FOOTBALL | Gio’s got great grabs on gridiron

Gio Christodoulou ’11 is a punt and kick returner and wide receiver. The coaching staff put him at cornerback before deciding to convert him to offense a game into the 2008 season. He hails from Miami, Fla., and is a sophomore in Davenport College.

Q What were your expectations stepping onto campus as a freshman last year — both on and off the field?

Gio Christodoulou ’11 returns a kick at Fordham on Oct. 18.
Christopher YoungandJaeRyu
Gio Christodoulou ’11 returns a kick at Fordham on Oct. 18.

A I expected to get challenged both athletically and academically. My transition between high school and college wasn’t as harsh as I thought it would be due to my teammates’ help and guidance.

Q You started last season on the JV squad but by the end of the campaign you were on the varsity team and scored Yale’s only points in The Game. How did it feel to score your first varsity touchdown in such a big game?

A It felt great but my happiness was short-lived because of the way we lost. [Yale lost 37-6 to Harvard last year.]

Q What are you looking to do when you’re returning kicks?

A For me, it’s just doing what comes natural to me. After years of playing football from Pop Warner to college, I just follow my blocks and let my instincts take over.

Q You came to Yale as a cornerback and a returner, but now you’re getting snaps at wide receiver along with the returning duties. How has the transition been?

A I actually came in as an “athlete,” not knowing which position the coaching staff was going to put me at. As for the transition to offense, every day I’m learning the terminology and the schemes that make up our offense, which has been a challenge. But it gives me more of an opportunity to make plays with the ball in my hands.

Q What do you like doing best — playing cornerback, wide receiver, or returning kicks?

A I would say returning kicks just because of the amount of freedom I have to do what I want with the ball in my hands.

Q Heading into the season, the team had some big expectations. How frustrating is it to know that your chances of winning the Ivy League championship are already bleak?

A From here on out we’re taking it as a new four-game season. We have Columbia coming in this weekend and we’re looking at it as a chance to turn this season around. Hate to sound cliché, but we’re just taking it one game at a time.

Contact Jorge Castillo at jorge.castillo@yale.edu

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