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October 29, 2013

All-American teammates


MOBILE, Ala. | Around two million kids play high school football. The Under Armour All-American Game selects the best 90 in the country.

Being one of those 90 is rare. Having two kids from the same high school represented among those 90 is even more rare. But, St. Paul's Episcopal (Ala.) accomplished that feat on Tuesday afternoon when five-star linebacker Tre Williams and four-star center Joshua Casher were honored as members of the 2014 Under Armour All-American team.

"It would be hard to replace those guys. They don't come along very often. The athletic ability speaks for itself and their character is off the charts," St. Paul's coach Steve Mask said.

Williams is the nation's No. 2 inside linebacker and No. 22 overall player. Williams is committed to Auburn.

"It feels great to be an All-American," Williams said. "It feels great that we have to players from the same school, that's special."

Casher is the nation's No. 2 center and No. 196 overall player. Casher was formerly committed to Auburn, but decommitted in July. Casher committed to Alabama on Tuesday evening.

"It's so amazing. It's good to think highly of yourself, but this is a blessing for both of us," Casher said. "It's good to be recognized for your hard work."

Williams has widely been regarded as an elite prospect throughout his high school career. Casher took longer to develop, but both possess bright futures.

"We were always a little worried about Josh's height, but his ability to play was always evident. Tre was big-time as a ninth-grader, but we knew both would be special early on," Mask said.

"I thought of myself as going to college, graduating, maybe getting drafted. But when I got to high school I knew I had to pick it up. My work ethic has to get better," Williams said. "I started noticing the difference between then and now. When I set that goal I started building and building and now I'm an All-American."

From Chavis Jackson, to former Alabama safety Mark Barron, to current Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, Williams and Casher follow in a talented line of St. Paul's players.

"I wasn't fortunate enough to coach them, but in 30 years of coaching and I know everybody says this, Josh is the best offensive linemen I've ever coached and Tre is the best football player I've ever coached. They understand what's going on, they never miss a practice, those intangibles are hard to replace," Mask said.

"It's evident by the turnout of our faculty today. The minute they walked on campus, the faculty embraced them. They have the type personalities that draw people to them."

Twitter: @JHokanson

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