Future Coug QB has 4-star safety high on WSU

WHEN TYLER HILINSKI committed to WSU two weeks ago, he waited about 20 minutes before sending a round of texts to let people know he had gone Crimson. This included teammate Kameron Powell, whom Hilinski is actively 'recruiting' and who just so happens to be a four-star safety. CF.C caught up with the highly touted DB, who said if he had to pick a school today, he'd join his QB in Pullman in 2015.

Powell picked up his offer from the Cougs about two months ago, but when his Upland, Calif. teammate Hilinski committed to WSU, the 5-10, 180-pound Powell said it was a game changer in his recruitment.

The two are very close friends and Hilinski has been talking to him every day about the crimson and gray since he gave Mike Leach and WSU his verbal commitment on April 24.

"I wouldn't say I have an overall favorite right now, but if I had to pick a school today, I'm picking Washington State," Powell said. "WSU would be my decision for sure. I've just built a great relationship with the staff, particularly Coach Ken Wilson (area recruiter). We talk almost every day and I get a ton of letters from the other coaches.

"With Tyler committing to them already too, that makes a difference. Him and I are really good friends both on and off the field. We hang out a lot and he's always telling me how great it would be if we could play together. At the end of the day, I'm going to do what's best for me, but Washington State is high on my list right now."

In addition to WSU, Powell also holds offers from Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon State and a handful of others. He is rated the 25th best safety in the land by Scout.com.

AS FOR HILINSKI, he said Mike Leach told him he wanted him to be a top-notch recruiter for the Cougs class of '15 and you better believe he's putting in overtime on his good pal Powell.

"Oh man, ever since he transferred to Upland last summer, we've been super close," Hilinski said. "We both wanted to be great leaders for our team and that kind of drew us closer. He's had an offer from WSU for a while and I want him on board with us. I think we can do some special this together up there and I know he'd love it at WSU."

Hilinski added that as soon as he stepped out of Leach's office, after committing, Powell was one of the first people he contacted.

"I was texting him all night and sending him pictures of the campus," Hilinski said with a laugh. "When I got back to school too, I was showing him a bunch of different stuff from my trip. We have sixth period weight lifting together too and I'm always recruiting him and some other guys from my school who are interested in the Cougs."

The story on Hilinski, meanwhile, keeps getting better. As reported by the Daily Bulletin, Hilinski is looking into trying to graduate early from high school, so that he could then enroll early at WSU in January.

IN ADDITION TO POWELL, WSU has also offered another Upland High player -- 6-3, 210-pound outside linebacker Josh Woods. The three-star prospect, who missed his junior season due to injury, has picked up other offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State and Nevada.

"He's another guy I'm recruiting pretty hard," Hilinski said. "We talk almost every day and I know he's been in contact with the coaches quite a bit like Kameron. The plan is for all of us to go up to Pullman later this summer as a group and have them check out the campus for themselves. I'm really excited to show them both around the school and hopefully get them excited about the possibility of being future Cougs with me."

Although that exact date for that unofficial visit isn't yet set, Hilinski said he thinks it will come in late July when the Upland football team has a three-week dead period from football activities. Powell added that the unofficial visit he takes later this summer to Pullman isn't the only trip to the Palouse he has in the works.

"I've talked with Coach (Wilson) about it and we're starting to look at some dates for me to get out there," Powell said. "I'm planning on taking the unofficial visit with the guys this summer, but I'm also going to take an official visit there. I don't know where I'm going to take my other officials, but I know I'll be using one for sure to Washington State.

"I'm looking forward to getting up there and seeing the campus. The coaches have told me they think I could fit great into the scheme, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens."

IN OTHER RECRUITING news, CF.C spoke with four-star outside linebacker Porter Gustin out of Salem, Utah, on Tuesday morning and he said he'll trip to Washington State this weekend.

"I think I will be arriving there in the late afternoon on Saturday," Gustin said. "Can't wait to meet Coach Leach."

The 6-5, 235-pounder holds over 20 offers, including Arizona, Boise State, Cal, Louisville, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, USC, Utah and several others.
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