RECRUITING: In-state prospects on WSU Jr. Day

A NUMBER OF state of Washington prospects were on hand at Washington State's junior day event this past weekend, including QB Brett Rypien, OL Shane Lemieux and LB Mason Tobeck. There was even a 2016 prospect on hand, Lake Stevens QB Jacob Eason, a 6-5, 205-pound sophomore who has already earned a scholie offer from Mike Leach.

Lemieux said things didn't start out the way he hoped they would at WSU's junior day. However, the Yakima product said thing quickly turned around for him and he had one heck of a time out on the Palouse. The 6-6, 280-pounder said he enjoyed his time getting to know the WSU coaches.

"It was a pretty good visit overall and I had a lot of my questions answered," Lemieux said. "At first, I didn't like the whole junior day aspect of it though, because on some of my other visits (Oregon and UW) I was the only kid on campus. I know that sounds kind of selfish, but I hadn't been in a large group like that before. It took a little while for me to get used to it.

"After things got settled, though, I met with offensive line coach Clay McGuire and things turned around. We just talked for a while about the program and how he thinks I would fit into the program. Coach McGuire likes blue-collar offensive lineman and I fit that mold. That's kind of the way I live too."

IN ADDITION TO meeting with McGuire, the Yakima product said he also had the opportunity to meet with head man Mike Leach, which was one of the highlights of his trip.

"I had a private meeting with him (Leach) and we had a great conversation," Lemieux said. "Someone actually gave me his book recently, so we talked about that for a while. We also chatted about how he came from Texas Tech and how much he enjoys Pullman. He answered a lot of my questions about the Cougs too."

And what were those questions?

"The biggest thing I wanted to know about was the academics and Coach Leach let me know that education is a big part of the football program. He wants his players to graduate. I also wanted to know how many linemen they wanted for next year and what they looked for in the guys they're recruiting. Leach, McGuire and all the coaches let me know I'd be a good fit in the Air Raid.

"I also asked him about his goals for the future and he told me he wants Washington State to get to a Rose Bowl."

Here's a pic Lemieux tweeted out of him and Leach: CLICK HERE.

MOVING FORWARD, LEMIEUX has a busy spring ahead. He's flying out to South Carolina on March 20, then to Miami on March 21. He has a junior day at Boise State on April 12 and then he said he'll take another visit to either Cal, Utah or Arizona State. He said he's also hoping to take a visit to Oregon one last time before making his final decision.

Lemeiux currently holds offers from Arizona State, Boise State, Cal, East Carolina, Idaho, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah and Washington State.

"I just want to get all of my recruiting done before my senior season starts and I'm planning on making my decision before football camp starts in May," he said. "Right now, I'd say Oregon is my favorite and South Carolina and Miami are up there too. With Oregon, the players just made me feel like family during my visit and I have a great relationship with the coaches.

"I feel like Washington State can definitely compete with those schools too, though. They're going to bring me back for one of their spring practices (no date set) and I'm already looking forward to going back."

QUARTERBACK Jacob Eason from the 2016 class was also in attendance, along with his Lake Stevens teammate, 2015 wide receiver Tevin Gray.

As a sophomore this past season, Eason threw for 2,941 yards and 23 touchdowns. For Eason's Instagram pic, CLICK HERE.

FROM PUYALLUP, Tobeck made the trek. The son of former Washington State star center and Seattle Seahawks Pro Bowler Robbie Tobeck, he said he enjoyed being back at Washington State with his dad.

"I think he took pride in showing me around the campus, telling me what it used to look like and telling me about (his college days). I got to meet with Coach Leach… that was really fun and (for) my dad too. It was pretty awesome… you could kinda feel the momentum that they've been building the last year," said Tobeck.

Tobeck, whose lone offer is from Colorado State, said he sat with WSU linebacker coach Ken Wilson at dinner on Saturday and then was with the linebackers group for some film study with Wilson.

"He ran through plays and showed us good form tackles, showing how he disguises blitzes and things like that. That was really cool, seeing how a college program does it," said Tobeck.

Tobeck also said the hoops game was a thrill because he's been watching those seniors for a while. He was particularly pleased to see senior Will DiIorio make the layup at the end off of a DaVonté Lacy assist. Another highlight was listening to WSU's strength and conditioning presentation.

"That was really cool, I love listening to that kind of stuff," said Tobeck.

CF.C ALSO CAUGHT up with three-star Wenatchee linebacker Cy Sirmon. The 6-2.5, 230-pounder said the weekend visit was an eye opener for him.

"Oh man, it was a great trip and seeing all the new facilities and the construction going on at WSU was great," Sirmon said. "There's a lot of renovating going on around the Pac-12, but the facilities at WSU were better than some of the other schools I've seen so far. They've got a gem out there in Pullman."

The three-star LB, who holds an offer from Idaho, doesn't hold a scholie from the Cougs yet, but he said he was provided with some clarity about that during his visit.

"That was the first time they had seen me in person and they said they just want to see me in camp and see how quickly I can move live," Sirmon said. "In my film I don't think they really saw me explode, so I'll have to show them that.

"I'm going to their camp in June this summer. I'm hoping to turn their heads there and get that offer. From my conversations with the coaches, it seemed like they liked what they saw. When I showed up, they were kind of surprised at how big I was. They've only met me one time and they're already very interested in me. That's a good feeling."

SIMILAR TO LEMIEUX, Sirmon said spending quality time with the WSU coaches also stood out to him.

"I ate dinner with Coach Ken Wilson and he really likes my aggression, my size and strength," Sirmon said. "I spoke with Coach Mike Breske too and he was a great guy to talk too. He coached at Montana and my dad played at Idaho. When they were chatting, it was like they were old friends."

Other schools showing interest in Sirmon include UW, Cal, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Colorado, Montana and Eastern Washington. Sirmon will take unofficial visits to Cal and UCLA next month.

ALSO FROM THE CLASS OF 2016, CF.C talked with four-star Aberdeen linebacker Joel Dublanko on Sunday at a Barton Football training session. The 6-3, 225-pounder is one of the top prospects in Washington for his class and has already hauled in offers from Washington State, Mississippi State, Montana and Akron.

With Washington State, Dublanko said although it's early in his recruitment, the Cougar coaches are showing him a lot of love.

"We talk a good amount," Dublanko said. "They're great over there and they have a great coaching staff.

"I've been talking with Coach Wilson a lot. They're recruiting me as an inside linebacker and my relationship with Coach Wilson is great. We get along real well."

Dublanko is no stranger to Pullman, having visited the WSU campus several times over the last year. This included a Palouse trip in November to watch the Cougs take down Utah 49-37.

"That was a great game to go to and with that win, it was their first time going to a bowl game in a while," he said. "They were very hyped up about that.

"It's a nice campus out there and I like how it's really more of a college town. It's a different feel from some other schools in a big city and I kind of like that feeling (small city)."

Dublanko will trip to UCLA and Arizona later this spring to check out a practice. He added that he's hearing from UCLA, Stanford, Oregon and Washington, where he visited on Saturday to watch the Huskies' third spring practice.

  • Mustafa Branch out of Bellevue High told CF.C he was unable to make it over to Pullman for the junior day after his ride fell through. The 6-0, 211-pound three-star linebacker prospect was offered by WSU last month. He said he now plans to take an unofficial to WSU either in the spring or later this summer.

  • Two Californians with WSU offers, S Marvell Tell and LB D.J. Beavers, were in town this past weekend. CF.C has calls into both. Another attendee, LB prospect Hayden Haupt, tweeted out "Had an amazing time at #WSU great coaches, great players, and a great atmosphere" and shared this photo: CLICK HERE

  • A recap of Brett Rypien's junior day experience in case you missed it: CLICK HERE

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