Jurrell Casey, DT, University of Southern California

Even with the 2011 NFL season in danger, the NFL draft will go on as always between April 28th-30th at Radio City Music Hall.  Like last year, we’ll be bringing you a special Rookie Roundup series, with intimate profiles featuring several of the names you’ll hear called in late April. Today’s rookie…

Jurrell Casey

Defensive Tackle


Career Statistics: 67 tackles, 1 INT

Projection: Late 2nd/Early 3rd Round

Jurell Casey Q&A

Melissa Jacobs:  At the end of this season you were quoted as being 50-50 to declare. What ultimately influenced you to come out early?

Jurrell Casey:  I felt I left my mark on the Trojan family and simply felt I was ready for the next level.

MJ:  Was it a more difficult decision with the NFL lockout looming?

JC:  Yes, that was the main reason I was 50-50 on coming back, but after talking to my parents I decided it wasn’t anything that would have a huge effect, although it might have some effect.

MJ:  When everything went down in 2007, your brother Jurray being charged with first-degree murder and sent to prison, how was your world affected?

JC:  When it first happened I kind of felt like I lost everything and there wasn’t really a reason to go on playing football.  But my brother wouldn’t want me to quit football. He’d want me to take care of our family and the nieces and nephews the way he would of if he had made it.  So I go out there every Saturday and compete like I know my brother would want.

MJ:  Do you then feel the weight of carrying your brother’s legacy along with your own?

JC:  Yes, especially because my brother’s there every week watching me play on television so once the games are over he’ll write me a letter and let me know how I did. And he remembers everything.  He’ll be like ‘on this play you did this, on this play you dropped back.’ He just breaks it down and I take it all in and use it as motivation every week.  I know I have to go out there and perform and get the most out of myself.

MJ:  You got to play under Pete Carroll and Lane Kiffin.  How would you compare their coaching styles?

JC:  Both coaches are great . I played under Pete Carroll for two years and he got us out there competing hard every week at practice and when the games came, he turned it up even more.  With Lane it was a little more relaxed at practice but when it was time to hit it, he made sure we hit it. Kiffin was more of a disciplined, straight-focused guy. But both guys were competitive. One just had a relaxed style and the other had a “go get ‘em” style.

MJ:  As a Pete Carroll Twitter follower it seems like his love of music might rival his love of football.  What was the craziest singer or musical genre he introduced to you guys?

JC:  No one really.  He’s into all kinds of music and would always have different artists going but he never forced us to listen to country or anything like that.

MJ:  Let’s pretend I’m an NFL GM.  Tell me in 30 seconds or less why I should draft you.

JC:  You should draft me because I’m an all around player and can play most positions.  I can get after the quarterback. I can stop the run.  Plus, my speed and quickness off the ball is why you should take me.

MJ:  Are there any teams you watched last year you thought you’d be an especially good fit for? Fill a void perhaps?

JC:  One team I thought about is the Eagles. I like watching the Eagles play and feel like I’d fit into their program.  They’ve got some good DBs up there and I’d get to the quarterback and help the DBs out a little more.

MJ:  Great. Well now I’m going to take you through a minor Football Girl combine.  I’ll ask a series of very quick questions and please respond with what immediately enters your mind.

MJ:  NFL Network or ESPN

JC:  NFL Network

MJ:  Facebook or Twitter

JC:  Facebook

MJ:  Favorite NFL team growing up

JC:  Eagles

MJ:  1st pick in next year’s fantasy football

JC:  Me

MJ:  Where you think you’ll be taken in April

JC:  I don’t know. Guess we’ll see what the teams have to say.

MJ:  Best player to ever come out of USCJC:  Jurrell Casey

MJ:  First thing you’re buying when you sign a contract

JC:  Take care of my mom. Going to buy her a house.