Four-star Kentucky linebacker Jared Casey commits to Oregon
Class of 2019 four-star Louisville (Ky.) Ballard linebacker Jared Casey didn't hold a single Power Five offer when the calendar turned to May earlier this year. But after impressing on the camp circuit, including an MVP performance at the Nashville stop of the Rivals 3 Stripe Camp presented by adidas, everything changed. That's when Oregon entered the picture and began a whirlwind courtship that led to Casey's commitment on Thursday night.
"I'm a Duck," said Casey, who took an official visit to Eugene for the Ducks' game against Stanford last month. "I almost committed when I was there, because it just felt like home. But I wanted to come home and make sure I wasn't just caught up in the moment. And when I did I just couldn't stop thinking about going back. I put in a lot of research and I know that Oregon is the best fit for me."
Casey developed a fast relationship with his future position coach Cort Dennison, as well as area recruiter Michael Johnson. After getting a chance to spend time talking with Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal while on campus, Casey said he was more than comfortable putting his future in the staff's hands.
"I haven't met a more genuine group of coaches during the process," Casey said. "They're my favorite staff and I can't wait to play for them."
As far as his on-field fit, Casey projects to play outside linebacker for Oregon, although he said the coaching staff likes his versatility and he has the potential to fit a number of different places.
"They said mostly likely I’ll be coming off the edge like Justin Hollins does now," Casey said. "I’ll be rushing the passer, but they know I'm versatile and I can play wherever they need me."
With Hollins and other key members of the Oregon defense graduating this year, Casey said his goal is to see the field early in Eugene and he's now focused on working toward that goal.
"They said if I meet them halfway and do what I need to do and do everything right I will get a chance to play," Casey said. "Nothing is given, I have to earn it and I'm ready to work."
Oregon's success under Cristobal this season has impressed Casey, and he said he expects it to continue for years to come.
"I think they’re on a huge come-up," Casey said. "Coach Cristobal came from Alabama and he brings that different mentality the program and it's showing. They are playing really well this season and are building something special there."
The Ducks beat out in-state programs Kentucky and Louisville as well as late-comer Wisconsin to land Casey's commitment. He said now that he's in the fold, he's ready to move on from the recruiting process.
"I just want to shut this whole recruiting process down," Casey said. "It’s been a long couple of months and now that I'm committed I just want to focus on that and finishing up my senior season."
Casey added that his family is on-board with his decision 100 percent.
"I have a great support system and they support me no matter what," he said." They want to see me play most of the time but they want whatever is best for me, and that’s Oregon."
Casey is commitment No. 22 in the Class of 2019 for Oregon, which is currently projected to be the school's highest-ranked class in the Rivals.com era (2002-present).