WSU Recruiting: Back to 'homa in big way

AFTER LANDING Oklahoma City offensive lineman Carlos Freeman in the just-concluded recruiting cycle, Mike Leach and staff are back in the Sooner state with guns blazin'. In the last week, Washington State coaches have made scholarship offers to three -- count 'em, 3 -- prepsters from Oklahoma. One is a wide receiver with tremendous speed, plus academic scores and character to match.

Cameron Batson, out of Millwood High in Oklahoma City, was a difference maker on both offense and defense in 2012. On offense, he posted 598 receiving yards, 347 rushing yards and 10 total touchdowns, while adding nine interceptions on defense. It led to an offer from Washington State a little more than a week ago.

"Yes sir, I was offered by them last Wednesday," Batson said. "I was thrilled to get the offer from such a prestigious program like Washington State, especially because they throw the ball so much. I'd be able to catch a lot of balls in their offense and I think Mike Leach is a genius. He does a lot of special things in his offense."

WSU is recruiting the 5-9, 165-pound Batson as an inside receiver. Her said in his talks with Cougar offensive line coach and area recruiter Clay McGuire, it was clear why the Cougs decided to be the first program to offer him a scholarship.

"Coach McGuire told me that they saw my film and really liked what they saw," Batson said. "He said the coaches liked that I can make people miss and that I have great speed too. He also asked me about my grades and he was really excited about that too."

How could McGuire not be?

Batson is at the top of his class and is on pace to graduate Millwood as the class of 2014 Valedictorian. He has a 4.19 grade-point average and scored a 22 on his ACT. In addition, Batson is also currently taking pre-engineering classes at the Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma City. The program is designed to prepare high school students for college, giving them a foundation for a future in engineering, Batson said.

"Since I was young, my parents told me that no matter what, my focus always had to be on my education," Batson said. "I told myself I wanted to be Valedictorian and right now I'm at the top of my class. It would mean a lot to me to receive such an honor. For me, there's no room to be number two. I was always told number two is the first loser. Everything I do surrounds that mindset, so I make sure to try my hardest in anything I participate in."

Because of his passion for hitting the books, academics will be a big factor Batson's college decision. Although he doesn't have a desired major selected, Batson said that he's intrigued with the courses he's taking at Francis Tuttle Tech and could see a future in engineering.

"I want to go to a school that has good academics and good graduation rates with their student athletes," he said. "The most important thing for me is to get my degree, but I'm also interested in trying to play professional football as well."

The Cougars are Batson's only offer but now that WSU has put a scholie on the table, others may follow in short order. He said he is receiving increased interest from Ohio, Tulsa, Texas A&M and Cal.

"I love the offense that they run and I think highly of their coaching staff," Batson said of WSU. "It's not everyday a typical kid gets an offer like that from a major university. I want to thank them for believing in me. They do well with the receivers. Coach Leach has mentored guys like Wes Welker and Michael Crabtree. I know that I could be a good asset in their system and I could have the potential to make it to the pros if I played for him."

BATSON ISN'T THE ONLY Oklahoma product to receiver an offer from the Cougs for the 2014 recruiting class.

Scholarship offers also have been extended to a pair of Tulsa-area prospects: safety Steven Parker and linebacker Gyasi Akem.

Parker confirmed with CF.C via twitter that the Cougs offered, but he wasn't available for comment before press time.

The 6-2, 185-pounder is a standout defensive back for Jenks High and holds scholarship offers from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Nebraska and Alabama.

In 2012, the junior posted 55 tackles and three interceptions.

Akem is a 6-1, 220-pound linebacker out of Broken Arrow High. His recruitment has skyrocketed as of late.

Akem also took to social media this week and tweeted that he holds offers from Washington State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Clemson, Missouri, Houston, Arkansas State, Illinois and Colorado State.

As a junior this season, Akem posted 58 tackles and five sacks.

Cougfan Top Stories