Oct. 19, 2013
By Alex Marcheschi
OhioBobcats.com - Staff Writer
When the Bobcats need a crucial deep play, there's a good chance that redshirt junior wide receiver Chase Cochran will be on the other end of it.
"Growing up I always liked to watch Randy Moss take the top off the defense," Cochran said. "And I've always joked that that's just my job."
The wide out has recorded eight plays of over 40 yards this season, an astounding stat. Whether it's surprising the defense early in the game with an explosive streak or coming through in the clutch with a long range touchdown catch, Cochran can be counted on.
"I love him being out there," said Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton. "He just brings that threat and if we need something deep, you know he's going to be there. He's proven that he makes play after play."
The receiver had a bit of a coming out party in the 2012 Advocare V100 Independence Bowl last year, racking up 162 receiving yards and a touchdown on just three catches for Ohio.
This year, he's taken his game to another level. Through six games, Cochran has 22 catches for 419 yards and two touchdowns. His longest play from scrimmage stretched 75 yards and he's averaging 19.0 yards per reception. Those are electric numbers and his spike in production can be credited to one thing: confidence.
"Right now he's built up his confidence," said Ohio wide receivers coach Dwayne Dixon. "He's stayed after every practice and made a conscious effort to find a way to make a play on the ball. His confidence is tremendous right now, he's continuing to develop what he's practiced doing and now he's become something that we as a team can reap the benefits of."
The best receivers have a mindset that allows them to block out the extraneous factors and go make a play. Even though Cochran is counted on in high-pressure situations, he doesn't let the spotlight get to him.
"It's just you and the ball being thrown to you and you just have to go and make the play," Cochran said. "You just do your best not to focus on the defenders."
It's a strategy that most receivers rely on, as Dixon, who played collegiately at Florida and in both the NFL and AFL, explained in further detail.
"When you run the route, you want to do what it takes to make the big play and not worry so much about actually making the catch or the touchdown," he said. "You concentrate on the best way to make those things occur, and then worry about executing it when the time comes."
Cochran is able to separate himself from defenders using his elusive speed, but he has a few go-to moves to get some breathing room on his routes.
"If I go inside, the defender is going to move inside with me, then I'll go back out," he said. "If I want to go outside, I'll force him inside. I just try to trick him into figuring out where I'm going to go."
And where he's going is usually down the field for a dynamic play. He's blossoming as a standout receiver this year and Tettleton couldn't be happier with him and his progress.
"My confidence in him is really high, right now I love throwing to him," Tettleton said. "What makes him so special, besides his speed, his ability to better himself from the receivers and coaches we have here."
Cochran has worked hard to get where he is now, staying after practice and honing his craft. His future is bright and the Bobcats know that they can rely on him. His mindset is what sets him apart, and Dixon summed it up well.
"He's confident in what he's doing and he knows how valuable the opportunity to make a play is," Dixon said. "He just lives in the moment."