2013 Update: QB Kolney Cassel

QB Kolney Cassel

Washington quarterback Kolney Cassel discusses last weekend's New Level Athletics Elite 7-on-7 Tournament in Las Vegas and his plans to visit SMU--and perhaps commit--next week.

Over the weekend, SMU prospect Kolney Cassel quarterbacked Team Washington at the New Level Athletics Elite 7-on-7 Tournament in Las Vegas.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder out of Eisenhower High School (Yakima, Wash.) was joined by close friend, cornerback Tere' Calloway of Seattle Prep, who's also been offered by the Mustangs.

Saturday, all teams played three games for Sunday's seeding purposes. Team Washington went into the final day ranked second, but unfortunately lost its first game to a team from Arizona.

Cassel had to split reps with another kid, so he didn't get as much playing time as he had hoped for. But even so, Cassel had a great time in Vegas and learned a lot.

"I learned a lot about the Division I talent that's out there, a lot about what I need to work on and I made some new friends, so it was a good experience," he said.

Looking back, Cassel believes his team, which was coached by Washington State wide receiver Mike Bush, could have beaten the team from Arizona.

He also thinks that he stacked up well against all the other quarterbacks that competed in the tournament.

"I thought honestly I was just as good as any quarterback there, but the fact that I had to split time and other quarterbacks had their own team, I wasn't really able to get into a groove," he said.

The reason why Cassel had to split reps was due to the fact that Yakima is about three hours from Seattle, which is where the practices were, and he had to miss a few so the team had to bring on another kid to take snaps.

Aside from football, Cassel said they got some free time to explore Vegas a little.

"On Saturday we walked the strip and hung out with each other," he said.

Cassel and Calloway, who could perhaps end up as college teammates at SMU someday, roomed together at Circus Circus.

Post-tournament, Cassel knows that to be just a bit better than he already is, he simply just needs to throw more.

"I really just need more reps with good receivers and defensive backs," he said.

It should be fairly easy for Cassel to tweak anything that needs to be tweaked as his life revolves around football. Rather than going out and partying like most kids at school, Cassel has his goals in check and prefers to throw and lift everyday with his best friend, and then hang out with his family. He also coaches his 7-year-old brother's little league baseball team.

"My best friend and I have the same goals," Cassel said. "We don't party. We like to hang out at my house and chill with the family and stuff. We don't want to do all that other stuff and risk our futures. It's not worth the risk at all."

Ever since being offered by SMU, Cassel has been in contact with defensive coordinator Tom Mason. Sometimes he'll shoot the coach an email about a kid nearby to look at since SMU doesn't have a set of eyes in the Northwest. Mason seems to take to Cassel's tastes, as Calloway was a prospect the quarterback brought to the Mustangs' attention.

"I want to be good, so whatever I can do to help," Cassel said.

Other than discussing recruiting, Cassel said he's gotten personal feedback from Mason as well.

"He told me they really like me as a person and that I'm really into football…football is my life," he said. "They said that's one of the main things they like about me. They also like my film."

In preparation for the fall season and playing at the next level, Cassel works out three times a day. In the morning before school in what's called "zero period," the football team power lifts all together. Then he has second period off because he's planning on graduating early and doesn't need any more credits, so he throws into a net at school or with a friend who has P.E. at the same time, works on his footwork and watches film. Then after school, he'll go to a local gym and work on his cardio (he runs at least two miles a day) and strengthening his lower body.

Cassel, and perhaps Calloway, too, will visit SMU next week. Cassel is expected to commit to the Mustangs while on campus.


For more SMU coverage, follow Laken Litman on Twitter!

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