Interest picking up for SMU QB commit

Kolney Cassel has been recently fielding calls from a couple of BCS programs. Is he still solid to SMU?

Yakima Eisenhower (WA) quarterback Kolney Cassel decided to close his recruitment in May when he committed to SMU.

But recently, the two-star signal caller has been receiving interest from the likes of Hawaii, Oklahoma State and Washington State, where he earned MVP honors at a recent camp. Still, Cassel says he's paying other suitors no mind.

"I told (Washington State) I was solid on SMU, and that there really wasn't any reason for them to keep talking to me," he said. "Oklahoma State started showing some interest, but I told them that I was solid to SMU too."

Cassel expects to stay committed through signing day and is eager to leave the northwest for a warmer environment down south.

"I really like June Jones and the family atmosphere. I like the location a lot too. I don't want to be up in the cold weather anymore," Cassel said. "Distance isn't really a factor at all because my mom works for an airline so all that really interests me."

One of the big reasons why Cassel decided to commit to SMU, which was the first school to extend an offer, is his ongoing relationship with defensive coordinator Tom Mason. Cassel has even been helping Mason recruit more athletes from his area.

"I have a really good relationship with Coach Mason because my coach and him are really good friends," Cassel said. "He told me how SMU is and all that.

"I'm sending him a lot of film from kids. I sent him Nate Halverson's film. I sent him Tere Calloway's film. Last week, I sent him about 20 films of kids who are underrated. We email a lot and everything so it's a really good relationship."

The future Mustang field general has also occasionally spoken to head coach June Jones, who always seems to provide some words of encouragement.

"I've talked to him about three or four times," Cassel said. "He said there was about 100 quarterbacks he saw and even the higher rated recruits, and he thought I was the best out of all of them. He said I can fit in to the offense and that I'll be on the field sooner than I think. Hopefully, he means that."

Cassel believes he can excel in the Run N' Shoot thanks to his pinpoint accuracy and big gun. Last season, he passed for 2,697 yards and 27 touchdowns en route to being named Big 9 Co-offensive Player of the Year.

"It really is similar to my offense that I run here at my high school. Coach Jones loves to throw the ball around a lot, and that's exactly what we do," Cassel said. "I'm really not a running quarterback so playing in a passing offense was ideal. It was one of the biggest factors in my decision."

Cassel added that he would be on the Hilltop for an unofficial visit next month with his mother, who has yet to see the campus.

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