By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Migrating from the BVI at an early age, Christian Rector who has been appointed defensive captain of the University of Southern California Trojans Football team, is among athletes born in the territory who has played on at least nine different collegiate sport teams in the last year, including track and field, soccer, rugby, sailing, basketball, swimming, volleyball and baseball.
Rector, who returns to action against Utah this weekend and was out because of injury, didn’t suit up for Friday’s game against the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder, Colorado, but was involved in all the action on the side of the ball he leads, during his team’s 35-31 victory as they improved to 5-3 on the season.
Rector, a 2018 AP second All PAC 12 selection and a Pro Football Focus all PAC 12 second team pick with 48 total tackles, nine for loses, 4.5 sacks and two deflections—got the nod as defensive captain before the season began.
“I had to earn it and being with this team for so long and seeing the guys come before me, it came upon me and it just came naturally,” he told Island Sun Sports in an exclusive postgame interview. “I’ve been told that I’m a leader. I love leading these guys out as a senior—as an older guy—it just came naturally.”
Rector who clads the No 89 USC jersey is a Sr. defensive lineman born in the BVI and moved to Southern California as an infant. Football wasn’t necessarily his first choice of sports.
“My Mon (Allison Rector) always kept me busy in sports, kept me active and by the time I reached high school, it was a way for me to make friends and I figured it was something I was good at,” he pointed out. “I thought I was going to be a basketball player at first, but my coach told me ‘you’re not tall enough’ because everyone kept growing while I stayed at 6’4” so it was something I was good at and stuck with it.”
Despite not playing, Rector was visible on field, first participating in the coin toss, then working with the defenders on the sideline for every play.
“They (Colorado) had us in the first half, I’m not going to lie but in the second half, we came through. We saw (Quarterback Steven) Montez went down, but the way we battled in the second half was huge. I knew they had a chance. My defense came up big time with stops. Our coaches asked our receivers to be special and they were special tonight and Michael Pitman was special.”
He was last in the territory in 2017 and said he loves returning to the BVI to visit family.
“I wasn’t there when I was little, but having been there recently and seeing my roots, it means a lot to me,” he said.
Playing for USC, he said that he has heard you’re a Trojan for life but didn’t get it until he joined the team.
“Now I know. It’s a brotherhood, a bond—something you can’t explain,” he pointed out, nothing that it has been a dream come through to play for USC. “Growing up watching all the SC greats-Reggie Bush, all the quarterbacks, all the great defensive linesmen, it’s been a blessing.”