Cullen Christian considered West Virginia during his initial recruitment as a high school senior even taking an official visit before ultimately electing to pursue his college career elsewhere.
But now as a graduate student, the defensive back will have that opportunity to suit up for the Mountaineers after announcing his intentions to transfer and continue his playing career in Morgantown this fall.
"I visited there in high school and I had a good time up there and I really liked it," he said. "It was a real nice college campus and the only thing that really separated it was Michigan was a little bit bigger and Coach Gibson was there."
Christian, 6-foot-1, 210-pounds, originally signed with Michigan out of Penn Hills H.S. in the class of 2010 choosing his relationship with then lead recruiter Tony Gibson as one of the deciding factors. However, Christian would eventually leave the Wolverines football program before transferring to play for his hometown Pittsburgh Panthers.
But the one-time Rivals100 member realized that situation also wasn't going to work out and begin to think about other possible options to spend his graduate season.
"It's really a blessing to get another chance to play," he said. "I could graduate and get a fresh start and play somewhere else that I know I'll be comfortable with. I also could further my education."
Christian found that fit in a familiar place when he got in touch with Gibson, now with the West Virginia staff, after his release from Pittsburgh and started the process of attempting to spend the remainder of his career in Morgantown. The Mountaineers were the one program that he was in contact with the most through his courtship with potential destinations.
"We have a real good relationship going on. Since he's recruited me, he recruited me the heaviest out of anyone in high school. And it's been cool ever since," he said. "I didn't get a chance to play with him when he came to Pitt but now that he's at West Virginia he'll give me a fair chance to play."
The former four-star recruit will have one year of eligibility remaining and as a graduate student will be eligible to compete immediately this fall. However, due to the fact he spent the majority of last season injured Christian hopes that he could possibly reclaim another season down the line.
Christian expects to begin his career at the SPUR position with West Virginia but after talking with the coaches when he came on a visit for the spring game he could see time all across the secondary.
"They want me to come in and try to compete as an every down nickel back and safety," he said. "I'll probably get moved around a lot until they see what's best."
He plans to arrive at West Virginia around May 18 and is already looking forward to his time in Morgantown. Christian joins fellow Pittsburgh transfer Rushel Shell as players to switch to the other side of the Backyard Brawl but isn't thinking about that aspect, instead just the opportunity to continue his career.
"It was a great atmosphere for the spring game at West Virginia and I really enjoyed my time there," he said.