WSU RECRUITING: Big weekend for the Cougs

WITH THE DEAD period now in the rear view mirror, it's looking like a big recruiting weekend for the Cougars' staff. Washington State will host eights known prospects for official visits, including four verbal commits and four uncommitted prospects. Who will be in town, where were some of the WSU coaches for in-home visits on Thursday? We have that and more in this recruiting notebook.

Under head man Mike Leach, a typical recruiting weekend will max out at around 8-10 prospects and that's looking to be the case starting later today.

The list of visitors includes Corona, Calif. WR Barry Ware, who also received an in-home visit from WSU assistant Ken Wilson on Thursday evening.

Ware checks in at 6-3, 205-pounds and is being recruited by the Cougars as an outside threat. Ware was a longtime UCLA verbal commit, but he opened up his recruitment earlier this fall.

In addition to WSU, he holds offers from Utah and Fresno State, where he's also planning on taking official visits. Ware is set to trip to Utah on Jan. 24 and is also working on getting to Fresno State on Jan. 31, but that trip hasn't been scheduled yet.

Ware blew up for Centennial High this season, hauling in 56 receptions for 1,211 yards and 17 touchdowns. He is rated three stars and the 105th best WR prospect in the land by

IN ADDITION TO WARE, another outside receiver set to visit the Palouse this weekend is West Hills, Calif. standout Brayden Lenius.

The 6-5, 210-pounder picked up his crimson offer about a month ago and didn't hesitate in saying that the Cougs stood out in his recruitment, telling National Recruiting analyst Greg Biggins that the Cougs were his favorite school.

In addition to WSU, Lenius also holds offers from Miami, Minnesota, Utah, San Diego State and others. Lenius will take a visit to Minnesota next weekend and is also working on going to Miami before signing day.

An interesting prospect to visit WSU this weekend is Canadian RB/WR Marcus Davis.

The 5-10, 180-pounder doesn't currently hold a WSU offer, but said he's hoping one can come this weekend. Davis had a memorable campaign for Mount Douglas High (B.C.) rushing for 2,034 yards and 29 touchdowns, while adding 861 yards and 12 touchdowns receiving.

"They've said they like my character, that I represent myself well," Davis said of the WSU staff earlier this week. "I'm interested in getting an overall feeling on what the campus is like and just to talk to the coaches, get a feel for what they do there."

OVER ON DEFENSE, DE/LB recruit Patrick Choudja, took an early 6 a.m. flight from California to the Palouse. The 6-4, 230-pounder recently told CF.C that he has a top four of WSU, Boise State, Nevada and Fresno State, all of whom have offered. Arizona State, Colorado State, Hawaii, San Jose State and a few others also offered Choudja this recruiting cycle.

Special teams coach Eric Russell is Choudja's area recruiter and Choudja told CF.C the two have formed a strong bond this recruiting cycle, which adds to his excitement to check out the WSU campus.

"Coach Russell told me he's very excited for me to get up there," Choudja said. "I'm excited too. He was telling me how WSU is a great Pac-12 school and it's a great environment up there."

The three-star prospect hails from Oakley, Calif., a smaller-sized city in the Bay Area. Choudja told CF.C he likes the community feel and college town atmosphere the coaches have described about Pullman.

AS FOR CURRENT VERBALS, CB Sulaiman Hameed, CB Patrick Porter, WR Keith Harrington and OL Andre Dillard are joining those mentioned above for official visits this weekend.

Hameed and Porter gave their verbals to Washington State last week and for Porter, it will be his first time seeing Pullman. And WSU defensive coordinator was in Alabama yesterday for an in-home with Porter.

It will be interesting to see what happens after the visit for the 5-11, 170-pounder. He has said he going in that he will take official visits to Minnesota (Jan. 24) and Toledo (Jan. 31) following his trip to Washington State this weekend. Will Porter still take those trips or will his official to WSU result in him saying he's seen all he needs to see?

Hameed tripped to WSU over the summer for an unofficial visit and said he fell in love with the campus. He said he's looking forward to checking out the school with all the students around this weekend.

This weekend will also be the first Pullman experience for Harrington, who committed to the Cougs sight unseen back in late May. Harrington is rated three-stars and the 96th best RB in the land by, but he'll arrive to Washington State as an inside WR.

Harrington recently played in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl in Tampa, Fla, and put on an eye-popping display. He totaled over 300 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead his team to a 47-44 overtime victory.

That performance thrust him back into the recruiting limelight after Northeast (1-9) suffered through a disappointing season. But Harrington told CF.C as well as the Tampa Bay Times recently that he's solid on WSU and isn't looking at other schools.

Dillard, out of Woodinville, took an unofficial visit to WSU for the Utah game and committed to the Cougs shortly after. The 6-5, 240-pounder is son of Mitch Dillard, who suited up for the Cougs back in the late 80s.

NOTABLE NOTES: The WSU coaches were out on the road yesterday for in-home visits - the first day coaches could do so since Dec. 15. Here's the latest from CF.C:

• Leach was in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. yesterday to pay a visit to WSU QB commit Peyton Bender.

• As noted above, Wilson paid a visit to Ware.

• Russell was in Fife for Kaleb McGary and traveled down to California before taking a return flight to Pullman.

• Breske traveled to Cottondale, Ala. to visit Porter.

• WSU running backs coach Jim Mastro traveled to Milpitas, Calif. yesterday to visit with RB commit Squally Canada and Tre Hartley, a cornerback prospect. Hartley, who checks in at 6-0, 170, told CF.C last night that he's working with Mastro to set up an official visit and he's hoping he can make that happen for next weekend.

• WSU CB commit Kevin Griffin announced on his twitter feed that he will be hosting Leach and Russell for an in-home visit in the days to come.

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