Coming off its worst season ever, the Stony Brook football team went shopping this past offseason. Head coach Chuck Priore and his staff brought in 19 transfers, 15 of which were from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Amongst that pool of new Seawolves, one stands out above the rest, both figuratively and literally.
Quarterback Casey Case is Stony Brook’s shiny new signal-caller. Case spent three years as a backup quarterback with the University of Buffalo before transferring to Stony Brook this past winter.
The 6-foot-6 self-described pocket passer joined the Seawolves in time for spring ball and made an instant impression on Priore — winning the starting job outright.
“I think he presents probably what most colleges would want in a quarterback,” Priore said in an interview with The Statesman. “I think he’s got great poise, he’s got the measurables … and can deliver and make all the throws that you would want in your game.”
Case’s story began in Winter Park, Fla., where he grew up as the eldest of four children. His siblings include his younger brother Cameron, an incoming college freshman at the University of North Florida, and a pair of 14-year-old boy-girl twins named Sam and Savanna. Case’s father is a military veteran who signed him up to play football when he was seven years old so he could learn order and discipline.
Case played defensive end for his first two years of football. At the start of his age-nine season, Case’s coaches saw him throw the ball in a practice, which ultimately changed the course of his life. The velocity and distance behind his throws as a mere nine-year-old encouraged his coaches to move him to quarterback — a decision that later earned him a scholarship.
But Case’s road to success did not come without bumps. When he was in seventh grade, he tore his ACL, forcing him to undergo surgery and intense rehab as a young teenager.
Going through the tedious recovery process, Case discovered his religious faith, which helped him get through.
“That was when I came into my relationship with Jesus Christ,” Case said. “He’s my lord and savior.”
To find motivation to complete his rehabilitation period, Case memorized the Bible verse James 1:2-3, which reads, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
Though Case’s ACL injury came at a vital period in his development, the amount of football he played afterwards helped him stay on the proper trajectory. Down in Florida — where the weather is much warmer than in New York — Case was playing football year-round. He would play during the traditional season in the fall, and then compete in another season in the spring. During the offseasons, he would compete in 7-on-7 drills to continue to improve his skills.
Case’s high school tenure was a precursor to his collegiate career. He spent his ninth and 10th grade years at a private Christian school in Orlando, Fla. called The First Academy. However, his coaches there ran the Wing-T offense, which is a run-heavy offensive scheme. Running out of time to make a name for himself, Case decided to transfer to Winter Park High School halfway through his sophomore year.
Case arrived in time for spring ball at Winter Park High School and thrived, earning the starting spot for the fall 2018 season. Over his final two years of high school, Case played well, throwing for 3,567 yards and 41 touchdowns.
After having to overcome an injury and endure a change of scenery at a young age, Case learned a valuable lesson on how to deal with the ebbs and flows of football.
“Never get too high or too low,” Case said. “Maintain steadiness at all times.”
Despite being just a two-year starter, Case impressed the right people. During a game in the spring of 2019, he had a big game with Kirk Martin — Syracuse’s quarterback coach at the time — in attendance. Martin invited Case to a showcase camp on Syracuse’s campus, where he showed out in front of several NCAA Division I coaches. Case’s performance earned him scholarship offers from Buffalo, as well as from Football Championship Subdivision schools Wagner and Stetson.
Case committed to Buffalo and graduated high school a semester early so he could join the Bulls for spring ball. However, the staff was never fully committed to him. Buffalo already had its starting quarterback in Kyle Vantrease, who had proved himself at the FBS level. Therefore, Case redshirted for the 2020 season and was buried on the depth chart for 2021. He played in one game in 2021, appearing in the garbage-time portion of a 69-7 blowout win over Wagner without throwing a pass or attempting a run.
Last year, Vantrease transferred to Georgia Southern University, leaving an opportunity for Case to take over. However, Buffalo brought in quarterback Cole Snyder through the transfer portal and wound up naming him the starter over Case. Case only appeared in two games in 2022, and still did not attempt a pass or a rush.
Once again, Case relied on his faith to get through this period.
“Patience is a virtue, and everything will happen in God’s time,” Case said.
The most notable accomplishment of Case’s Buffalo career came in the classroom rather than on the field. He earned his bachelor’s degree in communications in just three years, graduating in the winter of 2022. He put in extra work academically, taking over 18 credits in each of his last two semesters at Buffalo. Case also took two virtual classes in the summer of 2022 to help expedite his graduation.
Though Case did admit that the workload was a bit overwhelming, he said that it was worth the trouble.
“I’m a communications major, so it’s all speaking classes and writing classes,” Case said. “I love writing essays, so it wasn’t that bad.”
Upon earning his bachelor’s degree, Case decided that he wanted to pursue a master’s of business administration (MBA). With his undergraduate schooling complete and no chance to play, he had two reasons to leave Buffalo.
“The way that their program was structured, I couldn’t get my MBA at Buffalo being a football player,” Case said. “I also wanted an opportunity to come in and compete for a starting spot. After talking it over with my family, a lot of prayer [and] a lot of thought, I figured it was time for a change.”
Case put his name into the transfer portal in December 2022 and got some immediate attention. Priore watched film of Case in practice from his time at Buffalo and liked what he saw. He then reached out to Case through Twitter — now called X — which led to a long, positive phone conversation between the two.
“We talked for probably 45 minutes, and that’s normally not the case,” Priore said. “It was just a real conversation. I was talking to a mature kid. Honestly, when I got off the phone, I thought ‘We’ve got to get this kid.’”
Two days after the phone call, Priore got onto a Zoom call with Case and his family. After the call ended, Case committed to Stony Brook.
Now in a new system with the Seawolves, Case has had some adjusting to do. Offensive coordinator Andrew Dresner was hired this past offseason to call plays for the offense, and the transition into a new scheme has been easy for Case.
“I would like to say I’m close to mastering the playbook,” Case said. “I’m definitely comfortable in the system, for sure.”
With his first year as Stony Brook’s starting quarterback approaching, Case already has high hopes for this season.
“I’m trying to lead this team to the playoffs and trying to win the conference,” Case said.
Case also has some individual goals, as he said that he wants to throw for around 2,500 yards and 20 touchdowns this year. He would be the first Seawolf ever to break the 2,500-yard threshold and the team’s first 20-touchdown passer since Joe Carbone in 2017.
Case will get his first real shot as an NCAA quarterback on Aug. 31 when Stony Brook hosts No. 24 Delaware for an opening night showdown.