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Tufts E-News --Kicking It Up A Notch

Tufts E-News --Kicking It Up A NotchForTufts football captain and starting quarterback - senior JasonCasey - the upcoming year is full of “high expectations.” Medford/Somerville,Mass.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [08.27.04] After entering Tufts in the fall of2001, Jason Casey watched his fair share of football games fromthe sideline. But mid-way into last season, Casey got his firststart at quarterback – and proved almost instantly thathe was the best man for the job. With the game on the line, theTufts senior has shown he can find a way to win.

Last October,Tufts was about to lose to Amherst College, 17-14. With less thantwo minutes remaining, all eyes were on Casey.

“Caseytermed what happened next the highlight of his college footballcareer,” reported the Portsmouth Herald. “Hecompleted eight passes – including seven in a row –to help his team advance to the Amherst three-yard line.”

“Tuftskicked a 20-yard field goal with 21 seconds to play, and thengot a three-yard touchdown run from Tim Mack in overtime to defeatAmherst, 24-17,” reported the newspaper. “The victory,which came last fall, was the first time Tufts had beaten Amherstsince 1998.”

“Hejust doesn’t get flustered,” Tufts coach Bill Samkotold the Herald. “We were in our two-minute offenseand he made almost all the calls on the field during that (fourth-quarter)drive. Jason never loses his composure out there.”

Statistically,the game was Casey’s best since he graduated from WinnacunnetHigh School in 2001, where he showed similar late game heroics,kicking a go-ahead field goal late in a championship game againstExeter.

“Thewin against Exeter was definitely one of my top football moments,”Casey told the Herald. “My pocket skills have improveda lot since then. I look back (at his senior year in high school)and realize I could have done a lot more.”

Despite spendingtwo seasons out of the limelight, the Tufts senior – majoringin political science and economics – will be one of fourcaptains this year, as well as the team’s number one quarterback.

“He’sa guy I trust and have confidence in, and I’m not the onlyone around here who feels that way because our captains are pickedby the team,” Samko told the Herald. “He’sclearly the No. 1 guy going into camp and he’s earned that.”

Accordingto Samko, Casey provides a reliable, talented presence on thefield, which made him the clear choice for starting quarterback.

“Ijust made a decision that we needed some stability – onevoice,” he told the Herald. “He pays attention,so when his opportunity came it wasn’t like you were writingon a blank blackboard.”

As the seasonapproaches, the quarterback is cautious, yet confident, realizingthat his performance affects the whole team.

“Ithink the more successful I am the more successful the team willbe,” Casey told the Herald. “We have highexpectations. We have some question marks on defense, but we havea real strong offensive line back and some good skill people.We feel like we can compete with anybody.”

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