Cougs working the preferred walk-on angles

SPOKANE'S CODY SORENSEN, the hard-hitting defensive back from Ferris and the son of former WSU All-America safety Paul Sorensen, is deciding whether to forego scholarship offers at smaller schools in order to become a preferred walk-on at Washington State. He was among a handful of walk-on targets in Pullman this past weekend on official visits. He said his trip was as good as it gets.

Sorensen is attractive to the Cougars for several reasons. He's highly athletic, hits like a truck and isn't done growing.

And as far as making an early contribution -- and even if he didn't develop into a Pac-12 every-down type of player -- he has special teams standout written all over him.

Sorenson earned first-team All-Greater Spokane League honors for his work at safety for the Class 4A champion Ferris Saxons, but also starred on special teams.

Ferris deployed him as the primary "kill guy" on kickoffs and the No. 1 gunner on punts. In short, Ferris always put him on the side of the field where the ball was going, and he excelled.

Sorensen currently stands a little over 6-0 and he weights 187 pounds. But he's still growing. His dad sees him rounding out to 6-2 and 225 pounds in college.

As for his official visit to Pullman, the younger Sorensen said, "It was awesome, I loved it."

He holds offers from Idaho State, Montana Tech (which is especially attractice to him because of the Engineering program) and others. Washington State is offering a preferred walk-on role. Idaho State, which is coached by former WSU football coordinator Mike Kramer, will be hosting Sorensen on an official visit this weekend.

"I'm at the point where I must answer this question: Do I go play at a lower level but have my schooling paid for, or do I go to the best and try to make my mark," said Sorensen, who maintains a 3.6 GPA.

If it is to be Wazzu, the younger Sorensen said he'll go at it in two ways: full tilt and humble.

"I know there are no guarantees that I'd earn a scholarship in a few years, and hopefully I would do that," said Sorensen. "But I would come in and chuck any ego aside and work to earn it And my main concern would always be about helping the team.

"I've been a Coug my whole life, and I'm just honored to be in that position to where I could even walk on at Washington State."

IN ONE OF THE CLEARER signs Washington State is feeling good about the verbal commits they have in the cupboard, as well as some of the commitments still to come leading up to and through LOI Day on Feb. 2, the coaching staff used this past official visit weekend in part to bring in Sorensen and four others who are targeted for preferred walk-on roles. Here are their vitals:

Lineman Gunnar Eklund, (6-6, 285) Lake Stevens High
Named first team WesCo 4A North -- on both the offensive and defensive lines -– as a senior. He was also named all-area first-team offense and second-team defense by the Everett Herald.

K/P Tyler McNannay, (6-1, 170) Colfax High
As a senior in 2010, he was named first-team Associated Press Class 2B All-State at three positions: running back, kicker and punter. As a junior in 2009 he earned honorable mention AP All-State plaudits at kicker. See the CF.C front page for a recent story with video highlights.

WR Brock Ruelke, (6-2, 185) Honolulu's Kamehameha Secondary
A tall wideout with quick moves off the press. According to a site that follows Hawaii recruiting, he had 14 catches for 233 yards and three touchdowns while playing in six games this season.

DB Jordan Simone, Sammamish's Skyline High
Gino's brother. He was named KingCo 4A Crest Divisio Defensive Player of the Year by the Seattle Times. First-team all-league on both offense and defense and first-team Class 4A All-State on defense by the Associated Press. He posted 52 tackles in 2010 and grabbed three interceptions. On offense, he caught 66 passes for 1,185 yards and 15 TDs for state runner-up Skyline.

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