Cougar recruiting: Intrigue at DB

A 3-STAR defensive back from central California who might play corner or safety in college says that Washington State, which has been among his favorites since summer, remains in his top 5 as he starts taking official visits. But the competition for him has taken a unique turn that elevates his visitation schedule from interesting to downright intriquing.

Mercy Maston (5-11, 187, 4.4) of Bakersfield says he's going to reserve two of his five allowed official visits for a pair of schools -- USC and Cal -- that have yet to offer him a scholie.

That leaves his five favorites -- all of whom have offered -- vying for his three remaining visits. Those schools are WSU, UCLA, Arizona State, Boise State and Fresno State.

Boise State has already secured one of those three visitation spots, according to's Jared Crews. So the Cougs, Bruins, Devils and Bulldogs apparently will fight it out for Maston's final two openings. The reality of the calendar, though, would suggest there's really only one opening left for him to fill because there's only four weekends sitting between today and LOI Signing Day.

This is a fitting twist for a recruitment process that has taken a couple of turns already. Back in July, Maston told he was nearing a decision. He wouldn't say who he was trending toward, but a number of indications suggested UCLA. Then in September, he said he was in no rush to make a decision. And then just before Thanksgiving he told he would make his choice known in five days. At that time he reiterated that WSU was among his top five.

This past Thursday, Maston -- who has yet to take one official visit -- told that he was reserving January for his officials and that he'll "decide (on a school) when I feel comfortable and I'm thinking right now it'll be on Signing Day or just a couple of days after."

LOOKING AT WHO THE COUGARS already have secured verbal commitments from in this recruiting cycle and what the team's remaining needs are, it would seem unlikely WSU coaches would wait for Maston past Signing Day.

Moreover, there are a couple of other corner prospects in the Cougar recruiting orbit worth keeping an eye on: Marcus Peters out of the Bay Area, a 3-star prospect who visited Washington State earlier in the year, and Rahmeal Dockery from Tacoma's Curtis High.

If either of them pulled the crimson trigger first, it's unlikely WSU also would take Maston. Dockery said the other day that he's scheduling official visits to WSU and Oregon State this month and could be looking at others as well. Like Maston, he's rated 3-stars by A month ago, this All-State pick said he was leaning toward OSU. He said in his most recent interview on that he had yet to have any schools come by for in-home visits.

So far in this recruiting cycle, WSU has secured verbal commitments from two defensive backs: safety Max Gama of California and cornerback Spencer Waseem of Florida. With those two in the fold, plus a solid corps of improving DBs on the roster already, it would appear that WSU has no more than one DB spot left to fill in its 2011 recruiting class.

Gama is rated the No. 4 safety prospect in California by Waseem is rated No. 46 in the Orlando Sentinel's Central Florida Super 60.

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