Player Profile #65 – DT Jurrell Casey

Had tragedy not intervened, Jurrell Casey would have had a road map to handling the NFL Draft – his older brother – by two years – Jurray had accepted a football scholarship to the University of Oregon. According to his little brother, Jurray was the best football player in the family, a 6-2, 210-pound linebacker with 4.5 speed who had registered 215 tackles over his final two seasons at football powerhouse Long Beach Polytechnic.

But Jurray’s life got sidetracked – he’s sitting in the California State Prison in Sacramento serving a 50-year to life sentence after being convicted of first-degree murder in June of 2007.

Jurrell Casey now waits for the NFL Draft, where he should be selected somewhere in the first three rounds and continue the football career he started at Southern Cal and Long Beach Poly.

Here’s Jurrell Casey’s story.

FAMILY MATTERS

Jurrell Casey

Born – December 5, 1989 in Long Beach, California.

Family – Father unknown. Collette Burns is his mother and Jurrell is the youngest of her four children. Older brother Jurray sits in a California prison after being convinced of first-degree murder for a drive-by shooting incident in January 2006.

BODY OF WORK

  • Height – 6-feet, ½-inch.
  • Weight – 300 pounds.
  • Arm – 32 inches.
  • Hand – 8 ¾ inches.
  • 40-yard dash – 4.97 seconds (Pro Day.)
  • 20-yard dash – 2.82 seconds.
  • 10-yard dash – 1.77 seconds.
  • Bench press – 26 repetitions at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 27½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 8-feet, 5 inches.

HIGH SCHOOL

Casey was a member of the graduating class of 2008 at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, the largest school in the Long Beach Unified School District. It has more than 5,000 students. Graduates include everyone from actress Cameron Diaz, rapper Snoop Dogg, opera singer Marilyn Horne, tennis legend Billie Jean King, basketball player Tyus Edney and baseball players Tony Gwynn, Milton Bradley and Chase Utley.

The L.B. Poly Jackrabbits have produced more NFL players than any other high school in the country, with well over 50 Jackrabbits making the big leagues. Former Chiefs wide receivers Stephone Paige and Samie Parker were both Poly products.

Casey was named the 2007 CIF/Pac-5 Division Co-Defensive MVP. He was named to the all-city teams of the Los Angeles Times and Long Beach Press-Telegram. He was also voted the Moore League defensive MVP.

FOOTBALL

2007 – Casey became the defensive star of the Jackrabbits, with 134 total tackles, 7 sacks, 2 recovered fumbles, a forced fumble, a blocked punt and 2 TDs as Poly went 13-1 and won the CIF Pac-5 Division title.

2006 – Getting his first real taste of playing time, Casey had 104 tackles, 10 sacks, 6 recovered fumbles, 2 blocked punts and he scored 2 TDs as Poly went 11-2 on the season.

RECRUITING

Casey had interested schools from around the country, as USC, Arizona, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska and Oregon all chased after him the hardest. He visited USC, Oregon, Michigan and Mississippi, cut that to USC and Oregon and then committed to the Trojans on February 1, 2008.

COLLEGE

Casey majored in Public Relations at the University of Southern California.

He was named the MVP of the 2010 Trojans, while also being named first-team All-Pac 10 defense. He earned honorable mention status in 2009.

2010 – In his junior season, Casey started all 13 games, with 67 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, an INT, 2 PBU and a recovered fumble. Against Oregon State, he had eight total tackles and a sack.

2009 – Casey became a starter on the Trojans defense, opening all 13 games, twice at nose tackle and the other 11 at DT. He had 59 tackles, 9 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 3 RF, 2 FF, and 1 PBU. Against Notre Dame, he had 10 tackles and a forced fumble. He was named the USC Co-Lineman of the Year.

2008 – He played 12 games, had 12 tackles, 2TFL and 1 FF. Against Notre Dame, Casey had 3 tackles and forced a fumble.

 Year

 

G

 

S

Tot.

Tlk.

 

TFL

 

Sks.

 

Int.

 

PBU

 

FF

 

RF

2010

13

13

67

11

4.5

1

2

0

1

2009

13

13

59

9

4.5

0

1

2

3

2008

12

0

12

2

0

0

0

1

0

Total

38

26

138

22

9

1

3

3

4

EVALUATION FOR PRO FOOTBALL

Strengths – A big-bodied guy in the middle who lines up with a wide, solid base. He takes on blocks and controls his assignment. He has good feet and he’s remarkable quick and agile for a man his size. Shows quick hands and Casey actually has some pass rush skills in the middle. He has very good upper-body strength and the ability to keep pushing on double-team blocks, eventually splitting them and getting to the passer. For a big man, who has less than an Adonis-like body, he plays hard and seldom turns off his motor.

Weaknesses – Casey is very inconsistent in how he plays off the snap. Sometimes he gets too high, which is tough to do with such a squatty body. Other times, he stays low and retains his edge in leverage. He’s not especially strong from the waist down, as most of his power comes from his upper body. He’ll need to get stronger in his lower abdomen, gluts and quads. That’s going to require some hard work from Casey, and some scouts have questioned his overall work ethic and desire to be the best he can be.

Analysis – The pieces are there for an effective nose tackle in the NFL. His unusual quickness for his size makes him well suited to be that mountain the middle. He will have to show that he has the desire to work his way into that position. He’s just three years removed from his high school graduation, so there are questions about his maturity level.

WHAT THE SCOUTS SAY

A scout for an NFC team said – “He’s way too inconsistent for a guy who shows some good things when he wants to play. He needs to get in much better shape and has to work harder. I think he’s done everything with his natural gifts and he doesn’t have enough of those. Some teams tell me they have him rated as a second rounder. We wouldn’t consider him any higher than the fourth. There are too many major question marks among the intangibles.”

WHAT HE SAID

“To be great you have to go every down. Every snap you have to play at the same pace.”

“Once my brother went away (to prison), I just knew that it was my time to step up and be the man of the family. I never had a father around, so just to be the man of the family is one of the things I knew I had to be, to support my family, to make sure my mother was happy. She has been working forever, two jobs, working real hard, just to support me and my brothers and sisters. So just to be able to show my family and my brother that I am out here doing good for him and them, it’s been a great thing. I talk to my brother regularly, and he lets me know if I am working hard, or if he sees that I am slacking, he will let me know. He also pushes me to work hard to keep me focused. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him pushing me.”

“It is a great thing to be able to play for a great school like that (Long Beach Poly), where great players come out of it and college, and make it to the NFL. It’s great just to be able to join those ranks. It’s been real positive, Poly people are real loyal. It’s just a great thing to just be proud of, to let people know I went there.”

WHAT OTHERS SAID

USC defensive line coach Ed Orgeron – “Jurrell shows signs, he shows capabilities, but he has to do it on a consistent basis.”

DOES HE FIT WITH THE CHIEFS?

It’s hard to believe that Pioli/Haley would spotlight Jurrell Casey as a guy that fits the right 53. He showed his pretty durable, but he’s probably better suited to being a penetrating DT in the 4-3, rather than a nose tackle maintaining real estate on the inside of the 3-4. Casey’s motivation is a question mark and that’s not something normally that the Chiefs will mess with.

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