I promised you a Christo Bilukidi Q&A (whether you asked for one or not), and here it is. The defensive tackle has been among the most consistent and productive players for Georgia State this season. He comes to Atlanta with an unusual football past. The son of a diplomat, Bilukidi was born in Angola and lived in France and Brazil before moving to Canada at the age of eight, where he has lived ever since. He can tell the rest.
Q: What was it like living in such disparate places?
A: I was young so it really didn’t bother me. it wasn’t like I was 14, 13. I had friends from the school I went to but it wasn’t too big. The only big transition from Brazil to Canada was the weather, going from real hot real tropical weather to a really cold moderate weather.
Q: You played only one year of high school football. How much did you know about the game?
A: Not a lick. When I got to Canada, I had played soccer and then when I got to high school, I played baskeball and I was really good at basketball. I was getting recruited by Canadian schools to play basketball. And then my final year, my senior year of high school, my football coach approached me and said, ‘Do you want to just try to play football?’ They didn’t have a really good team, so I said O.K. and I played and from there I liked the game.
(Some back story. As a senior, Bilukidi went to what sounds like a combine or exposure camp, where several FBS schools – Louisville, Akron, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Rice recruited him. I guess I’ve covered enough football that I’ve heard of things like this happening, but that’s pretty unusual – a guy playing his first year of football, in Canada, no less, getting attention from FBS schools.)
“The school that I was going to attend was Louisville. I was going to sign with them. They brought me out to an official visit, but then because the courses I took in Canada couldn’t transfer to a university in America, that’s the reason I had to go to junior college.”
(Some more back story, and this is something I bet happens a lot. The coach who had recruited Bilukidi placed him at Eastern Arizona College, but while he was there, he got fired and, ironically, is now coaching in the CFL. So his contact at Louisville got lost. The other schools that had recruited didn’t bother pursuing, apparently, because they figured he would end up at Louisville. Bilukidi said Morgan State and Buffalo also recruited Bilukidi out of JUCO. Defensive line coach Chris Ward recruited him for Georgia State and brought him in for a visit.)
“I saw the school, I met Coach (Bill) Curry. I felt blessed to be down here and that someone wanted to pick me up to play football.”
(This makes me wonder how many more slip through cracks like that. A lot, I bet.)
Q: When did you feel like you were a part of the team?
A: I think when Coach Curry mentioned me in [a team] meeting. I think the Lambuth game, I played every single down and he mentioned my name and just said, ‘A guy like Chirsto, playing every single down for a game, he played his heart out for us.’ That’s when I really felt like I’m part of this team. I’m really contributing to this team.
Q: If you had one play to get to the quarterback, what pass rush move would you use?
A: I like to bully whoever I have in front of me, whether it’s center, tackle or guard. If I have to bull rush and then rip ‘em off from there and then get to the quarterback, that’s probably my favorite move.
Q: Who’s the fastest player on the team?
A: It’d have to be between Demarius (Matthews) or Albert Wilson. I think Albert Wilson is faster because he’s more explosive down the field. When he gets a hole, he’s gone.
Q: Which player has the most game with girls?
A: Sidney (Haynes). We all call him Pretty Boy. He’s tall and he just has that pretty boy face. He keeps himself clean and he has nice clothes and stuff.
Q: What was the biggest culture shock coming to Atlanta?
A: Southern hospitality. It’s different. It’s kind of funny because I tell it to my friends always when I go back home, the colder the city, the more people have that mean look like they have in New York and the East Coast. But the more south you go, the more hot it is, the more friendly, people say hi to you. That’s a huge cuclutre shock moving from the north to the south.
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