NCAA FCS Football Statistics – Individual
Through games of October 22, 2016
|National Rank||3rd||Taryn Christion||7||236||156||3||2128||24||172.9|
|Points Responsible For Per Game||G||PASS TD||RUN TD||PTS||PPG|
|National Rank||3rd||Taryn Christion||7||24||2||156||22.3|
Taryn Christion is 15 games into his college career and he has quickly, and in his own somewhat quiet way, turned into one of the best offensive players in the Football Championship Subdivision.
He is a defensive coordinators worst nightmare and a wide receivers best friend.
“He’s a dual threat,” says SDSU senior wideout, Connor Landberg. “He can run the ball, too. So defenses aren’t just concerned with his throwing and passing. They have to sit in there because you never know if he is going to pull the ball and run it. So it’s great that he has that attribute to him. It really helps out us with the receiving corp.”
“There is great chemistry among Taryn and all the receivers,” adds Jackrabbit head coach, John Stiegelmeier. “Whether it’s Connor making a few catches or those other guys making all the catches… they’re on the same page.”
Christion appreciates that connection, as well.
“I’ve been off target more often than I would like,” he admits. “But they always come down with it. Connor made that catch. Dallas (Goedert) made the one-handed catch. Jake (Wieneke) leaping over people all the time. So I know if they’ve got one on one we’ve got a good chance even if I just throw it up and don’t make a really good pass.”
He has missed some, of course, but his completion percentage is 66% so far this season which is currently 9th out of 150 quarterbacks in the FCS. It is also up from 55% last year when Christion was good, but still green.
“Last year as a true freshman he was very mature,” says Stiegelmeier. “The game has slowed down for him this year. He‘s not taking as many chances running the ball.”
That’s right! Christion finally learned how to slide at the end of a run this year. And he laughs when asked about it.
“I got some grief about it last year because I would hit guys and bounce back. It wasn’t like high school where I could hit guys and still fall forward. So in the off-season the coaches gave me some grief about it. So just keeping myself safe and I know I kind of bummed myself up in the TCU game. I rolled my ankle. So when I get down I’m not getting hurt. It’s good for me, it’s good for the team and it keeps guys out of my ear.”
The Jackrabbits first got in his ear and got serious about recruiting Christion in the summer of 2013 after his sophomore year of high school at Sioux Falls Roosevelt.
“It was one of the first college camps I had been to. I remember talking to Coach E (Eric Eidsness) and Coach Jackson and they just wanted to see me in person… see my throwing technique and how I moved and flexibility and stuff like that. And after camp I talked to Coach Stig and he said they were going to offer me a scholarship and just rode from there.”
There were other offers. During the recruiting process, Christion had high interest from FBS schools Ohio and Eastern Michigan. He made visits to Iowa and Iowa State and Minnesota. But all along he knew Brookings was where he wanted to be.
“I was going to go on a couple more visits before my senior year and one day I was just like: I know I want to be here. I know I want to be a Jackrabbit. I loved it. They loved me. I really felt at home. I knew my parents and my family could come watch my games. I wanted them to get this experience with me and it really just felt like home to me.”
And even an injury that kept him out for most of his last high school season did not deter either coaching staff or player from keeping their commitment.
“We had offered him a lot earlier than his senior year,” says a smiling Stiegelmeier, “so we believed in him and knew he would be a great quarterback. You can’t judge how hard a guy is going to work and Taryn has taken his God-given gifts and maximized them.”
Christion echoes those thoughts and says the injury in the third game of his high school season in 2014 did set him back, but only for a short time.
“Really I got hurt and hadn’t played football until I got here,” Christion recalls. “So no live reps. I hadn’t throw to receivers running full speed and seen a defense and live rush and stuff like that. So maybe it did a little bit but I don’t think it took too long. I still prepared for games in high school when I was playing to help our other quarterback get ready and help him be better from that standpoint. It was a tough time but I don’t think it really set me back. It never crossed my mind that I was never going to play football again. I had it in my mind that I might not play high school football again, but I knew there were bigger things to come.”