Step onto the campus at Revere High School and it’s hard not to recognize Ben Christman.
The 6-foot-6 and 299-pound junior offensive tackle has been all the buzz for the Minutemen football team for the past 10 months.
And why not?
With a frame built for the college game and a disposition that’s hard not to be impressed with, Christman is as large as the 25 Division I college offers he has.
“You kind of get used to it,” Christman, 16, said. “Everyone is going to say you’re a big guy. I like it. It doesn’t bother me too much. I treat everyone the same. I knew I was always going to be tall. In between those white lines I was always taught to have the mentality that I’m not going to let him get through me. That’s the way I think every day.”
Christman, whose father is 6-5 and 280 pounds, was 6-foot and 185 by the time he was in sixth grade.
With a game that plays larger than life, he’s drawn the attention of college coaches Urban Meyer, Ryan Day and Nick Saban just to name a few.
Cincinnati was the first to offer him a scholarship on Oct. 8 last year. Since then Ohio State, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Wisconsin have joined the throng wanting his service.
He committed to the Buckeyes on June 26 and hasn’t looked back.
With a resume like that, it could be excused if Christman let it go to his head even a little bit, but that’s not what he’s all about.
He’ll be the first to tell you that wasn’t the way he was raised and, to a man, his teammates and coaches will echo those words.
“This is my 36th year of coaching and he’s probably one of the better linemen that I’ve ever been around,” Revere coach Terry Cistone said. “He’s big. He moves around. He’s strong. He works hard. The confidence they have in him, they’re not worried about missed assignments. The thing that’s nice about Ben is he’s the leader of that offensive line. He works his tail off. What impresses me is how well he moves for his size.”
“He’s good with the team and very level-headed. He takes coaching pretty well and listens. I could see how it could go to his head. You have Nick Saban calling you and all these Division I coaches but he’s pretty grounded.”
He’s also a monster in the trenches.
The Minutemen posted a 6-4 mark last season. That record not only tripled the win total from the previous season, but was the first winning season Revere had since 2009.
A lot of that is because of the work Christman put in to keep the offense safe.
“It makes my job a lot easier with him at left tackle,” said quarterback Nate Klonowski, who will be playing behind Chrisman for the third season in a row. “I don’t have to worry about my blind side or getting hit in the back. He makes the line better every day. He pushes them. It’s great. He’s about to be a three-year starter. I have all the trust in the world in him. There’s not a little bit of doubt in me.”
Klonowski passed for 1,927 yards and 16 touchdowns last season.
Running back Brandon Trocano, who will tote the ball behind Christman for the third season, knows a good chunk of his yardage comes as a result of his tackle opening truck-sized holes in front of him.
“With his size, his ability and his feet, he’s able to move quickly and keep his block,” Trocano said. “It makes my job a heck of a lot easier. He’s always got his man beat no matter who’s across from him. He’s developed a lot. When he faces hard times, he gets through it.”
Trocano rushed for 973 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
Christman helped to pave the way as the Minutemen tallied 3,928 yards of total offense.
It's that camaraderie and competitiveness that keeps Christman moving.
He knows he’s going to get every defender’s best as they try to prove they can play at his level.
That’s what Christman wants. It’s what he expects and it’s what he thrives for.
“I love that,” Christman said. “I love competing. I love having that target on my back. I had that when I didn’t have any offers and was just a big guy. I love the competition. I’m all for it. It can be challenging a lot of times, but I focus on what’s ahead of me.”