Oregon Ducks linebacker Rahim Cassell, a redshirt sophomore from Lakewood High School (Lakewood, California), enters his third season in the Oregon program.
Before joining the Ducks, Casssell was an incredibly dominant presence as a prep prospect. Cassell finished his junior season with 69 tackles and six sacks. As a senior he recorded 55 tackles (38 unassisted, 17 assisted) one sack and a forced fumble while receiving double-teams throughout.
Cassell was a consensus three-star recruit by Scout, Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN. Scout listed his strengths as agility, discipline and instincts while knocking him for his size. At 6’0″ and 215 lbs, according to the Oregon Ducks roster, Cassell is similar to the size he was in high school. ESPN was the biggest believer in Cassell, listing him as the No. 30 linebacker from the 2011 class.
Cassell had offers from Arizona State, California, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, Washington and Washington State amongst others before choosing the Ducks.
In 2011, Cassell spent his first season in Eugene redshirting while participating on the scout team. Cassell earned defensive scout team player of the week honors against Nevada and Arizona State.
In 2012, Cassell appeared in all 13 games for the Ducks as one of the team’s most valuable reserve linebackers. Cassell finished the season with 19 tackles (eight unassisted, 11 assisted) with one pass breakup and one pass deflection. Cassell had multi-tackle games against Arkansas State, Washington and Arizona State.
In the 2013 Spring Game, Cassell saw extensive action at linebacker for the Green Team. Cassell finished second with seven tackles (two unassisted, five assisted) and a pass breakup. He also started in the game.
Going into the 2013 season, Cassell will battle for one of the three starting linebacker jobs after the graduation of Michael Clay, Kiko Alonso and Dion Jordan. Cassell has the experience from last season and having started in the Spring Game it should be a strong indicator that the coaches are paying attention.
Cassell will be in a battle with Derrick Malone, Tyson Coleman, Rodney Hardrick and Joe Walker for one of the two starting ILB jobs.