LB – 6‐0, 205, 4.50
Lakewood, Calif. (Lakewood HS)
The Ducks need help at linebacker, this season, right away.
Losing Kiko Alonso and Tyson Coleman to indefinite conduct-related suspensions has depleted the linebacker corps and left some holes in the rotation. Duck fans naturally look down the bench to the young, promising recruiting class, and ask, can this kid be ready now?
Lakewood plays their linebackers a little deeper than most, four or five yards off the ball. Cassell’s feet are moving on every play, and he’s quick. At one minute, observe two plays where he sheds the block of a much bigger offensive tackle to destroy the play in the backfield. He runs very well and gets after people, plays a very fearless style of football, something that really comes through in a kick-coverage segment at the 4:15 mark. High school 40 times can’t be trusted, but Cassell is the first man down on the kickoffs, and the man most likely to find the ball carrier from the line of scrimmage. He exhibits great effort, chasing down plays, and does a great job of sifting through traffic. He seems to love contact.
A three-star prospect from most of the services, Cassell originally committed to Florida before the Gators inexplicably backed out. Other offers included Nebraska, Washington, Oregon State, Arizona State, and Purdue, according to Rivals.com
His teams at Lakewood went 21-4 in the last two years, advancing to the Sectional Playoffs each year while winning two league titles. Cassell had 55 tackles as a senior and 69 in his junior year, totalling 7 sacks over the two seasons. He plays fast and hits. At 6-0, 205, he’s probably too small to play as a true freshman, but he’s a promising player with a great motor, an ideal linebacker for Nick Aliotti’s system.