Another local hoss on Coug radar

BRENT RUSSUM, a 6-4, 268-pound hoss from Palouse country, made the eight-hour-plus trek to Eugene last weekend from his home in Lewiston to attend the Nike camp. The bottom line? Whatever money Brent and family spent on travel was well worth it. His stock is rising in the Pac-10. And reading between the lines, could his heart be with nearby Washington State?

On Friday, Russum received a scholarship offer from Mike Riley and the Oregon State Beavers. And on Saturday he went head-to-head with some of the region's finest prep defensive talent and aquitted himself very nicely.

"Oregon State just offered me so that's where I'm at with the Pac-10. Below that, BSU, Montana, Wyoming and Utah are all probably secure for a commitment but I want to play in the Pac-10. Hopefully now that Oregon State offered it will open things up and give me more options."

And when it comes to schools he's really focusing on? "Well, Oregon was the first school I really visited unofficially and that visit really hit me strong," Brent said. "And I also like Oregon State. It's a down-to-earth environment and so is Eugene. They are both pretty close. I like the Oregon schools. U-Dub seems a little big but I don't want to badmouth them at all. But with a big program like that it's probably like you're more like a number than a player. WSU is cool too because it's close to home and is in a nice spot."

As for competing at the Nike camp, Russum said, "You have every team's top players here, so you know the competition is going to be good," he told on Saturday.

Russum plays both ways for Lewiston, but has definite designs as to where he wants to play in college. "I'm thinking offensive tackle," he said. "I think I have the frame to get bigger and sit in there pretty nice. I'm overpowering on offense, but that's just Idaho league. Compared to out here it would probably be a little different, but I would work on that."

Russum said his biggest strength is his speed and quickness, and his 4.46 shuttle time certainly vouched for it. He also ran a 5.3 40, a number he was very disappointed in, benched 185 pounds 18 times and jumped 27 inches in the vertical.

"I almost hit 280 (pounds), but I had a basketball tournament last weekend," Brent said. "I can pull well and set back in pass protect. I like run blocking a lot, but I suspect a 330-pounder could do a little better run blocking. Obviously I'm going to gain more weight and get stronger. But I like to pull, get into the open field, get on the quicker guys, get my hands on them and do whatever I want."

Even though Lewiston isn't necessarily a yearly destination for college coaches, they dusted off their maps of western Idaho to make sure they saw Russum. "Coach (Keith) Gilbertson from Washington came by in May and so did Washington State," Brent said. "Oregon State did and so did Oregon with Coach Zoom (Neal Zoumboukos)."

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