It’s third down and short. Everybody in the stadium knows the offense is going to run the ball. The defensive coaches have told the safeties to “Watch the play action”. Everyone is screaming at the defensive line to “Get penetration”. The defensive coordinator has given the star line backer the heads up to shoot the gap and mash the first thing that comes through the hole.
Before the snap, what is the star line backer thinking? “I think about hittin somebody and going all out,” Says Frostproof 2015 LB Cecil Cherry. Right before the collision occurs with the ball carrier “All I’m thinking about is to kill (not literally) that RB and put him on my highlight film”.
Cherry is a 6-2/220 lbs sophomore who already holds a verbal offer from the Florida Gators. He is a vicious hitter who bangs and takes names later. Throughout his film (viewable below), you can see Cherry snapping the necks’ back of opponents. Literally, knocking them off their feet, winning the one on one collision. What is interesting, Cherry has always been a good sized kid. Playing varsity football at Frostproof as an 8th grader. Being young, but big enough to compete at the varsity level helped the maturity process of young Cherry, “It [playing varsity] was wonderful”.
Cherry spent his Freshman year in South Carolina and returned to Frostproof for his sophomore season. He says the biggest difference between South Carolina and Florida is size and speed. “My Mother and sitter lived there, that’s why I moved. South Carolina, they [players] are much bigger and Florida got speed,” says Cherry.
Last season Cecil totaled 58 solo tackles and 96 total tackles (See stats here). 10 solo tackles in back to back games vs Tenoroc and Lakeland Christian. Naturally, South Carolina, Clemson, Florida, Florida State and South Florida are recruiting Cherry the hardest as a young pup. UMASS has already been in steady contact with Cherry. He currently claims a verbal offer from Florida, Florida State, Arizona State and UMASS.