Name: Christian Van Buren
School: Arkansas Tech University
Position: Defensive Back
Q: What were some of your goals heading into your final collegiate season?
My goals were to be as healthy as possible, first and foremost, and contribute to helping the team as best as I could. Also, my teammates are like my brothers, so I wanted to leave a legacy of great integrity, grit, and determination, in hopes that it would leave a lasting impact on them and help build a platform for those who come after me.
Q: If you could describe your style of play in 3 words, what would they be?
Physical, fast, passionate.
Q: How will you train and prepare this offseason for the draft or other pro opportunities?
I am training extremely hard. I believe what you do in the weight room, track, and field in preparation builds not only the body, but also the mind. I am currently training at Traction Sports Performance in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Here, we work with some of the best in the business in my opinion. Ryan Clark, 13-year NFL vet and Super Bowl Champion, does a fantastic job with DBs. He has really helped place focus on the smaller things in my game and technique. Guys such as Mo Wells, Tevin Moton, Carlos Rachel, Will Acker, and all of the others that train us work wonders. My training is extremely well-rounded, focused on all of the aspects of my game as well as my athletic abilities.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on or look for?
I am a huge X’s and O’s kind of guy. So, the first thing I recognize is formation. I try to see exactly what the offense is trying to do based off of the formation and personnel they may have in the game. Offenses today love to take what I call basic concepts and create the illusion that they are something else or more complicated due to the motions and formations. Being able to know tendencies from that stand point is huge. You also cannot abuse gaining knowledge on their tendencies depending on down and distance. And lastly, as crazy as it may sound, I like to look at small things like the Quarterback grabbing his towel before a pass or a Guard sitting back more on his heels when he is preparing to pull on a counter.
Q: What separates you from the other players at your position?
I think what separates me the most is my versatility. I feel that I have a great combination of speed and power. So as far as sub packages go, there really wouldn’t have to be much of a change in personnel. I can roll into the box and get dirty with the linemen if need be, I can come off the edge, shadow Running Backs, play in the slot, or go to the roof of the defense and play quarters or centerfield. In college, I had experience playing a multitude of positions based on game planning and personnel. So I feel, being a Defensive Back that can move around and willing to play in different spots, sets me apart.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
I think my strengths are, I am hard working, honest, passionate, and a very intense competitor. I also believe in being behind those who battle for you. I take pride in being a leader off of the field and love being able to relate to people mentally and spiritually. I believe that helping guys in those two aspects not only can help them translate better on the field, but also in life. That’s what it’s all about.
Q: What is your final pitch or sell to NFL and other pro league scouts?
For any team that blesses me with an opportunity, you will be receiving a player that cannot take no for an answer, goes to great lengths to get a job done, strives for perfection, and leaves it all on the field. You will be receiving a hard-nosed individual, whose fight to get to this point has molded his mind to scratch and claw to be the best and make the team better. I am versatile, I am competitive, I am a man of great integrity, but most of all I am hungry.