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