Will WSU in-home, upcoming visit flip LB/RB?

A HEAD COACH gets only one in-home visit so once that in-home visitation period kicks off at the start of December, he needs to make it count. In talking to Mountlake Terrace's Devante Downs, it sounds as if Mike Leach did just that.

Devante Downs (6-3, 230) says it was the first time he had met Mike Leach face to face. Area recruiter Eric Russell, who has been running the WSU recruiting point on Downs, was also there.

"I thought Coach Leach was cool and… my parents also liked Coach Leach," said Downs. "I don't know how long they were here for but it was a long time. They talked about how I'm a priority for them, how I should be a part of something special that they're building there."

Downs is listed as a three-star fullback prospect by scout.com but everyone is recruiting him as a linebacker or running back, including WSU. Most schools are saying Downs can try either upon his arrival

"If I were to pick (at Washington State), I'd play linebacker," said Downs.

SOME GROUND would need to be made up for that to happen. Downs is a soft verbal at Cal. And after in-homes this week from Wazzu, OSU and Cal, plus strong interest from ASU and who will come by next week, Downs said Cal still remains in the driver's seat.

"Knowing what I know now, Cal is where I'll end up," said Downs. Downs qualified that a bit by saying he still has more to learn about other schools, and so things could still change.

"As I learn more about these schools, it is increasing my interest in them," he said.

But the time frame is short.

Downs will officially visit Washington State on Dec. 13, and a decision could come not too long afterwards.

Downs said he will graduate from Mountlake Terrace this month, and then embark on his college career and enroll early in January.

"I'll know more about WSU when I visit there next weekend, I haven't been there in four years," said Downs, who intends to major in Pharmacy.

He said that Cal's Chemistry and Pharmacy schools were a big factor in his verbal commitment to the Bears this past summer, and to why he has them on top entering the final stretch drive.

DOWNS RACKED UP a ton of offers this recruiting cycle, with most of the Pac-12 jumping on board.

The reason you haven't heard much about him is because, as the Seattle Times and other newspapers reported, he injured his knee in June and sat out his senior season. But Downs says he'll be back to 100 percent soon. The fact that four Pac-12 schools are coming after him as strongly as they are this first week in December, as the in-homes begin, is a solid indicator his stock is as high as ever.

As a junior, Downs racked up 17 tackles-for-loss with six sacks. He also added 1,270 ground yards with 23 touchdowns.

JUNIOR highlight reel

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