BATON ROUGE, La. – Chris Curry became a leader in LSU’s locker room when the team named him one of the new number 18s, but his high school coach isn’t surprised. The running back has been a role model since his days at Lehigh Senior High School in Lehigh Acres, Florida, and Curry’s action spoke of his character even then.
“He led a lot by example. It’s very important that the best player on your team is the guy who’s on time to weights, is the guy who’s the first one on the field, last guy off the field. The guy who’s picking up paper and making sure the sideline’s clean. The guy who’s sitting with the kids in lunch that nobody else wants to sit with. That’s what Chris Curry was here,” Lehigh head football coach James Chaney said.
Curry’s parents didn’t know about their son’s honor until the day it was announced, but leadership wasn’t new to them. In fact, it’s almost a family tradition.
“We’ve taught him that. His sister the same. She plays college basketball. She’s a captain so we always taught them to be leaders. We’re very proud of him, and it means so much for them to bestow that number to him,” Curry’s stepfather Laniel Howard, Jr. said.
His sister Aleisha Curry is a captain for Santa Fe Community College. Curry’s steps landed him on the field for the Tigers’ national championship team, and Laniel and his mother Kenya were ecstatic to see their son hit the field.
“I haven’t jumped that high since high school basketball. When I seen him come off that sideline, seen those dreads, I told my wife. I said ‘he’s going in the game,’ and she was like ‘I see a 24.’ I’m like ‘yeah that’s not Stingley. That’s Chris,'” Laniel continued.
Curry wore 24 when the Tigers thumped Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl, the same number from his time at Lehigh, and the running back can thank the team’s defensive coordinator for his recruiting success.
“My current defensive coordinator. We played against his former school. Curry hit him for like 90 yards two times. He helped put curry on the map with his linebacker coaching ability,” Chaney joked.
As for his ability however, Curry’s parents knew at a young age the Tiger back had what it took to reach LSU.
“Pop Warner,” Kenya and Laniel said.
“He went against a big kid. He was a lineman. When they did the eye opener drills and they hit, he stood him up and laid him on his back. The little kid started crying, and Chris looked at me and smiled. I’m like ‘yeah…yeah…yeah,'” Laniel said as the two burst into laughter again.
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