Farris ‘cornerstone’ of Elyria’s playoff push

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ELYRIA, OHIO (AP) - Chase Farris is entering his senior season as a two-way standout at Elyria High School.

He began to fill out as a junior, adding 40 pounds to a 6-foot-6 frame without losing agility. Scouts project him as a pass-rushing defensive end now, with the potential to be a stalwart 300-pound tackle in a few years.

Farris sorted through offers from more than 20 major college programs before committing to Ohio State, No. 2 in the Top 25 preseason poll. He said that being little more than 100 miles from home played a big part in his decision.

“Going far from home, my friends and my family wouldn’t be able to come see me play,” said Farris, on The Associated Press East Region 25 list of top recruits. “This gives my mom the chance to see me every home game and probably on the road, too.”

Farris had all A’s except for one “B” on his report card last spring and said he was impressed with Ohio State’s academic program as well as its football legacy. He intends to major in business.

With a 30-inch vertical leap and 4.9 time in the 40-yard dash, Farris‘ game is built upon athleticism rather than brute strength. Not that he’s a 265-pound weakling. He was a strong rebounder on the Pioneers’ basketball team, bench presses more than 300 pounds and his pounding work on the offensive line has given him some additional durability.

Farris had 62 tackles and nine sacks a year ago on defense. Fourth-year head coach Steve Hamilton believes Farris can help the team to the playoffs in 2010.

“He’s the cornerstone, the leader at all times and in everything he does,” Hamilton said. “I challenged him after last season and he worked his butt off and came back this year in even better shape.”

Farris joins a long line of Buckeye recruits from Elyria, including 1950 Heisman Trophy winner Vic Janowicz who played in the NFL and also major league baseball.

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