Name: Chris Larsen
Position: DE / OLB
High School: East York CI [Toronto, ON]
Summer Club: Toronto Thunder [OVFL]
Chris Larsen only began playing football in Grade 9. In his second season at East York he helped the Goliaths to a regional championship by scoring 11 touchdowns as a receiver. Larsen also played summer ball with the Toronto Thunder where in 2012 he was selected as an OVFL All Star at linebacker. He was also Defensive MVP for the GTA Rising Stars in an ACG All Star game. Then in 2014 Larsen played in the International Bowl with the Team Ontario Selects and in the OVFL’s Top Prospects game. At the senior HS level Larsen’s team needed him to play QB one season and that led him to play QB in the OVFL for the Thunder last year. He is playing LB/DE for the Thunder this summer and had recorded 25 solo tackles, 23 assists & 1.5 sacks in just five games.
I’ve counted Larsen as one of seven defensive linemen in the 2015 recruiting class but it wouldn’t be out of the question to add him to the four LB commits. Several of the seven D-Line recruits are going to play inside. Larsen will be a defensive end if/when he plays at the line of scrimmage. I expect the D-Line depth chart to have nine returning players, five of whom will be in their 4th or 5th year, including three of the DEs. Only two DEs are underclassmen – Charlie Taggart & Joey Belanger. I don’t know about playing time as a freshman but in 2016 Larsen should be in a position to compete for lots of snaps.
Larsen looks to me to be a lot like Cam Walker. Not sure if he will be as ferocious but he has the length and athleticism. Remember, Walker began as an LB and transitioned to DE as he got bigger and stronger. I see Larsen similarly but he is already 230 pounds according to the OVFL website. Whether or not he ever lines up as an LB he does have the speed and fluidity to play in space and cover a running back if necessary. I think Larsen has the potential to be a great pass rushing defensive end and the type of athlete who will be able to run plays down from behind.
Odds & Ends
♦ The first Gryphon recruit from East York CI that I can recall in at least a decade. The Goliaths are one of Toronto’s more historic & storied high school football programs.
♦ Larsen shares at least one thing in common with DC MacNeill – his favourite NCAA team is the Alabama Crimson Tide.
♦ In 2014 Larsen went on official visits to Western, McMaster, Queen’s and Laurier before opting to return to school for one more year.