Newcomer Profile - Chris Bassler

The second profile in our series of football newcomers.

CHRIS BASSLER

OL, 6-4, 260 lbs., 4.9

Francis Scott Key High School – New Windsor, Md.

Bassler will grayshirt and enroll at West Virginia in the spring of 2004.

Earned all-county, all-MVAL and all area honors at tight end and linebacker for Coach John Baugher at Francis Scott Key (Md.) High … Though he was a good tight end, West Virginia loves his blocking ability and plans on using him as an offensive tackle … had 91 tackles and four sacks as a senior … also finished the 2002 season with 10 catches for 190 yards and three TDs from his tight end spot

"What you're looking at with Chris is a player, who in a year or two, will be a 280-pound offensive tackle with the athletic ability of a tight end," explained Baugher. "He's got excellent footwork on his blocking, and I think he'll be a very good Division I player. He'll need to adjust to being in the line, and that will take a year or two. But it takes most college linemen a couple of years to develop anyways. I really think Chris will be a good one."

Named to Super 22 Team in Maryland … also named to the Associated Press's first-team all-state squad, as a tight end for small schools in Maryland … among top 50 tight ends by Insiders.com … PrepStar all-regional and Superprep mid-Atlantic Top 25 … A three-year starter on both sides of the ball, playing defensive end as a sophomore and junior before moving to linebacker this past year.

Played tight end on offense as a sophomore, moved to wide receiver as a junior and then switched back to tight end this past year when Francis Scott Key concentrated its efforts on running the football … as a junior, Chris recorded 97 tackles and three sacks, three pass deflections, two interceptions and one fumble recovery … caught 25 passes for 317 yards and two touchdowns as a receiver in 2001 … team captain as both a junior and a senior … missed parts of two games this past season with an ankle injury, and those were the only two Francis Scott Key lost, as it finished 8-2 … also helped the team to a 7-3 mark as a junior and a 9-1 record as a sophomore

"Chris is a tremendous young man, who is almost too good to be true," said Baugher. "Not only is he a super person and a great football player, but he's also an excellent student, has a terrific work ethic. West Virginia's getting themselves a heck of a player and an even better person."

Was an all-conference selection as a wide receiver as a junior … also all-county and all league center in basketball … plans to major in education … very good student with a 3.5 GPA and a 1,200 on his SAT

The Francis Scott Key candidate for the state's scholar/athlete of the year … also got recruiting interest from Maryland, Richmond, James Madison and Delaware but attended West Virginia summer camp and committed to the Mountaineers shortly thereafter … son of Bob and Carol Bassler.

What Rich Rodriguez says: "We had Chris in camp, and we really liked what we saw of him in camp. He played tight end and linebacker in high school, but he's going to be an offensive tackle. We've already told him that. He's athletic enough that he probably could be a tight end, but we feel he's got a big enough frame that he'll become a perfect tackle in time."

What Herb Hand says: "Chris is guy we're projecting as an offensive lineman. We had him in camp and think he's got great feet and is very athletic. He's got to get in the weightroom and stronger, and he knows that. It will probably take him a year or two to develop into a good offensive lineman, but we think he's going to be a great one because of his athleticism."


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