• Height: 5-foot-10
• Weight: 175 pounds
• College interest: Football offers from UAB and Campbell, and talks also with Florida State and Duke, among others; track interest from Lehigh.
Is he a sprinter or a football player?
C.J. Fritz relished the idea of football as much as a cold shower. Or so he thought. Now a senior at McCallie, Fritz decided two years ago just to play basketball and run track.
“I had always been a basketball player and was known as a basketball player, and I didn’t see myself playing football in college, so I skipped my sophomore year,” he said. “After the year I didn’t play football, I figured out I really missed it.”
Ralph Potter, his football coach, thinks the 5-foot-10, 175-pounder is a college prospect as a football player and as a sprinter.
C.J. has athletic bloodlines. His father, Julius Sr., was a standout at Kirkman and went on to earn basketball All-America honors at Fort Valley State.
“He won the state 100 meters last spring with a time of 10.59,” the coach said of the starting receiver and cornerback, “and C.J. has developed mentally and physically since last season.”
Fritz got serious.
“I knew I was going to be a senior and that I wanted to be a leader, so I had to step up from last year,” he said. “I stayed in the weight room and on the field.”
Fritz has had talks with Lehigh, which is interested in his sprinting skills, and received football offers from Alabama-Birmingham and Campbell University. UAB has mentioned to him the possibility of running track, too. Fritz also is making plans to visit Florida State and Duke, whose coaches have talked with the McCallie staff.
Fritz’s interest in Duke may have been piqued because Blue Devils head coach David Cutcliffe was on campus and inquired about him. Fritz, though, always has liked FSU’s Seminoles.
“I really like Florida State because they always play fast and with a lot of heart,” he said.
He attended camps earlier this summer at Tennessee, where he clocked a 4.36 40-yard dash, UAB, UT-Chattanooga and Middle Tennessee State.
“Most of the schools are talking about [me playing] defensive back and slot receiver,” Fritz said.
And he has taken to the idea as much as the cold showers that have become part of his pregame ritual.
“I like to stand there under the water and think about the game, playing it over and over in my head,” he said.
Contact Ward Gossett at email@example.com or 423-886-4765.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...