WSU Recruiting Roundup: JUCO edition

THE PRIMARY RECRUITING focus under Mike Leach will always be on high school preps but the Cougs have also extended recent offers to JC prospects. One is a 6-6, 285-pound hoss in Los Angeles – he has a crimson connection and has already penciled in Washington State for one of his official visits this fall.

L.A. Pierce College offensive tackle Justin Scott is a three-star OL prospect who has been in close contact with the Washington State coaches since midway through his 2012 season. Cougar assistants Paul Volero and Dennis Simmons are running the point on his recruitment.

"They're both good guys and I was able to talk to them when they offered me about two weeks ago," Scott said. "They really want me to be a part of the Cougar family and they've been telling me how good things are coming to the program. WSU is building new facilities and they think they can be No. 1 in the Pac-12 soon."

The Cougs are looking at Scott to man a specific position in the trenches in the Air Raid offense.

"They want me to come in and play left tackle for them," Scott said. "They like my athleticism along with my feet and my hips. WSU told me I can come in and be a Pac-12 player for them and that I can fit into their offensive system perfectly."

SCOTT, WHO WILL be a sophomore at Pierce College this season, also has some WSU connections. He said his CSM teammate Paris Taylor, a late addition to the Cougars' class of 2013 at safety, has been singing the praises of all things crimson. In addition, a former Pierce College teammate who signed elsewhere has been giving WSU an enthusiastic endorsement.

"I've only heard good things about them," Scott said of the Cougs. "Paris has told me that the campus is awesome and that the guys on the team are all a bunch of good guys. I've gotten the scoop from him about the positivity surrounding the Cougars.

"Marquel Combs (former JC teammate) was also telling me a lot of good things about Washington State as well. He really wanted to go there and was telling me how much he liked the coaching staff and how great the city of Pullman was when he took his visit up there for the Apple Cup."

(Combs had Washington State in his final three with Kansas and Kansas State, but ended up signing with the Jayhawks.)

In addition to Washington State, Scott also holds an offer from Kansas, plus Cincinnati, West Virginia, Kansas, Portland State and Wyoming. He is also receiving interest from Oregon, Ohio State, Illinois and Kansas State. He is on pace to graduate in December and will have three years to play two.

"No one is really sticking out to me right now, but I like all the schools that have offered me so far," Scott said. "I'm going to wait to take some visits, which I'll probably start up in September. I haven't set up any official visits yet, but I know Washington State will be one of them. Maybe Kansas and West Virginia too. Ohio State has been asking me to take a trip up there too, but they haven't offered yet."

IN ADDITION TO Scott, another JC prospect Cougar fans are going to want to keep their eye on is College of San Mateo cornerback Joseph Turner. He recently picked up and offer from Washington State and CSM defensive coordinator/recruiting coordinator Tim Tulloch said the 6-2, 190-pounder is a big-time player.

"He's a physical cornerback who is athletic and has great length," Tulloch said. "He's one of those guys where it doesn't matter who is in front of him. He can press a big receiver and he can go toe-to-toe with anyone. He's also a hard worker and a good kid character-wise. He cares about what he does out there."

WSU was first to offer Turner. Hawaii offered him shortly after that.

Another CSM prospect the Cougar coaches have been in close contact with is 6-0, 205-pound safety Sam Atoe. Atoe is waiting on his first offer, but Tulloch said he's been receiving a lot of interest from WSU and several other Pac-12 programs.

TULLOCH ALSO HAD SOME effusive praise for Mike Leach and his Washington State staff.

"Those guys are outstanding," Tulloch said of the WSU staff. "I've known Joe (Salave'a) since he was in high school and I've known Coach (Jim) Mastro and a few other guys on their staff for a long time. We've signed a lot of kids to their program and we trust them a lot. They take care of our guys on and off the field and we know they're in good hands.

"We sign 25-30 guys a year and I couldn't think of a better place for our guys than Washington State."

Former Bulldogs now on the WSU roster include Justin Sagote and Lyman Faoliu, as well as recent addition OL Devonte McClain. He announced on twitter Sunday night his verbal commitment to WSU for the class of 2013. McClain told CF.C he'll visit WSU on Friday, and then move permanently to Pullman the following week.

  • Another JC player to watch for is Mt. San Jacinto linebacker Dejon Brown. The 6-3, 225-pounder also recently landed an offer from WSU, who joined New Mexico in extending a full ride. Brown, who checks in at 6-3, 225-pounds, will have three years to play two following the 2013 season. As a freshman in 2012, Brown recorded 81 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one recovered fumble and two interceptions.

  • Other JC prospects who have hauled in WSU offers this recruiting cycle include City College of San Francisco OL David Hedelin and Riverside Junior College WR Sam Boyd.

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