit will mark only the second time Kourtzidis has visited the Sunshine State. He is excited about taking a closer look at Tallahassee and Florida State.

"I'm not a big city type of guy, so I'm interested to see what Tallahassee is like. I've only been to Florida once in my life and that was when we visited Orlando when played Pop Warner football," explained Kourtzidis. "It's also a great chance for me to meet a lot of the players and coaches, and build a stronger relationship with them. I really want to see how the players interact with the coaches, and with each other."

Kourtzidis is also looking forward to see how the tight ends are used in the Seminoles' offense and how he would be used if he decided to make FSU his final destination.

"You can't always get a perfect perspective with a spring game, but I'll be focused on seeing how FSU would use their tight ends and how they impact their offense as a whole," noted Kourtzidis. "I'm not the type of player that wants to be in an all-passing type offense, but not a strictly run-oriented either where I'm blocking all the time. I'm looking for team with a balanced offense."

As a junior, Kourtzidis hauled in 29 passes for nearly 300 yards and two touchdowns. His performance earned him first-team all-Trinity League honors

"I'm a big believer in studying a lot of film. It gives me a chance to know what to expect with my opponent," Kourtzidis said. "I do very well across the middle, especially against linebackers by utilizing my hands and route running. Not that my blocking is bad, but the receiving part of my game is a better strength at this stage in my career."

Although it is still early in the recruiting process, Kourtzidis has a pretty good idea about what he will be looking for when he makes his college choice.

"Distance isn't really an issue for me," he explained. "I'm looking for a team with a balanced offense. Also, I hope to major in physics, so academics is also something I'll be taking a close look as well."

As far a decision goes, Kourtzidis says that will just come down to when he feels right.

"I don't really have a set time or date for when I want to make a decision. I'm just going on each visit with an open mind," he said. "After a visit, if I feel that place is where I want to be, I will talk it over with my dad and go from there. It just comes down to a comfort level for me."

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