Sunday, April 17, 2011
By Corey Long ESPN Recruiting
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Under Armour All-American Chris Casher (Mobile, Ala./Faith Academy) was locked in a battle for defensive line MVP all day with future teammate Dante Fowler Jr. (St. Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood) at the Tallahassee NFTC.
Although Fowler barely won his second straight MVP award at the camp, Casher couldn't be upset with his fellow FSU commit as they both dominated on the field across from their future home -- Doak Campbell Stadium.
Chris Casher plans on being the next great defensive end at FSU.
"I always know that Dante is going to bring it so I just wanted to match him play for play," Casher said. "I'm real happy for him though and I'm happy that both of us will be at FSU. I can't make him an enemy ... at least not yet. I look forward to playing with him."
Casher made the trip to Tallahassee for FSU's spring game and to spend some time with Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher along with his future position coach D.J. Eliot.
"Early in the day Coach Fisher and I talked about football but after the game we mostly talked about academics and how things were going for me in Mobile," Casher said. "They also wanted to make sure that I wanted to play defensive end because they saw my film and I can do other things but I told them I wanted to play defensive end."
Part of Casher's attraction to FSU and that position on the field is Eliot's coaching style.
"He is a great coach and he allows the players to utilize the coaching," said Casher. "He doesn't restrict the defensive ends from doing this or that. He has faith in his players."
And after watching Casher dominate every offensive lineman put in front of him during one-on-one drills it's easy to see why the 6-foot-4, 244-pounder is so coveted for the position.
"[Chris] gave our guys a work out for sure," said former NFL offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley, who coached the offensive linemen during the camp. "If he continues doing what he's doing as he gets bigger and stronger, he's going to be a handful for anyone."
Casher is the second player from Mobile to commit to Florida State since assistant coach Dameyune Craig joined the program. Craig, who was a high school legend in Mobile, is highly-respected in his old stomping grounds.
"In some ways Coach Craig is like the King of Mobile," Casher joked. "He played with my cousin, Larry, at Auburn and I think he won like three state championships at Blount High School. He's a real big deal."
Casher and Fowler join another Under Armour All-American, Mario Edwards Jr. (Denton, Texas/Ryan) in what could be the top defensive line class during the 2011-2012 recruiting cycle. Even though Casher hasn't had a chance to talk to Edwards yet, he's heard enough to be excited.
"I hear about him all the time, he's a big guy too," Casher said. "I'm just real happy to be part of this class because FSU is all about getting the best players. I think we'll be a special group."
While it's usually the custom of top Alabama prospects to play for the Crimson Tide or Tigers, Casher says he's solid to FSU and there's a good chance his family might hold him to that.
"My daddy was always a big FSU fan while I was growing up so I gravitated to that side," Casher said. "And then when I got a chance to see the campus and how everyone was family here, I knew where I wanted to be."
Fowler expects their competition to go from the camps to the practice field to the games.
"Right now we're competing for camp MVP awards and soon we'll be competing for most sacks in a game," Fowler said. "It's good to know that a person like Chris is a future teammate because he's a great player and he's a good person that works hard and stays humble."
Casher expects to be a familiar face in Tallahassee this fall as he will try to get to several FSU home games.
"I'm probably going to come here a few times but I don't anticipate going anywhere else," Casher said.
Corey Long has been covering high school football and recruiting in the Sunshine State since 1995. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.