Cummings powers back for final season


Heather Stewart

Christian Cummings practicing his catch at the pre-Homecoming game practice.

Dez Rodriguez, Staff Reporter

CWU senior running back Christian Cummings was on his way to having a breakout year for the Wildcats last season. On pace to rush for over 1,000 yards, Cummings looked to be unstoppable. But in the blink of an eye, he was laying on the field huddled over in agony. To some it looked to be just a broken ankle. To Cummings, it was also a broken heart. Now with a newly repaired ankle, he thought back to how it all started.

“I didn’t really start [playing football] until 5th grade,” Cummings said. “I saw all of my friends playing. I felt out of place, so I started playing because everyone else was.”

Not knowing much about the sport, his coaches suggested starting him at left tackle on the offensive line. However, his stockiness stood out, so they made the switch to try him at running back.

“I played the first game and balled out,” Cummings said. “Ever since then, I started playing running.”

Originally from Olympia, Washington, Cummings went to Tumwater High School. He graduated in 2015 after being named the 2A Evergreen Conference MVP his senior year.

Heather Stewart
Christian Cummings takes a minute to stretch before CWU football’s Friday rundown.

It was in his junior season that football started to get serious for Cummings. Each year, the Tumwater football team traveled to the CWU summer football camp. CWU head coach Ian Shoemaker noticed Cummings during one of the scrimmages. From then on, they kept in contact and he was soon offered a scholarship. It was his only offer at the time other than walk-on opportunities at Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) schools, so Cummings jumped on the chance he had been given.

The former Olympian All-Area Player of the Year is known for his speed and power, which was on display during the play that injured him. Cummings rumbled down the sideline 41 yards against Humboldt State last season.

“I was obviously sad at first,” Cummings said. “All the support from my family and friends just made me ultimately want to train harder and come back stronger.”

When Cummings fell to the injury, he also fell down the depth chart. Running backs Michael Roots and Cedric Cooper have taken the majority of the reps early on. But with what Shoemaker describes as the deepest running back class he’s ever had, Cummings is bound to get more looks as his ankle gets stronger.

“He’s looking like the last year [Christian Cummings] before he got hurt. He hasn’t missed a beat,” said sophomore receiver Daniel Johnson.

Outside of football, Cummings is looking to graduate this summer with his Information Technology Administrative Management (ITAM) degree. In Cummings’ sophomore year, he started down the business career path, but realized he had more of an interest in ITAM work.

“I’ve always been into technical stuff,” Cummings said. “Growing up playing Xbox, I’d always mod my controllers. I’ve always been that lowkey tech guy.”

With the Wildcats continuing their history of power running, Cummings is looking to reintegrate himself into the team as a key component. He wants to finish the season healthy and be a role model for the younger guys. Regardless of what happens this season, Cummings is enjoying his last year at CWU.

“These group of guys are fun to be around,” Cummings said. “They’re like brothers to me.”