|This story originally published on Cougfan.com|
La Puenta, Calif. native Darren Andrews committed to UCLA a month ago and he was in Westwood earlier this month for an official visit. He said he enjoyed his trip visiting with the Bruins, but there's another team making a strong push: Washington State.
"I like how they (UCLA) throw the ball and I think it's a place where I could fit in, but I'm still looking into Wazzu," Andrews said. "The Cougars are in my top two right now and they're competing with UCLA."
Andrews was scheduled to visit Pullman on Dec. 14, but was then contacted by the UCLA staff two weeks ago to take his official visit that weekend. Andrews has rescheduled his official visit to Washington State for Jan. 11.
"I'm going to go up to Washington State and see what they have to offer," Andrews said. "I'll compare the two and then just make the best decision for me."
The dead period for prep prospects began on Sunday but prior to this week, Andrews was talking frequently with Cougar head man Mike Leach. The two have developed a strong bond, Andrews said, and it has him excited about checking out the Pullman campus.
"Coach Leach has told me they have a great program and this recruiting class has great athletes coming in," Andrews said. "He said this is a class that's going to get them back to the top and it's a great time to be at Washington State.
"I think it could be a great fit for me because they throw the ball a lot and he said I can catch a lot of balls for him."
The Cougs are recruiting the 5-10, 160-pound prospect as a slot receiver and Andrews said there are several aspects of his game that would allow him to flourish in the Air Raid.
"My route running and speed down field is the strongest piece of my game," Andrews said. "Coach Leach told me that on top of that, he likes my hands and my hand-eye coordination. I can just stretch the field and force defenses and give different looks to a defense."
Andrews is a standout for Bishop Amat High, only 20 miles east of downtown L.A. Being so close to home, could this be another reason why he will stay committed to UCLA and won't make the jump to the Cougars?
"No, not at all," Andrews said. "Distance won't be a factor in my decision and it won't help a team one way or other. I'll make my decision a few weeks before signing day. Probably right after I visit Washington State."
Prior to his commitment to UCLA, Andrews verbally committed to Duke in mid-June. He holds offers from Houston, Hawaii and Duke in addition to WSU and UCLA, but said he doesn't have any other official visits scheduled and isn't considering any other schools beyond WSU and UCLA.
He is rated the 117th best ranked WR in the land by Scout.com.
BRO Editor's Note: We've learned that Andrews, who is the nephew of UCLA receiver coach Eric Yarber, is visiting Washington State as a fall-back option in case he determines UCLA's recruiting class ends up loaded at wide receiver.
Darren Andrews early senior season highlights: