Middle linebacker Rahim Cassell starting anew at Stony Brook

Virginia tight end Zachary Swanson is tackled Virginia tight end Zachary Swanson is tackled by Oregon linebacker Rahim Cassell, left, defensive back Brian Jackson, right, and linebacker Rodney Hardrick during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Scott Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, in Charlottesville, Va. Photo Credit: AP / Andrew Shurtleff

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Former Oregon middle linebacker Rahim Cassell on Wednesday announced his decision to transfer to Stony Brook, where he will be eligible to play immediately and have two years of eligibility remaining. Cassell had significant playing time in a backup role as a freshman and sophomore but left the Ducks' program on July 22.

Cassell was arrested on a DUI charge early on the morning of May 4, according to Melinda V. McLaughlin, a spokeswoman for the Eugene Police Department. She said the court case is scheduled for Oct. 29 in municipal court.

After the arrest, Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said the school would investigate the incident, but no formal discipline ever was announced.

"We never said why Rahim left school," Dave Williford, executive assistant athletic director for football communications, said Wednesday. "It's a misconception to pin it on one incident. It's not that he was dismissed. It's just that he quit the program."

Williford added that he wasn't aware of any other specific disciplinary incidents involving Cassell and added that his departure "would have been a matter between player and coach."

Cassell attended the same California high school as former Stony Brook defensive back Cedrick Moore, which is how he made the connection to the Seawolves' football program.

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"We're excited that Rahim has chosen to continue his education at Stony Brook," Seawolves coach Chuck Priore said in a statement. "Obviously, Rahim has a lot of ability as evident by his success in the Pac-12. We look forward to his contributions as a person and a player to the team."

The 6-1, 225-pound linebacker was a consensus three-star recruit out of Lakewood (Calif.) High School and had 19 tackles as a redshirt freshman at Oregon in 2012. Cassell played for the Ducks in all 13 games last season, totaling 32 tackles, including a career-high six against Stanford. He recorded a sack in Oregon's Alamo Bowl victory over Texas.

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