Catching Up With Chaisson

In an era when duality at quarterback often equates to stability and productivity on offense, Joe Chaisson of West Brook High School in Beaumont, Texas, is a very hot commodity.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound signal caller is a genuine dual threat with an unique ability to feel pressure and escape from it. He has a strong arm with a soft touch, quick feet and eyes in the back of his helmet.

"I'd label myself a dual threat," he told IT in an interview Friday. "My biggest strength is escaping the rush when I'm in trouble. I feel the pressure. I just get a feeling where it's coming from and take off. I've run a 4.6 flat and I can throw the ball around."

He has proven as much at West Brook where he led the Bruins to an 8-2 mark and the Class-5A state playoffs in 2005, completing 126 of 231 passes for 1,658 yards and 13 touchdowns while rushing 146 times for 777 yards and 15 TDs. As a junior, Chaisson rushed for 1,013 yards and 15 TDs, while throwing for 2,003 yards and 21 touchdowns.

"We run the spread offense and the quarterback is the big part of our offense," Chaisson explained. "We run a lot of read, run game where I read the tackle. I like our run game a lot. I like being a part of this offense. I think it takes advantage of my abilities."

Those abilities translate well to a speed league like the SEC where attacking defenses crowd the line of scrimmage and dare the quarterback to beat them. That helps explain why LSU and Tennessee were two of the first schools to offer Chaisson. He has also been offered by Baylor, Iowa State, TCU, Missouri and Indiana among others, while Oklahoma and Texas A&M continue to aggressively pursue him.

"I've been working this summer and I've been to a few football camps, keeping my skills polished," he said. "I attended the Oklahoma camp, LSU camp and the TCU camp."

He also took a visit to Tennessee and came away impressed. "I'm very interested in Tennessee," he said. "I took a visit (unofficial) there at the beginning of the summer. The campus was nice and when I saw everything in person it just boosted Tennessee much higher on my list of interest. I liked it a lot."

And what is Joe Chaisson looking for in a college?

"I'm looking for a school where I have a chance to get on the field early and can be a better student/athlete," he said. "I'm going to try and find that in a college."

Coaches from UT's staff have been establishing strong relationships with Chaisson and expect to get an official visit from him sometime this fall.

"Coach Roper is recruiting me for Tennessee," he said. "We have a very strong relationship between me, him and Coach (David) Cutcliffe. When I went and visited, we sat down and just talked about everything. So I've got a pretty strong relationship with those guys. I would say Tennessee is top of my list.

"I really don't have a timeframe (for making a decision) It could be early, it could be late. I just going to wing it and play it by ear."

Chaisson escapes recruiting pressure as deftly as he evades the blitz.

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