Recruiting update: Longview's Tate Casey-part 1

IT caught up with <B>Tate Casey</b>, aka stud baseball/football player, from Longview -- to grab even more info on the pitcher/tight end.

Deciding not to play basketball or track any longer (shot hoops and ran track his freshman and sophomore years), Casey has set his sights on improving in the two sports he loves the most, football and baseball.

Casey's summers are filled with nothing but lifting and baseball as he recognizes the importance of building strength for football and playing a sport (baseball) that he also loves very much.

"Last year," Casey said, "I played for an all-Dallas league. I left the last day of school a little early and got back to Longview the night before school started, so I was pretty busy."

"This year," Casey continued, "I'll play baseball for an AAU travel team called the Dallas Panthers. We'll play in some Texas tournaments and also play in tournaments around the United States. Cali, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, and maybe a few other (states)."

When Casey isn't fidgeting on the mound, spittin' backer juice or rubbin' the hide off the ball as he contemplates his pitch selection to sit down his next hitter, he plays in the outfield.

"I usually play right field when I'm not pitching," the two-sport star told IT. "I need to work a little more on my hitting, and I'm trying to hit for more power."

Casey said he's about a .300 hitter now, with few home runs, and describes his offense as someone looking to get on base more than slapping doubles or going yard.

As a pitcher, the Longview TE said he has an ERA under 3.00 and averages about 1.3 strikeouts per inning. He couldn't recall his win/loss percentage and doesn't keep track of the number of games he's won either, but lookin' over his shoulder for potential base-stealers is where he makes his bread and butter, not shagging flies in batting practice/game.

"The fastest I've ever been clocked was at 93 mph," said Casey.

Consistently?

"90-mile heaters by the summer," said the prep.

Is he fast enough for the pros? Sure, they can teach you how to throw a curve ball and paint the inside/outside corner -- at least scouts from MLB teams, like Atlanta, Kansas City and you name it, believe they can. And 90 mph fire is kind of up there. So they come with dollars...they'll pluck you from high school faster than you can you say, "We need a pitcher, not a belly-itcher."

Of course, when IT asked Longview head coach Pat Collins to assess the likelihood of Casey bypassing college for professional baseball, here's what he had to say in the latest Inside Scoop on the subject: "No, he likes football too much," Longview football head coach Collins said. "He'll play college football and look to play college baseball too."

Or maybe he could fall in line with what Ricky Williams and/or Cedric Benson did...right? Sign a minor-league contract and play for the Burnt Orange as a walk-on.

That's getting slightly ahead of the game. More coming soon in Tate Casey-Part 2...


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