PULLMAN – The Washington State Cougars announced their 2012 football recruiting class in alphabetical order Wednesday, but that's not the only reason Jeremiah Allison belonged at the top of the list. Allison, a speedy linebacker out of Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, has been a straight-A student throughout his high school career. In fact, Allison's grade-point average is 4.31.
"He's in competition right now to be valedictorian at Dorsey," WSU coach Mike Leach
Allison was a three-time All-City pick who racked up a whopping 63 quarterback sacks in high school. He waited until Monday to phone Leach to tell him he would be a Cougar.
Allison made the call from the hospital bed where his mother lies in a coma, the victim of a December heart attack. Allison said he held his mom's hand as he spoke with Leach.
Obviously, Leach had special reason to focus extra attention on Allison on Wednesday.
However, the coach made certain he singled out all 28 recruiting signees. All players are high school seniors unless a junior college is listed.
Jeremiah Allison, LB, Los Angeles: "Very fast linebacker, good blitzer."
Austin Apodaca, QB, Longmont, Colo.: "One of the most accurate guys I've had the opportunity to recruit."
Robert Barber, DT, Pago Pago, American Samoa: "Big, thick … very physical. Very strong."
Brett Bartolone, WR, La Habre, Calif.: "Very versatile, can do a lot of things."
Michael Bowlin, K, Aliso Viejo, Calif. (Saddleback JC): "Very strong leg."
David Bucannon, S, Fairfield, Calif.: "His brother's on the team (starting safety Deone Bucannon)."
Teondray Caldwell, RB, Los Angeles: "Pretty good at catching the ball as well as carrying the ball."
Feddie Davey, S, Miami: "A big hitter … plays with a certain amount of recklessness. Blocks punts, blocks kicks."
Rahmel Dockery, WR, Tacoma: "Can make all the catches. Comes out of his cuts quickly."
Denzell Dotson, OL, Peoria, Ariz.: "Very productive. One of those guys who makes all the plays."
Keith Ewing, LB, Bellaire, Texas: "Quick first step."
Sam Flor, OL, Seattle: "Tough, nasty."
Ioane Gaute, DT, Anaheim, Calif. (Fullerton JC): "Every team he's ever been on, he's been a team captain."
Alex Jackson, WR, Culver City, Calif.: "You ought to see him run. That kid's exciting."
Sam Jones, OL, Bear, Del. (Pima JC): "Big, physical … he would have the potential to play defensive line."
Robert Lewis, WR, South Gate, Calif.: "Very fast … great with the ball in his hands … they called him the human joystick."
Gabriel Marks, WR, Los Angeles: "A guy who really knows how to make plays, knows where the end zone is."
Eduardo Middleton, OL, Oceanside, Calif.: "Big, physical, a commanding presence."
Alex Mitchell, OL: "Very mature, very physical."
Kache Palacio, LB: "Big, physical. One of those run-stopper type of guys. Also pretty accurate as far as covering the pass."
Khalil Pettway, LB, Culver City, Calif.: "Very quick to the ball."
Niu Sale, OL, Los Alamitos, Calif. (Los Angeles Harbor JC): "(Weighs) 315 pounds, looks like he's 280s. Just a solid, solid guy."
B.J. Salmonson, OL, Everson, Wash.: "Quick feet."
Taylor Taliulu, S, Aiea, Hawaii: "One of the smoothest running athletes I've seen. You watch him run, it looks effortless."
Jacob Tuivaiave, LB, Tacoma: "Looks like he could play about eight different positions. Very athletic."
Destiny Vaeao, DE, Pago Pago, America Samoa: "Destiny's probably a little bigger than listed here (6-3, 255)."
Pierson Villarrubia, OL, Mandeville, La.: "Good, physical, smart."
Theron West, RB, Compton, Calif. (Los Angeles Harbor JC): "Really fast … he really jumps off the screen (on game tapes) as a kick and punt returner."
No sooner had Leach finished talking about the 2012 recruits than he cast an eye ahead to next year.
"We've got a list of (high school) juniors," he pointed out. "We're still watching film."