Jurrell Casey is one of those players who is critical to USC's future but who is really off the grid. he is not one to cuse problems or find himself in the headlines off the field.
This is a special player who will have a great career once he gets to the NFL.
Nothing will get in his way...literally.
At USC, the 6-foot-1, 305-pound Casey has excelled despite playing for three position coaches in two-plus years, drawing praise and comparisons to former Trojans All-Americans Mike Patterson and Sedrick Ellis.
New defensive line coach Ed Orgeron loves Casey's attitude and build, but he has reserved judgment before putting him in the same category as players selected 31st and seventh overall in the NFL draft.
"He shows signs, he shows capabilities, but he has to do it on a consistent basis," said Orgeron, who also tutored Patterson and Ellis during a previous coaching stint with the Trojans.
Casey agrees, and he intends to quietly lead a defensive line that is regarded as the strength of a USC team facing its own focus-related challenges. NCAA sanctions have left the Trojans on probation and ineligible for a bowl game.
This kid gets it.
He was not interested in leaving the program because of one missed bowl game...I say one because I just don't see him staying around for his senior season. I would love it if he would but with things getting even tougher for 'SC next season with the roster why take the chance? This upcoming season will play a significant part part in that decision but if Casey has a monster year he is gone...no question and I would not blame him one bit.
There will be plenty of film on him for the NFL to make an educated opinion on him and I have little doubt that he will turn some heads at the next level.
Casey's personal saga makes him that much special. He has faced adversity and not let it get in the way of his goals. It may not have been easy for him to take it in stride but persevered. That is an exceptional quality that is saught out at the next level.
Coach Orgeron thinks that Casey still has some work to do in terms of development but if anyone can respond it is Casey.
This years D-Line could be very special. There is some significant talent there and Casey will be a big part of it.
It is hard not to pull for this kid!