Last season, in what looked like just another season for
Casey—one on the bench—he shined. In his debut against
And this year, the 6-foot-7 270
"I'm a lot more comfortable," he said. "I know the offense a lot better now than I did at this time last season. In that sense, it's different. But I'm still working hard everyday, like I did last season and trying to improve myself."
But there was a time when Casey wasn't sure if he'd ever see the field, even sometimes wondering if it was all worth it.
"Those times getting ready for practice everyday and knowing that I wasn't going to play that week were hard," he said. "But you just have to keep working hard for that chance to get out there and show what you can do and got my chance last season.
"I'm a hard working person. I don't give up. I come out there every year and try my best. The coaches notice it, but there have always been two or three tight ends ahead of me every year. Finally, when Thomas Hill got hurt, not that I wanted him hurt, but it gave me an opportunity to go out there, step up, and show what I could do."
But despite his success as a junior, Casey said he was surprised to receive the preseason acknowledgement that he has.
"I wasn't sure if I was even going to make it through last season after not playing me first three years here," he said. "But now I have to go out there and prove myself everyday to earn that recognition."