THE COLONY (CBSNewsTexas.com) – Christian Gonzalez is said to be soft spoken, but ask anyone about his play in the field and the word that is used is tenacious.
When you look at his bloodlines, it's easy to see why he's one of the fastest players entering the draft and why his rise to stardom promises to be just as fast.
Many have never heard of Gonzalez, but they soon will.
The Oregon cornerback is poised to be the first North Texan this year to hear his name called by commissioner Roger Goodell in the first round of the NFL draft.
Rudy Rangel, head football coach at The Colony the last 18 years, says on day one coaching Gonzalez, he knew he was bound for greatness.
Rangel says, "To have Christian represent us, and for the up and coming future Cougars and just in general....across the country....a kid that felt he wanted to do more with his life and felt like there was more out there for him. He goes and does it."
While Gonzalez is now in position to inspire others, it was his family who inspired him. His father, Hector, was born in South America. He played college basketball at UTEP and professionally overseas.
Rangel explains, "His dad's an immigrant, he comes over with basketball. He meets his wife. He fights for his family and makes a better life for his family. Not just Christian....the entire family."
Gonzalez's two older sisters were both on the Colombian national track team. One sister competed in the 2020 Olympics, and his younger sister is a rising star in soccer.
Gonzalez had the same competitive spirit as a little kid, no matter who sport he played. That's why he's projected to be a star for years to come.
Rangel says, "You question Christian, you challenge Christian, it's game, set, match. Those are the things people will learn to love about the kid."
Going to Kansas City for the draft to support Gonzalez in his highest moment, Rangel is asked, "What are you going to be feeling when Roger Goodell says with the whatever pick it is....whatever team it is....selects Christian Gonzalez?"
He answered, "He represents The Colony for so long. He comes and works out all the time. He comes and talks to our kids. I had a middle school meeting and had 41 kids signed up and there were 55 kids in the room and I told the Christian story...and all 55 are playing football next year. The legacy continues. I'm gonna be super, super proud."
When asked if he thinks he will shed a tear at the draft, Rangel jokingly replies with, "I'm just going to say my allergies have been really, really bad lately. So if that kicks up and there's something that hits...pollen or something, you could see that from me."
Looking at the mock drafts, where the NFL experts predict which teams will take which players, Gonzales has been listed as high as eighth overall when it comes to being selected Thursday night.
Wherever he goes, his high school coach says he will be the face of that team and a shining light for that city. And we, in North Texas, can always claim him as our guy.
Keith Russell is our morning news anchor and was a sports anchor/reporter for CBS11 starting in 2015.