RECRUITING: Hard Work Pays Off For McCaskill

Four years ago, Kevin McCaskill arrived at Godby High School in Tallahassee looking anything like the Division I prospect that he is today. The 6-3, 285-pound center is on a growing number of wish lists for the recruiting class of 2006 and he got there through a lot of hard work and determination to improve.

Even though he may not have looked the part, Kevin McCaskill earned a spot in the starting lineup as a freshman for Coach Shelton Crews. Now, as he preps for his fourth year as a starter, McCaskill sees the rewards of his hard work to reshape his body and improve his game every day when he opens his mailbox. Louisville and Illinois have already offered him scholarships, and Florida, Florida State, Central Florida and South Florida are all hot on the recruiting trail.

"Kevin will be a four-year starter," Crews said. "When he finishes, I will have gone six years with a McCaskill at center. His brother played center for two years prior. He has really worked hard. He came in as a fat chunky kid and now is a very robust and strong. He does a good job and enjoys playing against nose guards."

It would be safe to say that football is a family affair for the McCaskills. Nevin, who played center for Godby before Kevin, plays for Hampton University. Kevin's twin brother Keith is a defensive end/tight end for Godby who had 71 tackles last season.

While Keith plays two ways for the Cougars, Kevin concentrates on playing center on what should be a very good offensive line for a team that has high hopes entering the next season.

"I think we have an awesome team," said Keith. "I think the defense is down pat (solid). I think we need to concentrate a little more on offense. But, some of the spots where people left, we have to concentrate on getting everyone together. We just have to work hard."

When Keith came to Godby, he had a lot of work to do but Crews discovered quickly that he had a player who is a coach's dream because Keith just doesn't take a play off. He goes full speed every down.

I try my hardest every play," McCaskill said. "I think I am the best at what I do and I never slack."

Because he's got his academic house in order, he is a candidate for early admission to some school in January of 2006 which would give him a tremendous head start.

"(School) is going good," he said. "I only need two more classes to graduate. I can graduate early if I wanted to. I might, but it depends on the schools. If a school offers me dependant on that, then I will. I take the SAT this Saturday and ACT next Monday."

Growing up in Tallahassee, it's safe to assume that he likes Florida State, but the Seminoles are an acquired taste. The team that held his interest when he first started following college football was Nebraska. Now that he's grown into a Division I football prospect, he's getting letters from Big 12 schools like Kansas and Oklahoma in addition to all the state schools.

He's taken advantage of opportunities to see games on a few campuses, too. "I have attended games at Florida State, FAMU, and Bethune Cookman," he said.

He's received letters from Florida and he's talked to the Gators' recruiting coordinator, Chuck Heater.

He is starting to formulate the criteria for which his final decision will be made. It may be necessary for him to figure it all out by December if he decides to go early admission.

"The depth chart at the school [is important]," he said. Additional factors will be "the coaches and football atmosphere and how good the team is."

McCaskill will enter the 2005 season as one of the top prospects at his position in the state of Florida. His combination of athletic skills and a strong academic resume should allow him to pick and choose when it comes to making that all-important decision. He is an outstanding prospect and the kind of kid who will fit in nicely at the next level.

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