Reports came circling in to the Sons of Montezuma team about a possible transfer RB coming in from a Pac-12 school. Some of our friends among the USC fanbase alerted us to Kenan Christon the local talent out of Madison High last month and we were astonished at this possibility. On Tuesday Kenan and SDSU made the official announcement, Christon was now an Aztec4Life.
Listed at 5-10 185 pounds, as a senior in 2018 at Madison High here in San Diego, Kenan ran for 980 yards on 127 carries (7.7 avg) with 11 TD.
But to say Christon is a speedy back would be an understatement. Kenan Christon also made a name for himself as a track star. In 2019 Kenan was a champion tying the state meet record at 10.30 in the 100 and also winning the 200. He was named the 2019 Gatorade California Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Notably Kenan also competed in the long jump in addition to being a sprinter.
Kenan was a distinct runner earning all CIF San Diego first team as a senior. Coming out of high school, 247.com’s national recruiting analyist Greg Biggins had these words to say a about the back out of Daygo.
“Speed back with a strong body who can run between the tackles or take it outside. Elite sprinter who has clocked 10.5-100m and that speed shows up on the football field. Just needs a crack and he can take it the distance. More of a straight line guy right now, can be a little stiff and not super fluid and doesn’t show much wiggle. Explosive kick returner and should see the field early on special teams. Solid frame that could add good weight and can easily him playing at 200 pounds without losing any of his top end speed. Plans to run track in college as well. Projects as an impact upper tier Power 5 starter and future mid-late round NFL draft pick.“
It wasn’t long that he accepted the scholarship to USC and had become a Trojan. In his freshman season he climbed from #5 in the depth chart to earn many backup opportunities. He even was awarded a starting role vs the University of Arizona in which his 144 all-purpose yards (62 yards on 20 carries and 82 yards on 4 catches with 2 TDs) was enough to earn Pac-12 freshman of the week honors.
According to USC records, Kenan’s follow-up season he saw action as a backup sophomore tailback in 2020. Overall appearing in only 5 games (all but Oregon), he ran for 70 yards on 10 carries (7.0 avg) and caught 2 passes for no yards (0.0 avg). He often was deep on kickoffs but did not return a kickoff.
By the time his junior season came in 2021, things began to get cloudy. A dispute with a fellow student seemed to be an issue that sidelined the once promising football star. All official reports indicated the matter was handled between the two students privately and no further incidents resulted from the issue. But Christon was found on the outside looking in, to the Clay Helton coached USC football team when he was suspended for a full year and the possibility of more if not for an appeal.
Shortly after Kenan decided to enter the transfer portal.
As this 2022 season vastly approached, there were no shortage of programs in search for running back talent. Reportedly in the mix for Kenan was Nevada, Washington State and San Diego State.
With speculation reaching a fever pitch when Kenan’s father released this tweet indicating his sons choice had possibly been made to come back home, Aztecs nation was excited to see another local stud looking for redemption in America’s finest city.
So what does this do for the Aztecs offense?
Running backs coach Jeff Horton and Offensive coordinator Jeff Hecklinski have now stockpiled the running back room with a stable of thoroughbreds. With returning super seniors Chance Bell and Jordan Byrd the Aztecs have experienced & explosive ball carriers.
Both have very contrasting styles however. Bell the more furiously violent dash & blast you in the chest runner—while Byrd has the ability to take any carry around the edge or bolt through a tiny hole all the way to the endzone.
Meanwhile #4 on our SDSU Football’s Ten Biggest Impact Newcomers For 2022 Jaylon Armstead brings with him the promise of a bashing move the chains kind of runner between the tackles.
Meanwhile, underclassmen Cam Davis and new freshman sensation Lucky Sutton figure to get more experience in the system while competing for opportunities.
The open slot for Christon to step in and compete for a meaningful chance to contribute is as attractive as ever. His explosive speed and toughness we already know translates to this FBS level of competition. With his days in the failed USC “Air Raid-ish/Spread” offense long behind him, Christon can now see what he can do in an offense with some balance to it.
With the dedication SDSU has in running the ball, there won’t be any shortage of opportunities. And with either Braxton Burmeister or Will Haskell Jr. behind center the offense, in theory, should have more weapons and more style options to keep defenses at bay.
Kenan just very well may be the perfect kind of runner to step in and replace the likes of Greg Bell, who is competing at the NFL level with the Detroit Lions camp this fall. Greg was undoubtedly the Aztecs bell cow back the last two seasons. However Christon possesses more explosive breakaway potential.
Will Christon be able to pick up the new offense and all the nuances of running within the zone read offense that the Aztecs running game now operates. Can he be just as effective between the tackles and making that one move to gash the defensive line? Can he be the perfect blend of speed, power and be able to pass block when called upon in those situations?
Much to wait and see for—but one things for sure, young Keanan has been waiting for this new opportunity to put on the helmet again. Don’t be surprised to see him shoot right out of a canon and his cleats dig up some of that newly planted stadium grass turf with how excited he will be.
The perfect homecoming for the Madison WarHawk to make his mark as an Aztec is here. Stay tuned as more information comes to light with this exciting new addition to the 2022 SDSU Football team.