Cassel commits to Mustangs

During his West Coast recruiting trip, SMU defensive coordinator Tom Mason made a stop in Yakima, Wash. and picked up the Mustangs' eighth commitment of the 2013 class in quarterback Kolney Cassel.

SMU has its eighth commitment of the 2013 class in Kolney Cassel.

Cassel, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound quarterback out of Eisenhower High School (Yakima, Wash.) has been interested in the Mustangs for quite some time, but has been waiting for the right situation to commit.

Cassel received an offer from the Mustangs back in February. Intrigued by everything he had heard about the university and its football program, Cassel and his father set up a visit.

The two went in March, but Cassel still couldn't commit. Not without his mother's approval.

Cassel was going to visit SMU again at the end of this month, this time with both parents, but with SMU defensive coordinator Tom Mason heading up to Washington during his West Coast recruiting trip this week, Cassel's father, Rod, said a trip to Dallas might not be necessary in order for Kolney to commit after all.

And it wasn't, as Mason stopped by Eisenhower on Thursday.

"Coach Mason was meeting with my coach and I went into his office in between periods to talk to him and Mason was there," Cassel said. "So I started talking to him and told him I talked to my mom this morning and she was like, ‘If you want to do it, go ahead. I think it will be a great fit.' So I told him, ‘I'm going to be a Mustang,' and he shook my hand."

After verbally committing, Cassel called June Jones.

"He said he's really excited and thinks I'll fit in the program very well," Cassel said.

Cassel was being recruited by Mustangs' quarterbacks' coach Dan Morrison, and said he initially got hooked up with SMU because a friend of his from Oregon knows Jones well. He's also been in constant contact with Mason.

"It feels great [to commit]," Cassel said. "I don't have to worry about other colleges and visits and spending money on recruiting camps. I can save up money and work on what I need to work on and know that I'm going to SMU. Right now I need to work on myself and get my team to a state championship."

Cassel had scholastic scholarship offers from Yale, Dartmouth and Harvard, but was not interested.

Before he arrives on the Hilltop in the fall of 2013, there are some things Cassel knows he needs to work on.

"Just getting bigger," he said. "Doing what I'm doing now, get bigger, quicker…I'm doing all the things I need to do right now, I just need to keep doing them."

Cassel is excited to play in the Run and Shoot, as that's essentially the type of offense his high school runs and what he's most comfortable in.

"Coach Jones airs it out so much and that's what I do best," Cassel said. "I'm not a runner, I throw. So that's basically what fits me best and I knew that and that's why the decision [to commit] was so easy."

When Cassel is a freshman, he'll have four other quarterbacks to compete with in Garrett Gilbert (who will be in his final year of eligibility), Conner Preston, Stephen Kaiser and Neal Burcham.

"I don't know if [the coaches] will redshirt me or what, but all I know is I'll have to go in there and work as hard as I can and if it's not good enough, I'll keep working until it is good enough," he said.

Before committing, Cassel was going to hit up the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp in Las Vegas in June, but now he may not.

He will visit SMU again sometime during his senior year for an official visit.

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