It is a safe bet that Evans' head football coach Marty Jackson doesn't listen to much rap music.
Evans High School's Ryan Crislip is in the Athlete Spotlight.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
However, when Jackson recently discussed who might be an impact player for the Knights, he borrowed a saying from the hip-hop vernacular.
He said wide receiver Ryan Crislip is the "truth."
Crislip has lived up to his coach's billing early on this season.
The senior opened the season with two catches for 29 yards and a touchdown in a 35-7 win against Harlem.
He followed that performance with a five-catch, 148-yard day in last Friday's 32-20 loss to Jefferson County. His game, which included his second touchdown catch of the season, was the highest receiving-yard total by any player in the CSRA.
"I have had a pretty good season so far," Crislip said. "I just have to keep getting better to help the team."
Jackson is particularly high on Crislip because of his versatility.
Not only has he been the best receiver in the area so far this year, Crislip is a standout special-teams performer.
He had two punt returns of 40 or more yards in the game against Harlem that were called back because of clipping penalties.
"Sometimes those penalties will really spring a player loose," Jackson said. "The thing about those two calls is that they were behind the play. Crislip had already made his move. Those penalties were dumb and they negated great returns."
Crislip is also the Knights' starting punter, a position at which he achieved all-county honors last as a junior.
"I had never punted in my life before last year, but I had a soccer background," said Crislip, a lifelong soccer player. "I guess I have picked it up well."
Jackson said Crislip improved in a number of aspects over the summer, including his speed and route running.
"He was a good receiver last year but he was behind a couple guys," he said. "He has become so polished over the past year."
Even Jackson couldn't have predicted the statistical impact Crislip would have early in the 2004 season.
Crislip said he didn't set any individual goals this off-season but the stats he has put up have been nice.
"Really, I just wanted us to win more games than we have in the recent past," Crislip said. "That is more important than a few numbers."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.