Dalton tight end and defensive end Chase Westfall is the No. 8-ranked college football prospect among area high school seniors. Westfall, who ended his recruitment after committing to Mercer University early this summer, sat down with the Times Free Press recently before the start of his final prep season.
Q: Why did you decide to commit to Mercer?
A: "I chose Mercer because the school has a great reputation and the football program is up and coming, and I believe I can help build it up. I'm not sure what I want to major in yet, but they have several schools, including Business and Engineering, so that gives me options."
Q: Tight end or defensive end -- which would you prefer to play at Mercer?
A: "Probably tight end. I started out on defense, so I like them both, but I like catching the ball and having the option to score. I think we're going to pass the ball more this year, and I'm really looking forward to getting more involved in the offense."
Q: If bigger schools come calling, what would it take for them to get you away from Mercer?
A: "It would take a pretty big school and they would have to have a great academic reputation, maybe a school like Wake Forest, but right now I'm very excited about Mercer."
Q: What's the main thing you hope to improve in your game this season?
A: "Probably finishing my assignments on defense. Last year when I played I pretty much tackled who had the ball and didn't make a lot of reads, so I know I can improve on that. Offensively, maybe finishing after the catch, getting more yards after the catch."
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...