Texas wideout wants to join Leach, Bruggman

ONE DAY AFTER landing one of the top quarterback prospects in the West, Washington State head coach Mike Leach has added a highly sought wideout for him to throw to. Demarcus Ayers, a slot receiver and return man from the Dallas area, today told Cougfan.com he has verbally committed to WSU, eschewing offers from 13 other schools. And Bruggman's announcement played a role in his decision, he said.

Demarcus Ayers said a conversation with Mike Leach turned from friendly to downright joyous when, after Leach told Ayers how much he wanted him in the Air Raid, the young man with 4.4 speed interjected.

"I told him I had some good news for him, and then I told him I (was committing). He was excited about it."

Ayers said the announcement yesterday that Bruggman, a 4-star signal caller from Phoenix, had pledged to WSU helped convince him to follow suit. "I was amped when I heard (that Bruggman had committed)," he said.

Ayers, who also is a standout basketball player, is a true athlete who could play a variety of roles at WSU.

"I'll be playing slot receiver, basically getting the ball and letting me work. Also, they like me on punt and kick returns, the stuff that I'm doing here (at Lancaster). And then maybe even some wildcat quarterback, as well as some DB."

Ayers is 5-11 1/2 and 173 pounds. Despite missing time with an injured collarbone last season, he earned All-District honors after catching 21 passes for 365 yards with six touchdowns, and rushing 44 times for 445 yards with five touchdowns. He also threw for four touchdowns.

Eric Morris, WSU's inside receivers coach, has been the recruiting point man on Ayers. Ayers said the fact Morris played slot for Leach at Texas Tech was a notable factor in his decision to come to the Northwest.

His decision-making was also aided by a fellow Texas prospect: defensive back Trevor Walker of Arlington, who verbally committed to WSU in April. "He's from Texas too, he told me how he felt and that me and him could probably do big things there," Ayers said.

"I couldn't be here without my teammates, family and coaches, helping me through the process." Ayers' lengthy list of scholarship offers included, among others, West Virginia, Illinois, Wake Forest, Tulsa and Colorado State. In addition, Ohio State and Notre Dame were expressing interest.

Ayers has been selected to play in the IFAF Under-19 World Championship, June 30-July 7, at Texas. The U.S. Under-19 National Team will compete against teams from American Samoa, Austria, Canada, France, Japan, Panama and Sweden.

WSU now has four known verbal commitments for its 2013 recruiting cycle: Ayers, Bruggman, Walker and Wenatchee offensive lineman Cody O'Connell.

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