In-state recruiting: Subplots abound

THE VAST AMOUNT of attention on letter-of-intent signing day tends to focus on the blue chippers, but a deeper look at the 2012 crop of high school athletes from the state of Washington who will be getting full rides reveals a number of interesting subplots.

Among them:

  • Oregon State may have to change its name to Southern Washington University. The Beavers clearly are finding opportunity in the state of Washington with kids the Cougars and Huskies are bypassing. OSU has four verbal commitments from Evergreen State prospects who collectively totaled just one offer from the in-state big boys. Tyler Hasty of Bellevue, Josh Mitchell of Mount Si, Caleb Saulo of Kentlake and Dustin Stanton of Lakewood are all headed to Corvallis. Of them, Mitchell was the only one of the quartet to attract a WSU or UW offer (from the Cougs, last summer). The Beavs also have a verbal from Kent TE Caleb Smith. Last year the Beavs signed one Washington prospect, Kellen Clute of Spokane, who also was bypassed by WSU and UW.

  • Colorado, new to the Pac, is clearly trying to get a foot in the door in Washington. The Buffs made notable overtures or offers in the 2012 cycle to 16 known prepsters in the state. While they appear to be in the running for just one of them (cornerback Ryan Lewis of Eastlake High), that number dwarfs the number of known overtures/offers that CU made in Washington in the previous three years combined.

  • Utah, the other newcomer to the Pac, appears to have gotten a jump-start on the Buffs when it comes to the state of Washington. While the Utes don't appear to be in line to get any commits from the state this year, their 11 known offers/overtures equals their tally in Washington last year. They were skunked then, too, by the way.

  • BYU found fertile recruiting territory in a part of the state, the Tri-Cities/Mid-Columbia region, that hasn't produced much FBS talent in recent years. Sawyer Powell of Richland and Matt Hadley of Connell are both expected to sign with the Provo Cougars on Feb. 1.

  • Wyoming, whose third-year head man is Washington state native Dave Christensen, is having a big year on the coach's old home turf. They've secured verbal commitments from five Washington kids: Jason Thompson of Kennedy in Burien; (Jayshawn Jordan of Seattle/O'Dea; D.J. May and Uso Olive of Federal Way; and Trent Sewell of Bothell), and were believed in the thick of the running for Ma'ne Manaea of Lakes, who just verballed with Idaho, and Federal Way's Jordan Pulu, who is thought to be a strong lean toward Eastern Washington. Over the two previous recruiting cycles the Cowboys signed a collective four kids from Washington, so this year's haul suggests the ramping up of an ongoing trend rather than a one-time occurrence.

  • The state of Washington typically produces between 25 and 40 FBS scholarship footballers a year and 2012 appears to be falling right in line. The projection right now is for roughly 35 local high school seniors to earn FBS scholies come Feb. 1. That's up from 26 a year ago. Two of the most late-breaking and unexpected names on that list are receiver Jonathan Warner of Camas and cornerback Ryan Lewis of Eastlake. Neither of them were believed anywhere on the radar of the Pac-12's four Northwest schools, yet both are headed to major-conference programs. Warner, the son of former Penn State and Seahawks star Curt Warner, last weekend accepted an offer from his dad's alma mater, and Lewis is deciding between offers from Pitt and Colorado.

  • Washington State currently has verbal pledges from three in-state players (B.J. Salmonson of Nooksack Valley High; Jacob Tuivaiave of Washington High in Tacoma; and Sam Flor of Seattle's O'Dea High). In addition, Lakes receiver/corner Cedric Dozier, a Cal commit since October, is believed to still be a possibility.

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