In March of 2018, few knew the name Jared Casey. When he ultimately chose to commit to Kentucky, he was one of the most sought after recruits in America.
To call Casey an “under the radar” prospect would be an injustice to radar. The Louisville linebacker was unheard of as a sophomore at Trinity. After transferring to Ballard for his junior season, a shoulder injury sidelined him for the year.
“I think it was a blessing in disguise. Honestly, if I would’ve played my sophomore and junior year, I probably wouldn’t have ended up at Kentucky,” he told KSR. “Coaches wanted to see my film from junior year. That’s why a lot of coaches didn’t offer me. It was really a blessing because I don’t think I would’ve ended up at Kentucky if I played my junior year.”
Vince Marrow was one of the first power five programs to extend a scholarship offer to Casey. It happened just days after he was named linebacker MVP of the Rivals regional camp in Nashville. As more and more joined the party to recruit Casey — Oregon temporarily convinced him to leave the state — Marrow and the rest of the Kentucky coaching staff did not relent. Less than two weeks before signing day, Casey committed to his home state school.
A four-star prospect ranked by Rivals as the No. 15 outside linebacker in the 2019 recruiting class, Casey arrived on UK’s campus in January. He immediately knew he made the right decision.
“I love it here. I’m happy. It was more than what I expected. I learned a lot. I’m getting coached by one of the best coaches around in coach White,” said Casey.
Playing the Sam linebacker position, Casey currently backs up Boogie Watson. A spot that isn’t easy to pick up, he knows finding the field right away will not come easily.
“Outside linebacker is the most important spot on this defense. If we don’t do what our job is at outside linebacker, the whole defense will fold. That’s the most important spot and it’s not easy to learn,” he said. “I want to make it where coach has no choice but to put me on the field, so I’m just going to grind.”
One of four UK freshmen from the city of Louisville, Casey plans on forcing Brad White’s hand before the season finale against the Cardinals at Kroger Field.
“I can’t wait for that game. That’s going to be fun for sure.”