BREAKING: WSU lands side of Cali Grade-A beef

THE REMAINING SPOTS in Paul Wulff's 2012 recruiting class? They're filling up fast. For one visiting o-tackle, his official visit weekend was a crimson blur and a whale of a time, but when he sat down with Wulff this morning, it was time to get down to business. And he told the Washington State coach he wanted to be a Cougar. But will he play on the offensive line or on the d-line at Wazzu?

"I committed today," Fernando Villanueva told CF.C from the airport moments ago as he was getting ready to board his plane. "Overall I just felt so comfortable, I felt safe and sound and like I was at home."

Villanueva checks in at 6-7, 285 pounds and has athleticism in spades, seemingly a perfect fit for a prototypical collegiate offensive left tackle.

But he said he wants to give defensive tackle, or even d-end, a shot, too.

"Coach Wulff and coach (Steve) Morton were so excited, and I let them know I also liked d-end and d-tackle, and they were fine with that. Right now everyone is recruiting me as an o-lineman, and o-tackle, but it just kinda depends on how I (physically mature) and how I handle my weight, that Will Pretty much decide what my best position is," said Villanueva.

There is a caveat, though. Villanueva raved about all things crimson during the interview. But he also left the door open a crack.

"I'm still going to be open to the recruiting process, I might go on one or two more visits, I want to check out Utah, I just think it would be smart to check out my options and just to be sure," said Villanueva.

(Note:'s policy is to list a verbal commit as a soft verbal only if and when he does actually go on a trip. As Scout's Brandon Huffman says, pay attention not to what a commit says but what he does in terms of other trips.)

That potential hiccup aside, Villanueva said he was amped up about joining the Cougar family.

"The players are awesome, they welcomed me with open arms…like I told coach Wulff when I committed, 'It's a great day to be a Cougar!" said Villanueva. "I'm fired up. It was a great visit overall and the Cougs are off to a great start, I was very impressed by how they played. I really like coach Morton, coach Wulff and the A.D. is great as well, coach (Bill) Moos -- he knows his football. I liked that a lot.

"The fans there, the fans are great -- everywhere you go it's all Cougs, all Washington State, and I'm not even exaggerating. You walk into the hotel the maids are wearing Coug shirts and Coug hats and Coug gear. It's amazing… I just felt like I had the good feeling there. The teammates are great, the fans are amazing, everything is Cougar this and Cougar that."

Max Gama and Logan Mayes served as Villanueva's hosts, and he said he forged a bond with both them and the three other recruits there on official trips – QB Austin Apodaca, DT Maurice Bennett and DE Nate Iese.

"Logan and Max are great guys who took me to see the town and we got to hang out, it will be good to hang out with those guys for 4 years, they felt like family. It was great to be with the other recruits this weekend, other guys from around the country, that was really cool. Big Mo (Bennett), he was great because he's a got that funny (accent) and he's a just a great guy. Austin was awesome, and so was Nate," said Villanueva.

They were calling his flight, but Villanueva had a few more seconds to offer a prediction.

"The game (Saturday), Washington state is playing all together -- I liked their pass protection, they had a great running game and their d-line is great," he said. "Everyone is on the same page. And I think they'll be 3-0 after next week after they play San Diego State." profile

Villanueva becomes the 15th known commitment in the 2012 class, joining OT Eduardo Middleton, OG/C Sam Flor, OG/C Denzell Dotson, OT B.J. Salmonson, WR Rashad Jackson, CB Vershad Jackson, WR Travis Gardner, DT Maurice Bennett, RB Terrell Davis, S Taylor Taliulu, QB Austin Apodaca, MLB Jordan Pulu, S David Bucannon and WR Dalen Jones. The Cougs are projected to take 19-20 for the 2012 class when Signing Day arrives in February.

Cougfan Top Stories