FORT MYERS, Fla. — Southwest Florida is no stranger when it comes to making professional athletes.
Right now, one of the top football prospects is living here in Fort Myers and he’s only eleven years old! Remember this name- Austan Cristiaan. He’s 11-years-old and attends Canterbury School off College Parkway. And in a little over 10 year’s time, he could be drafted by an NFL franchise.
“You can’t just go out and show off to everybody, you gotta like work in silence and just let it happen," said Cristiaan.
Austan may seem like you’re ordinary 11-year-old kid, playing football with his friends after school. But that description is anything but. Austan has been ranked the number one quarterback for the class of 2028 in the country for the last two years!
“He gets up and he has a normal school day like any other child but then he comes to practice here and he also trains indoors at a training facility to work on speed and agility,” said Jennifer Stephenson, Austan’s Mother.
Austan even has his own personal quarterback trainer that he works with. But he doesn’t let that distract him from his school work.
“School is very important to me, I’m trying to keep straight A’s like I did last year," says Austan. "So you have to find a balance and that is almost as important as the sport itself because you’re a student-athlete, not an athlete-student.”
Austan has even had the opportunity to meet and work with two of his idols- Peyton Manning and Dak Prescott. The chance presented itself when he participated in a summer football camp.
“Those are actually two of my favorite quarterbacks, not just because I met them but even before I met them they were my favorite," Austan said. It was just more than amazing experience to finally meet them in person and actually throw next to them and be on Dak Prescott’s team, it’s unexplainable how excited I was.”
“His potential is unlimited," says Mike Damiani, Head Coach of Canterbury Middle School Football.
Damiani has been watching Austan play since he was in second grade and noticed the talent immediately.
“He has some lofty goals to play at the next level which would be high school football and then the next level after that which would be Division I college and then pros after that," said Damiani. "He’s a hard worker and sometimes it’s hard to remind myself and the other coaches that he’s still only a sixth grader.”
And having a supportive family certainly helps.
“Most important is being a kid," says Stephenson. "The football career kind of just fell in our lap and Austan’s been training hard for it but as long as you balance it and you know your kid well- their strengths, their weaknesses and what they need to work on and when it’s time to take a break- it works out well.”
For now, Austan will continue working hard toward achieving his goal and that is making it to the NFL. As for a certain team he’d like to play for…?
“If I was given the chance, I’d love to play for any team," he said. "I mean, as for a specific team, I can’t really pick one- I like them all- but the Cowboys is my favorite team at the moment so it’d be really nice to play for them. Where I want to end up- no question, it’s the Hall of Fame.”
Austan is already being scouted by colleges. He was given an unofficial visit to Ole Miss after his performance as a fifth grader in their college camp this summer. He even got to work with Matt Corral, the Ole Miss quarterback. He’ll be doing his unofficial visit in October.
Whistle Sports have even spent the day to record a segment on Austan for their social media platforms. Be sure to look out for that feature!