The state of Washington always produces a lot of talented signal-callers, but in 2013 they are loaded with big-time prospects on both sides of the state. This year, the top gun-slinger from Eastern Washington is Eisenhower (Yakima) QB Kolney Cassel who put up monster numbers as a junior and could have an even better senior season in 2012.
“One of our top guys (Denzel Jones) is graduating, but I’m real close and almost best friends with Ridge Harmon and Darius Pati so we should be just fine,” Cassel said. “I love the offense we run. It’s a lot like a spread,but we’re mainly out of the ‘Pistol’ (QB in shotgun/RB two yards behind him), but we do some stuff under center so I have to be able to do it all.
“I’m more of a pocket passer, but I have enough quickness to get away from pressure and keep plays alive.”
As a junior in 2011, Cassel put up big numbers — completing almost 60% of his passes for 2,664 yards, 27 touchdowns and only nine interceptions — finishing second in the Big 9 in yardage and quarterback rating.
“I had a good season, but I feel like I still have a lot to work on,” Cassel noted. “I’m working a lot on my foot speed and I want to get stronger so I can take hits better. I also am just continuing to work on my footwork and my mechanics and how I read defenses.”
Last year Cassel participated in several camps including Washington’s QB Skills camp in June and this summer he plans to hit the camp circuit as well.
“My team is probably camping at Washington State, so that is a school that I’m planning to go to camp at,” Cassel said. “I really like the new coaches up there and the offense they run is fun for a QB to run.
“I’m going to go to the Elite 11 tryout and see if I can get qualified to compete in that and then I also have a bunch of Junior Days I want to hit like Washington State’s, Cal’s, Stanford and a few others.”
While Cassel doesn’t have any offers to this point, he said that Colorado State could be close to offering and he is hearing from quite a few other programs.
“I’ve gotten a lot of letters from schools like Duke, North Carolina State, UCLA and Oregon State,” Cassel said. “My coach got a call from Washington State and they wanted my film, so I’m hoping that they offer soon.
“I’m planning to take some unofficial trips to see some schools and just go through the process. Once I start getting offers, that is when I’ll see when I’m ready to make my decision.”
In the mean time we will look forward to seeing Kolney on the NEI/Barton Tour during the spring and summer as he comes in the State’s #2 ranked QB.