Casher Was Worth Alabama Pursuit

ALEXANDER CITY – Most FNL contests this fall have been, well… no contests. Not so on a misty night in Tallapoosa County, where the St. Paul Saints of Mobile needed overtime to turn back the home-standing Benjamin Russell Wildcats, 20-14, at the Charles F. Bailey Sportsplex. Both teams are now 10-2. The contest featured a number of current and future prospects. To the categories:

TOP PROSPECTS: This one has to be a tie between an Auburn pledge and a Tide commitment (who used to be an Auburn pledge). Co-MVP's in this category are Auburn-bound linebacker Tre Williams (6-3, 227) and Bama-bound offensive lineman Josh Casher (6-1, 290). Williams plays sideline to sideline and is a sure tackler who occasionally fills in at tight end, where he caught an 11-yard pass on a third-and-10 early in the contest. After seeing him play, I cannot tell you why Alabama did not pursue him hard.

Thing is, the Tide didn't pursue Casher until late in recruiting cycle. He'd been convinced by FSU assistant Jeremy Pruitt to part ways with Auburn, the first school he committed to, in hopes the Seminoles could land the nation's second-ranked center. Casher, who plays tackle in high school but will be on the interior at guard or center in Tuscaloosa, kept hoping for a Tide offer that finally came last month, and he jumped on it, just like he pounces on opponents while fighting in the trenches.

Wildcats Coach Danny Horn noticed that on film about Casher. "He plays hard every play, which you don't see this day and time," Horn noted. "He's out to destroy his opponent on every play. He's good, but the way he plays hard every play is what makes him special."

Said Saints Coach Steve Mask, who's seen more film on Casher than Horn this year: "He's graded over 90 (per cent) in every game but one. He's done everything we've asked him to do. He's been a leader, on and off the field. He's a coach's dream."

In addition to blocking effectively all night with quick feet and good arm technique, Casher was not hesitant to get vocal on the sidelines when he thought his teammates needed to get going. He is most likely going to play guard in Tuscaloosa, since the Tide also has a commitment from the lone center ranked ahead of him, J.C. Hassenauer of Minnesota. Casher played guard at some camps last summer.

I'm told Casher is quite the accomplished gospel singer, as well. Also, he's got a younger brother who will be a good prospect. More on him in a few paragraphs.

SENIORS WHO SHINED: Benjamin Russell quarterback Bryant Horn (whose first name is after Paul W.) is a solid high school signal-caller adept at passing and running at 6-1, 185. Word is baseball is his college sport.

For the Saints, Austin Moseley came through big with rushes behind Casher of nine and one yard in overtime from the 10 to give his team the only points they needed to escape with the win and face Saraland next week. Also playing well was Duke pledge Zavier Carmichael (6-0, 210), a solid linebacker who plans to study medicine.

JUNIORS TO WATCH: Wildcats receiver Quin Johnson (6-1, 170) has the speed but will have to get more consistent catching balls over the middle.

For the Saints, Jalen Thompson (5-11, 170) is quite adept at corner, receiver, and kick returner.

SUPER SOPHS: Saint Paul's Class of 2016 is loaded. Here are a few names: quarterback Miller Mosley (6-0, 170), defensive end Troy Thingstad (6-5, 265) and the guy I mentioned earlier who will be outstanding. That's Casher's "little" bro, guard Darius Whitfield, who is already 6-3, 260. Remember Whitfield's name. You will hear it again.

COKER AND A SMILE: As to the rumor picking up steam about FSU backup quarterback Jacob Coker (a Saint Paul's alum) graduating in December and heading to Tuscaloosa, no less than four people (grownups) connected to the Saints program told me it most definitely has legs. I report, you decide. One thing had not heard about Coker is that his sister, Saints senior Shelly Spires, is signed to play volleyball at Air Force and is an great track athlete. The 6-5 Coker holds basketball scoring records at St. Paul's, as well, and is said to be a tad more athletic than the man he succeeded, A.J. McCarron.

NEXT UP: FNL has never made a trip to Leeds, Ala. That will change Friday when the 10-2 Green Wave plays host to perennial 3A power T.R. Miller (12-0) of Brewton.

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