COLE CHRISTIANSEN | Army | IB | #54 | SR | 6006 | 230 | 0978 | 3148 | 7458 | 4.60v | Suffolk, VA | Nansemond-Suffolk Academy | NFLPA Bowl
Overview: A compact, hard-nosed, tough-minded cadet, Christiansen plays with an extremely high motor and has a knack for constantly showing up around the football. Don’t be fooled by his laid back, calm demeanor, the two-time team captain was a vocal leader on the field for the Black Knights. As a linear athlete who covers a lot of ground laterally, he has shown to be a smooth athlete who has no problem redirecting in space. Has worked relentlessly on his ability to drop back in coverage, something he is not asked to do often but an area where he made great strides in this past season and continues to be a work in progress. He’ll be training at TEST Football Academy leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft. With his all out style and solid athletic profile, Christianson should serve immediately on several special teams units at the next level. HIs combination of effort, athleticism and instincts make him a potential late round value.
Background: Born in Smithfield, Virgina, before moving to the farm in Suffolk at eight years old; has one sister. Grew up on a farm with over 100 horses and learned to appreciate hard work. Spent much of his time at Virginia Beach and Norfolk growing up on the water. Has been playing football since the third grade. Was first introduced to West Point through Old Dominion University at a football camp. The workouts and camp would lead him to an offer from Army’s defensive coordinator Jay Bateman, who was working the camp that Christiansen participated in. A four-year letterwinner and a three-year captain at running back and linebacker for Nansemond-Suffolk Academy under coach Lew Johnston; three-time All-State and All-Conference. All-time tackle leader for the VISAA with 436 career stops; also played three years of lacrosse and was a team captain as a senior. Was a member of the honor council and enjoys fishing, boating and being at the beach. The grandson of a 32-year Air Force veteran, he’ll enter the field artillery branch of the Army upon graduation.
Q&A: Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? When did you begin playing football and when did you realize that you have a passion for the game of football? I grew up on a horse farm in Suffolk, VA and I began playing football in the third grade. My father played football and told me that I could keep playing in college and the pros, if given the opportunity, it would be the greatest experience of my life. After a year of Pop Warner I was hooked and knew I wanted to play at the highest level I could.
Q&A: What type of leadership intangibles do you bring to the table? Explain your leadership style. If there is one thing West Point provides it is a superior leadership development program. I have trained to become an officer in the United States Army for four years and have commanded multiple cadet companies of 120-plus soldiers. I am also a two-year captain on the football team and have had the privilege to be a leader of leaders. My teammates are the best leaders I have ever met, so it has been a tremendous experience for me to lead them onto the field. My leadership style is continuously evolving but I will always value every individual in the organization. I strive to be approachable and likeable but am firm when necessary. It has been interesting leading in military environments with a chain of command and transitioning to a football team of direct peers. I have learned that you cannot use the same leadership techniques on everyone because everyone perceives what you say differently. It is always my goal to have gravity and inspire trust when I speak and through my actions.
Q&A: Name a point during your college career when you had to overcome adversity. What did you learn from that experience? I have experienced the deaths of five classmates since I have been at West Point. Several from training accidents, one suicide and a teammate of mine was killed in a car crash. I had not experienced death before I got here and it was traumatic to have so much in such a short time. I learned from their deaths however, how quickly an organization can rally or crumble. Fortunately, I saw my team and my institution come so close to each other and accomplish more than any of us thought possible. Through hardship there is growth and through shared hardship there are bonds formed that last forever.
Career: In 44 career games, registered 275 tackles (153 solo), 20.5 tackles for loss, three and a half sacks, five pass deflections, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. In 2019, finished with 112 tackles (63 solo), three and a half tackles for loss, two and a half sacks and two forced fumbles; three-year starter.