Skillful Big Man Interested in OSU

Gino Cruse, Jr. is a 6-3.5, 310-pound lineman from Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista, and Gino made the trek north Friday to the University of Washington to attend the Seattle Nike camp. He also was set to participate in Washington's team camp. He didn't know what to expect when he stepped foot inside Washington's Dempsey indoor facility, but when he left he was camp MVP.

"At first I was a little scared because I came up here all by myself and didn't have my teammates with me to motivate me," Cruse told after the camp. "But once I got here, I figured it's up to me I've got to turn it up. I saw all these other people here and I had to rise to the occasion. I'm an athlete, so it's a natural instinct."

Cruse ran a 5.0 40, 4.83 shuttle, benched 185 pounds 22 times and jumped 23.7 inches in the vertical. And the lessons he learned on Friday? "To get off the ball, never stop and always be aggressive," said Gino. "You can never be too aggressive."

It's pretty amazing that a player of Cruse's stature hasn't received more recruiting interest, and Gino is making sure that changes in a hurry. "To be honest with you, I feel that I'm the most underrated player on the west coast," he said, without flinching. "People will come by my school and talk, but my coach really isn't interested in promoting me so I'm out here promoting myself and hopefully something will happen.

"I like the University of Washington and Oregon State. I need to get out of Arizona. I need to start learning what it's like to be by myself, so I need to be at a place where I can be my own man, be a man."

And his game? "I'm a gentle giant, but as soon as we get on the field I'm going to try and knock your head off," Cruse said. "I love pass rushing, but I need to learn on calming down and stopping the rush. I get too excited. I get so pumped when I'm on the line - I just have too much adrenaline. I don't know if there's such a thing, but I've got it. I just need to calm down and play the run a little bit better."

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