By the time he graduates next spring,
may own every major passing record in Connecticut.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior quarterback completed 15 of 18 passes for 385 yards and three touchdowns as Masuk (Monroe, Conn.)
launched its season with a 49-14 rout of Oxford (Conn.). That gave him a state-record career passing total of 8,085 yards. The previous mark was 7,710 by Joe Della Vecchia of St. Joseph (Trumbull, Conn.) from 2008-10.
In his fourth year as a varsity starter, he already held the state record for career completions, which was 485 entering his final campaign. Cochran is happy, but doesn't want records to be placed ahead of victories for the Panthers, who now have a 14-game winning streak.
"In season I'm kind of taking it in stride and trying not to make it too big of a deal. After the season I'll sit back (and acknowledge) it's a great honor. I want to keep my head clear," Cochran said.
Cochran grew up in a football family. His father, Jack Cochran, is one of Connecticut's all-time great coaches, having worked at several different high schools and won eight state championships.
As a freshman Casey stepped in for an injured starter and led his father's New London (Conn.) team to the Class SS state title. The next year, his family moved to Monroe and he led the Panthers to a 9-1 record as a sophomore.
His junior year was perfect as he paced Masuk to a 13-0 record and the Class L state title. The Panthers were so powerful that their average winning margin was an astounding 49 points and their closest game was a 50-20 rout of four-time defending champion New Canaan (Conn.) in the state-title contest.
Cochran had obvious talent when he arrived at Masuk, though he was somewhat overweight.
Coach John Murphy pointed out, "We were excited. You could see the talent. But he was a little different kid. He had a big arm, but he was really heavier back then, 225 pounds. He had a good feel for the game, stepped in and did an amazing job. He had two games over 500 yards and a five-touchdown game as a sophomore."
As a junior, Cochran threw for more than 3,300 yards and 40 touchdowns. Besides the state title, his rewards included being named Gatorade State Player of the Year and the Walter Camp Foundation Player of the Year.
Murphy doesn't hesitate when he calls his signal caller "truly the hardest-working kid I've ever come across. He is super smart (3.9 GPA and 1800 SAT)."
Cochran has made a commitment to the University of Connecticut, but he also considered Boston College and Ivy League schools Yale and Princeton.
The humble Masuk star likes to spread credit around for his success. He still watches film with his father, who taught him how to read defenses, the mental aspects and how to be a good team player. He also credits him for his leadership ability.
"Coach Murphy set me up in a great offense and taught me how to run an offense," he noted. "Our quarterback coach, Travis Meyer, taught me throwing mechanics and all the different mechanics that come with being a quarterback."
Complementing Cochran with several Division I wide receivers and an outstanding running back, the Panthers have the talent to repeat as state champions. Murphy concedes there is pressure on his team, particularly on Cochran, but he points out, "There's been pressure on him since he stepped into a starting role as a freshman. His name is as big as it gets. I really believe that this is going to be the best year he's ever had."More football milestones for coaches and players (Continue reading)