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Randle bustin' moves with Aggies

Chris Randle has his share of nicknames.

It was common for Golden Valley crowds to chant "Hollywood" after he made a big play on the football field or basketball court last year.

His Golden Valley teammates also called him "Mr. GV" because of his ability to do anything on the football field.

Now it appears he's picked up some new nicknames during his freshman season at Utah State.

However, these new names have nothing to do with his football talent.

No, Randle earned these nicknames with his dancing ability.

The Aggies cornerback had his teammates and coaches laughing on the floor with his performance during a team talent show earlier this year.

"When it started out, it was supposed to be the whole freshman class," Randle said. "But when it came time to do it, it was just me and another cornerback.

"So we went up and had fun."

Cha-Cha.

Disco.

Mr. Dance Fever.

Randle has been called them all this year after his "Cha-Cha Slide" performance.

"The song was a little longer than I thought," Randle said. "But I was grooving. I didn't look stupid. I've got moves. I'm an entertainer. I got a lot of big laughs.

"I'm always the guy that will go out there and have fun."

Oddly enough, Randle's dance performance also impressed Utah State head coach Brent Guy.

"It showed he's a special guy," Guy said. "It showed he has confidence. He's not shy. And it was funny. He's an easy guy to like."

In his few months in Logan, Utah, Randle has shown he's more than a good dancer.

So much so that the Aggies have decided against red-shirting Randle this season.

He's seen playing time at corner and on special teams in three games and made six tackles.

Saturday, he returns close to home when the Aggies (0-4 Western Athletic Conference, 0-8 overall) travel to Fresno State (4-1, 5-3).

"Our original plan was to red-shirt Chris," Guy said. "We knew he was a high school quarterback and cornerback. He was a good basketball player. A good clutch player.

"He's an athlete that we recruited as a cornerback.

"But we had guys not playing up to their ability. We decided to bring Chris out of his red-shirt year and play him. He's been a pleasant surprise. He has great football knowledge."

When the coaching staff asked Randle if he wanted to give up his red-shirt season, Randle told them he'd do what was best for the team.

They wasted little time in throwing him in the fire.

An injury in the secondary sent Randle onto the field in the second half against Utah on Sept. 29.

On his first play, Utah State called a corner blitz.

"It was like 20 degrees and it was my first time playing in snow," Randle said. "I couldn't even feel my fingers or toes.

I had never been that cold. Then they called a blitz. I didn't know what to do, so I just ran. I made the tackle."

Randle is now seeing regular action on passing downs.

He had an opportunity for an interception against Louisiana Tech last week.

"I dropped it," Randle said. "I've never dropped anything. I almost wanted to cry. I was just so disappointed."

Guy likes Randle's future as he continues to get stronger.

"None of the (freshmen) come in real, real strong," Guy said. "Chris was going from sport to sport in high school. Physically, his body wasn't ready to tackle guys he needed to tackle. Everybody tries to block the safeties and get a running back on a corner. As he continues to lift more he'll get better and better."

Making the trip to Fresno this week will be special.

He'll be back in California.

He'll also be playing in front of family and friends in a stadium he made three trips to last year when Fresno State was recruiting him.

"I know what that environment is going to be like," Randle said. "Their crowd is crazy. I always thought if I played on that field it would be as a Bulldog. But I'm happy in Utah."

So happy, he just might dance.

It's never too early to start working on next year's talent show.

Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or via e-mail at sjansen@mercedsun-star.com.

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