"It's pretty exciting (to go on the visit) and they're one of my favorite schools right now," Choudja said. "I can't wait to see in person how everything is up there. They're building something great up there at Washington State."
Choudja, who checks in a 6-4, 230-pounds, saw his recruitment take off during the month of November. Both WSU and Arizona State offered him as he turned heads during his senior season, and he also has rides from Boise State, Nevada, Hawaii, Colorado State and others.
THE FAMILY FEEL and college town atmosphere of Pullman is what has WSU among his leaders, he said. Choudja is from Freedom, Calif., a town of about 3,000 located in Santa Cruz County.
"I've talked with Coach Eric Russell (area recruiter) and he told me how WSU is... where you can focus on football and education," Choudja said. "That sounds like home for me. I like that small-town vibe because that's what I'm used to now.
"Freedom is kind of like a small country town, which sounds like Pullman. It seems like a great place where you can go focus on school and football and stay out of trouble."
Choudja added that he has a strong connection with Russell.
"We stay in contact and we have a great relationship going right now," Russell said. "We met last year and we've been in close contact ever since."
Following his visit to Washington State, Choudja said he will either take a visit to Fresno State or Boise State on Jan. 24. He added that he won't take any trips on Jan. 31 and is hoping to make his decision shortly after his final trip.
MEANWHILE, ALSO VISITING that weekend will be Sulaiman Hameed, a three-star cornerback prospect. The Alameda, Calif. product holds offers from Washington State, Arizona State and UC Davis, and he's also seeing recent interest from the new staff at Washington.
However, Hameed said he's pretty much focusing on the schools that have offered and based on his comments, WSU appears to be in pretty good shape.
"Man, I love the WSU coaches," Hameed said. "Coach Jim Mastro is my area recruiter and we talk quite a bit. I actually called him earlier today (Monday). He said he's really excited for me to go on my visit and show me around campus again."
HAMEED UNOFFICIALLY VISITED Washington State over the summer. He saw the Cougs practice in Lewison before returning to Pullman to check out the campus. It's an experience that still remains fresh in his mind, he said.
"Pullman is a great place and I really enjoyed it out there," Hameed said. "Washington State has a beautiful campus and the layout is great over there. I'm really looking forward to my official visit.
"I like how the coaches are so involved with the players too. It's more about football with them. They care how you do with your academics and they're connected with the players. I get a family vibe from them."
THE 5-11, 175-POUNDER almost certainly would have been more highly recruited but he tore his ACL in practice just before the 2012 season. The injury saw him miss not only the critical camp and combine season before his senior year but also the first four games of 2013. But as the videos below show, he came back very strong at corner and receiver, and also as a quarterback and return man.
He posted 32 tackles defensively in seven games with three pass breakups, earning first team all-league honors despite the abbreviated season.
Hameed said his knee is back to full strength and he feels great out on the gridiron. He added that the Cougs told him they're not looking at him to delay enrollment and arrive the following January, that they want him on campus this summer if he decides to go crimson.
"I know they're graduating a lot of defensive backs, but they've told me they wouldn't want to rush me back on the field if I wasn't ready," Hameed said. "The knee feels great, though. I feel like I could go in and play early, or redshirt if the coaches felt that was best."
Hameed added that he remains in contact with UC Davis and ASU defensive coordinator Chris Ball, who wants him to come to Tempe for an official visit on Jan. 24. Hameed said he is still working out the details on his visit to ASU and nothing has been finalized yet.
ELSEWHERE IN WSU RECRUITING, Lawton, Okla. running back Michael Warren has scheduled his official visit to Washington State. The three-star prospect let CF.C know in a text message that he'll be out on the Palouse on Jan. 24.
Warren, ranked the 77th best RB in the nation by Scout.com, also holds an offer from Toledo and holds interest from both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Lawton High senior is coming off a breakout season, where he rushed for 2,512 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Many prospects have gone quiet with the holidays here and the dead period underway. Here's the latest on some of the other WSU targets that CF.C has tried to reach and will continue to do so:
Signing Day is Feb. 5.