Early Cougars-Ducks battle for Yakima OL

THE MOM OF Yakima o-line prospect Shane Lemieux might just be something of a prophet. While Lemieux and family were at the WSU-Oregon game at Century Link a couple seasons ago, his mom turned to him and predicted he'd one day be playing for one of the two schools. Lemieux couldn't bring himself to agree at the time but this week he picked up scholie offers from both Washington State and Oregon.

"And look at me now," Lemieux< mused when relating that story to Cougfan.com.

Indeed. The 6-6, 285-pounder out of West Valley High was offered by Washington State yesterday, with the Ducks offering the day before. WSU o-line coach Clay McGuire delivered the news on behalf of Mike Leach.

"Coach McGuire got in touch with me on Twitter and asked me to give him a call because he can't call me right now. We talked for a little bit and he offered me a scholarship. He talked about my character and that he had watched all my film and really, really liked it," said Lemieux.

Although Lemieux is in Yakima, he said the last time he was over at Washington State since he was a little kid. And he also says he's heard a lot from Oregon OL coach Steve Greatwood the past few months, and that the Ducks occupy the top slot on his very early leaderboard.

"I've really grown to like the coaching staff there. I call Coach Greatwood once a week and they always seemed really interested, they're trying to get me down there (to visit) and they offered me a scholarship… that was my first offer and I was going nuts. I'm going down for an unofficial visit there on Feb. 28," said Lemieux.

McGUIRE, MEANWHILE, HAS also made a strong impression, Lemieux said.

"He seems like kinda my guy -- he's a hard-working, blue-collar guy, just like me," said Lemieux. "It was awesome. (WSU) is close to me and I've been waiting for that offer for a couple months now…it's kind of a great achievement.

"He said he really liked my hip flexibility, how low I get and he said he really liked my toughness. He said every single play I was that blue-collar, hard-working kind of guy."


Lemieux said he's familiar with Washington State even though he hasn't been there in a while – his stepdad is a Coug and they went to games some years ago. He'll head to WSU on March 8 for a Washington State junior day event. "I like the college atmosphere of it, the (facilities improvements), the small town feel and I'm looking forward to the junior day over there," he said.

THERE'S A LONG ways to go in recruiting – about 363 days until the Class of 2014 signs. And South Carolina will also be a player – Lemieux said his dad lives in Gamecock Country and has long talked about him potentially playing for South Carolina. Lemieux will take a junior day trip to SC as well as to Clemson.

In the end, the younger Lemieux said it will be his decision where he goes. But in the early going, there is at least a familial sign or two that this one might just come down to WSU and Oregon in the end.

"And my family, they're a big factor in this choice," said Lemieux. "They'd prefer Oregon or WSU because they can go to every single game. Oregon is six hours away and Pullman, three.

"I just love the college-town kind of football player. I love the competitiveness of the sport, being out there and kicking some butt. And I love Pac-12 football. There's just something about it."

  • Lemieux said he's been a bit overwhelmed since West Valley isn't known as a well-traveled college recruiting stop. "I'm just a hard-working blue collar kid from a school not really (known) for football. There haven't been many… I think the last one to go D-I was Kyle Foye who went to Wazzu (LB, 1990-92). So we have some history at West Valley and WSU," he said.

  • Lemieux estimated he had 15-20 pancake blocks this past season as a junior.

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