Three-star safety raves about WSU unofficial

HE WAS A SURPRISE visitor to the Palouse last week, stopping in at Washington State last Monday with a pair of prep teammates. And although three-star safety Ron Smith was only in Pullman for a short amount of time, he tells CF.C he was blown away by his unofficial visit to WSU. So much in fact, he has the Cougs in his top three and will return to Pullman in the fall for an official visit.

Smith and St. Mary's (Berkeley, Calif.,) teammates Ben Schrider and Aaron Mercadel, both also three-star prospects, were busy last week touring multiple campuses. Smith, the lone prospect of the three who holds an offer from the Cougs, said he, Schrider and Mercadel were only in Pullman for a couple of hours last Monday, but the visit was an eye-opener.

"Wazzu was our second stop after taking a visit to Eastern Washington in Cheney," Smith said. "We checked out the facilities over there and I really liked them a lot.

"They were over the top really. We saw their new uniforms and got a close look at the stadium. Their new operations building is great too. Everything is looking really nice over there."

WHILE IN PULLMAN, Smith said he had the opportunity to speak with WSU defensive coordinator Mike Breske.

"He introduced me to some other members of the staff and some of the players," Smith said. "Coach Breske told me how much he likes my aggressiveness.

"They're looking at me as a safety and he likes how I tackle. He did tell me I need to put on some weight, but I know that's something I need to do before I get to college. I'm going to work on that this season." Smith currently checks in at 6-0, 160 pounds. In addition to WSU, the Berkeley product holds offers from Air Force, New Mexico, Eastern Washington, Montana, UC Davis, Northern Arizona, Fresno State, Nevada and a handful of others.

"Right now, I'd say the schools that are standing out to me are Washington State, Fresno State and Wyoming," Smith said. "I was really impressed with WSU during my visit. At the same time, Fresno State has been showing me a lot of love in the recruiting process and I really enjoyed my tour of Wyoming this week. They're up there for me now too."

ANOTHER HIGHLIGHT FROM his WSU visit, Smith said, was having the opportunity to interact with some Bay-Area Cougs.

"During that trip, we spoke with Marcellus Pippins and Kevin Griffin," Smith said. "The grew up in some same area and we had the chance to talk with them about the school and the program. They're both young, so it was cool to get insights from them.

"Kevin is a freshman now and Marcellus is a second-year freshman. Those were the two main guys we met with and they said how it's a lot different from high school and you have to put in a lot of hard work, but it's all worth it and that they enjoy their time with the coaches and players."

As for a decision timeline, Smith said he's in no rush to make a decision.

"I'm going to check out all the schools recruiting me and line up some official visits," he said. "I know I'll take one to WSU and I'm going to try and line that up soon.

"After I finish taking all of my official visits, I'm going to sit down with my parents and coaches and make an educated decision."

  • Both Schrider and Mercadel don't hold offers from WSU, but Smith said the coaches have been showing increased interest. Mercadel, 6-2, 200, is a three-star middle linebacker prospect who holds offers from Air Force, Eastern Washington, North Dakota State and Wyoming. Schrider checks in at 6-3, 220, and holds offers from Army, Air Force, Montana, Montana State, New Mexico and a handful of others. Schrider is also rated three stars by

  • In addition to WSU and Eastern Washington, the three took college visits last week to Colorado, Colorado State, Air Force, Montana and Wyoming.

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