Head Coach David Cutcliffe has been consistent in his desire to increase team speed across the board…
Chris Tavarez names top three
"Right now I'd say Duke, Tulane, and Maryland are my top three," said Chris Tavarez. "Duke is a pretigious school known for their academic strength. They were the first to offer me and to see my potential. They complimented me on my skill and relentlessness on the field. I feel at home with the coaches. "Tulane was the second school to want me," Tavarez said. "Coach (Thomas) Woods has been great. I hear that New Orleans is a great place, and I like their team and coaching staff. "Maryland is a team I've liked ever since they had Vernon Davis," said Tavarez. "They had a down year last year, but they were young and played a lot of freshmen. I think they'll be a contender in the ACC in a few years." Tavarez, 5-11, 192, was 1st team All-Region last season at Westlake playing for Coach Greg Minnis. Tavarez made 127 tackles at outside linebacker and safety, 60 solo, 23 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, one interception, two pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and scored one touchdown. He has been clocked at 4.49 in the 40. "In a game against East Coweta, we came in and the fans were going crazy," said Tavarez. "They were yelling and throwing stuff at the team bus. On the kickoff return, I came in and laid a big hit, knocking him out. The crowd went completely silent, and I think set the tone for the game. We won it at the buzzer." Tavarez is being looked at for safety at the next level. His other offers include Kentucky, Princeton and Harvard, and drawing interest from such powerhouses as Auburn, Vanderbilt, Stanford, UCLA, Oregon, Cincinnati and Louisville. "I think I have one of the best back pedals in Georgia," said Tavarez of his game. "My hitting ability is underrated and is the reason they have me at outside linebacker at Westlake. I've been told by coaches my hips movement is phenomenal, very fluid. When I play free safety or string safety, I feel I can chase down any receiver." At a recent camp on the Georgia Tech campus, Tavarez was named defensive back MVP. With so many teams expressing interest, Tavarez says he may not commit anytime soon. "The first thing for me is academics," said Tavarez. "I want to be a true student-athlete. I'd like to pursue sports journalism or business marketing. I'd like to continue acting as well and may go on some auditions, but my main passion is football. "The next thing for me is the coaching staff. I want to be at a place that wants me for what I bring to the program as a person to represent the school more than as just a football player. And I want where I go to feel as if it's a second home to me." An acting gig in New Zealand took Tavarez away from spring football and many of the camps. He feels that may have slowed the recruiting process down a bit for him, but he's ready to kick it into high gear with a strong senior season. "Two-a-days start in August," Tavarez said. "They are talking about playing me at outside linebacker, safety, middle linebacker, defensive end, and running back. I won't be able to sit down. "We're going to have a young team, but our goal is to win a state championship. I want to uphold the school's name in a positive way may it be through my acting or through football. I want people when they come to Atlanta and see or hear about Westlake to immediately recognize us and think outstanding things about our school and our football program." Tavarez has a 3.8 GPA and scored a 1330 on the SAT. From a football family, Chris's uncle played at Morehouse College in Atlanta. His father was also heavily recruited and offered by Miami before deciding to join the military. The Westlake Lions start their season with Washington High School on August 27th at home.
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