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Getting to know: Bills tight end Gerald Christian

Gerald Christian grew up a Miami Dolphins fan.

OK, so this might not be the best week to point that out. Cut the Buffalo Bills' tight end some slack, though. He grew up in Jupiter, Fla., just north of West Palm Beach.

From there, Christian attended the University of Florida for two years before transferring to Louisville. He entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft choice of the Arizona Cardinals in 2015.

In this week's "Getting to Know," Christian talks about being "Mr. Irrelevant," playing golf with Nick O'Leary and his passion away from the field.

The Buffalo News: So were you really a Dolphins fan growing up?

Gerald Christian: "Yeah, most definitely I was a Dolphins fan growing up. Being from the area, Dolphins fan, Miami Heat fan. … I'm excited to be going back this weekend. It’ll be great to have all my family come down, and be back in the Sunshine State."

BN: You were ranked No. 2 by rivals among tight ends in your high school class. Do you know who was No. 1?

GC: "I think it was Xavier Grimble?"

BN: That's it. Do you keep tabs on him?

GC: "He’s here somewhere. I think he’s still in the NFL. I feel like I saw his name recently for something. I don’t know what team he’s on (Grimble currently plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has six catches for 69 yards and one touchdown so far this season).

BN: What went into your decision to transfer?

GC: "I was young. We had some coaching changes and stuff and I just felt like it would be best for me to go somewhere else. I didn’t feel that was the best spot for me. It ended up working out. I’m here."

BN: Florida limited your choices about where you could transfer. How tough was that to deal with?

GC: "I feel like now, being more mature, I could have handled the situation differently. Me and the coaches had a falling out. There were certain schools that I was restricted from going to – a lot of the schools that I probably would have wanted to go to. I wanted to stay in Florida, but (former Louisville coach) Charlie Strong at the time is the reason I went to Louisville. I went and took a visit and it ended up being somewhere that was a good fit for me."

BN: You have a younger brother there now, right?

GC: "Yep. Left tackle. Geron Christian."

BN: Where do the athletic bloodlines come from?

GC: "My dad says he was an athlete growing up. His name is Gerald Christian, as well. I'm a junior. He ended up getting in trouble in high school, so he didn’t finish high school. He doesn’t have all the accolades and stuff, but he was pretty athletic growing up, just playing out in the yard and stuff like that, so I could see it."

BN: Is (Louisville quarterback) Lamar Jackson the Heisman front-runner?

GC: "Oh yeah, that kid is good."

BN: You were the last pick of the 2015 draft, aka "Mr. Irrelevant." What was that experience like?

GC: "At first, I didn’t even know what it was. Newspaper reporters were calling me and telling me about it, but it ended up being a great experience. They showed me a great time. Went to Disneyland, got to fly in the Goodyear blimp, took me sailing. It's something I’ll always remember."

BN: There's also a golf tournament in your honor, right? Had you played before?

GC: "Oh yeah. Me and Nick O'Leary went to the same high school (Dwyer, in Palm Beach Gardens). He's got that golf background (O'Leary's grandfather is Jack Nicklaus), so I've been out with him before."

BN: How cool is it to be reunited with Nick in the NFL?

GC: Amazing. We won a state championship together (in 2009). Small world, man, it’s crazy."

BN: You spent your rookie season with the Cardinals on injured reserve because of a torn MCL in your left knee suffered in the final preseason game. What did you take away from that experience?

GC: "That was my first major injury. Even though I didn’t get to play, it still was a learning experience. There's a lot of good veterans there in Arizona. They all told me, 'Don’t waste this year. Stay in the meetings, try to learn, watch how everybody does things.' So even though I didn’t get to play, it was a chance for me to grow."

BN: What's your hidden talent?

GC: "I don't know if it's a hidden talent, but I love to fish. When I get a chance, I’m going to get myself a boat to do a lot of fishing in the offseason."

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