Farris Hoping To Turn It Around

This has not been the type of season Chase Farris had been hoping his team would put together. After dropping to 1-4 on the year, however, the Ohio State verbal commitment and team captain said he had a new goal for his teammates that will hopefully get things turned around.

ELYRIA, Ohio – If Ohio State verbal commitment Chase Farris and his Elyria teammates want to turn their season around, the challenge begins anew tonight.

A 20-17 home loss to Parma on Sept. 24 dropped the Pioneers to 1-4 on the season, but conference play begins tonight at Cuyahoga Falls. As such, a shot at a conference title remains a possibility.

"Hopefully we can get these five wins in a row and be conference champions and try to sneak in the playoffs," Farris told BuckeyeSports.com. "It's definitely nice to be able to look ahead. At least we have a future. At lest we've got somewhere we can look forward to."

As a team captain, it is Farris' responsibility to instill that hope in his teammates. When the votes were tabulated, the future Buckeye was tabbed on each ballot.

"I think people see that I try to lead by example and I try to do things the right way," he said. "It's a wonderful honor. It was a wonderful honor to know that my teammates believed in me."

Listed at 6-6, 270 pounds, Farris is rated the No. 11 defensive tackle prospect in the nation. However, his future position remains up for debate. Against Parma, Farris played the entire game save for one play at defensive end and right guard.

Head coach Steve Hamilton said Farris projects as a defensive lineman.

"They're thinking about defensive end and then if he can bulk up and get to about 300 pounds," the coach said. "I could see him either/or. Chase is a character kid that's going to do whatever is best for the team. If (OSU head coach Jim) Tressel wants him down at defensive tackle he'll play defensive tackle and have no problems playing it."

Farris recorded four tackles including two sacks for a combined 20 yards lost in his team's most recent loss. He said he views himself as a future defensive end.

"I just love the fact that you can get a slow tackle and speed-rush him outside or spin-move inside and you're right on the quarterback's lap every time," he said. "You can cause havoc and I love causing havoc."

Starting Parma left tackle Jason Varwig, who is receiving recruiting interest from Toledo as well as a few other schools, was matched up with Farris for much of the evening. Asked how he felt he did against Varwig, Farris smiled and said, "I got two sacks on him."

As is often the case for prep defensive ends, Parma seldom ran the ball to Farris' side. On the game-winning, 11-play drive late in the fourth quarter, just one play went to his side.

"It's really frustrating because my stats are definitely lower than they should be but I've got to do what I've got to do to help my team win," he said. "If they run away from me I tell the linebackers so they know where to go. Most of the time I can call the plays out."

Hamilton said Farris realizes that by running away from him, opponents are telegraphing where they plan to attack the Elyria defense. However, the coach said it can be a frustrating situation for a young player.

"I'm sure (it is), especially as a (young) kid," the coach said. "It's frustrating because they're running away from him and he's not making plays but also Chase is a team player. He buys into the idea that we're 11 guys on defense and he's not going to be able to do it on his own. He just buys into that whole aspect."

Farris was the seventh player to issue his verbal commitment to Ohio State for the 2011 recruiting class and the third player to do so March 16. He plays his home games at Ely Stadium, which contains a sign boasting that former Buckeye and Heisman Trophy winner Vic Janowicz also graced that field as a prep standout.

Life has been good since issuing his commitment, Farris said, although he realizes that he has a bigger target on his back than he did before.

"Teams are always looking to get that highlight film off of that Ohio State recruit to get their recruiting process going," he said. "I think I'm doing pretty well. I try not to get a big head. People always say ‘oh you're the Ohio State recruit. Everybody likes you.' I just try to be like everybody else and be an average person."

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