Is LB Cassell the Gators’ ninth 2011 commit?

By Adam Silverstein
June 25, 2010

Three-star linebacker Rahim Cassell (Lakewood, CA) committed to the Florida Gators on Thursday, but a conflicting report states that Florida is hesitant to officially accept his commitment.

“I’m stoked,” Cassell told Chris Hays of the Orlando Sentinel about his decision. “They were my first choice all along, them and Oregon, but I was more leaning toward Florida all along.”

Cassell said that he committed to tight ends coach Brian White over the phone and expected to speak with the remainder of the coaching staff – including head coach Urban Meyer – Thursday evening. He has yet to visit Gainesville, FL, and will not until Friday Night Lights camp at the end of July.

Though he has not seen the University of Florida for himself, Cassell admitted that he was influenced to jump on board by USC’s 2010 five-star quarterback commitment Jesse Scroggins, who raved about the time he had at UF.

“[Scroggins] just told me so many good things about when they went down there to visit that it just sounded perfect for me,” Cassell said. “I’m glad I got this done and committed to Florida. Coaches are starting to hit me up and trying to have me take all these unofficial visits and I can’t visit everywhere. I’m really happy that I committed.”

While Cassell may have made his mind up, Mark Wheeler of Rivals is reporting that the Gators will not be accepting his “commitment” right now. The program may be making this decision simply because the coaches have yet to see him workout at one of their camps, or Florida may believe that there are better players they are in the running for to take a scholarship at the same position.

Cassell told the Sentinel that he is ready to move on from recruiting and is so sure of his decision that he is starting to decline offers.

“I’m just beginning to tell [the other schools] now through e-mail. I haven’t spoken with any of them yet,” Cassell added.

UPDATE: The Sentinel caught up with Cassell late on Friday after reports of his commitment not being accepted surfaced across various websites including OGGOA. He somewhat confirmed these findings, noting that while the Gators did not come out and say his commitment was not accepted, Florida is taking a wait-and-see approach until he visits campus and meets with Meyer.

“[White] didn’t say I wasn’t committed, but they do want to form more of a relationship with me,” Cassell told the paper. “When I spoke with him [on Thursday], he did not let me know of this. But I’m guessing they are not accepting my commitment just yet because I did not get to visit the school. I just tried to get in contact with [linebackers] coach [D.J.] Durkin, unfortunately he did not answer so I left a message.”

Though Cassell “did not get the chance to talk to Urban Meyer because of the time difference between here and Florida,” he calls his decision “a for-sure commitment.”

Photo Credit: Rivals

8 Comments

  1. npgator says:

    I have always had a hard time trying to figure out why some players who say they are commited but never had a commitable offer? It seems like it should be black or white – either you do or you don’t and why would he say he is committed if he really didn’t have an official offer? Anyone know the answer to this?

  2. You can want to go play somewhere and decide that is what you want to do as a “first choice” even if you don’t have an offer. It may help him get an offer, actually, if they like what he shows them at FNL. But I know what you are saying – what if that offer never comes? I would be embarrassed if I committed somewhere and never ended up getting an offer there.

  3. npgator says:

    Thanks Adam for the response.

  4. JayV says:

    Smells fishy.. hope it isn’t!

  5. alex4r says:

    He is not a commit.

  6. Correct – not yet at least. Hence the entire article above.

  7. vsherrel says:

    A commitment without a scholarship offer?
    I think this kid is jumping the gun.

    If this is the way things work, I would like to formally announce that I “commit” to play for the Gators next season.
    Well, Im really only a 50% commit. I may decide to just submit my name for the NFL Draft.

    I think he is pretty foolish to be calling people and turning down actual offers before Florida put one on the table.

  8. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    It would be nice to keep a pipeline to the West Coast open to possibly pull future Powell’s to UF….if this kid is good enough and gets an offer it’s nice to see Urban keep the national flavor to his recruiting

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