By Matt Goisman
SAVANNA — Throughout his youth and high school football career, Savanna senior Christian Preston had always been a two-way player.
If giving up one aspect of the game meant an opportunity to play college ball, Preston happily made the switch.
Preston signed his Letter of Intent to play for Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant on Wednesday at Savanna High School.
He said he’s expected to play safety for the Savage Storm.
“I’m going to like it better, because I like defense a lot better,” Preston said. “I like hitting people instead of being the guy that gets hit.”
Southeastern is an NCAA Division II school in the Great American Conference. The Savage Storm went 2-9 in 2013, but Preston still chose SOSU over East Central University in Ada, the other school Preston said heavily recruited him.
“I liked the program better, and I liked the coaching staff better,” Preston said of SOSU. “I felt like they’re more of a family instead of like a business.”
Durant is located 67.7 miles southwest of Savanna along US-69. Preston said he’s been to Durant several times.
“It’s nice; it’s classy,” Preston said of Durant. “It’s original. Feels like home — not too big, not too small.”
Preston said he really started thinking about playing college ball as a sophomore two years ago. He said Southeastern started showing interest in him after he attended an offseason football camp in Durant.
“It’s a dream come true,” Preston said. “Hard work and effort pays off in the end.”
As a one-way defensive player for SOSU, Preston said he expects playing college ball will improve his football knowledge.
“I’m pretty smart in football, but down there when we went to the private recruiting deal, their defense was a lot more complicated,” Preston said. “I’m ready to learn and succeed.”
Preston said he plans to major in occupational safety at SOSU. His grandfather, Curtis Graham, works for Flow Testing Inc. in Krebs, and Preston said he could see himself using his major in a career in the oil industry.
Emerging as a starting running back as a junior, Preston helped the Bulldogs go a combined 18-5 over the last two seasons, winning a district title in 2012 and a first-round playoff game in 2013. Throughout his high school career he recorded 17 interceptions and 210 tackles, winning District A-6 Defensive Player of the Year after the 2013 season.
Offensively, from 2011-2013 Preston rushed for 4,008 total yards, averaging 6.3 yards per carry. He rushed for 53 touchdowns during that same stretch.
Preston said he’ll miss the bonds he’s formed with his Savanna teammates.
But in Durant next year, he’s sure to form new bonds.
Contact Matt Goisman at firstname.lastname@example.org.