WSU weekend will be big for 4-star prospect

AMONG THE EIGHT known visitors this weekend at Washington State: speedy 4-star wide receiver prospect Lavan Alston out of Ventura, Calif. Before he hopped on a plane to the Palouse, we caught up with the 6-0, 175-pounder to talk all things recruiting and where things stand heading into his WSU official visit.

Lavan Alston out of St. Bonaventure High verbally committed to Oregon State but when Mike Riley left for Nebraska a week later in early December, he opened things back up.

Next weekend he’ll be busy with practices and a Sunday game in the West Coast Bowl so he figures to take only two more trips: WSU this weekend and Nebraska on Jan. 30. He’s already tripped to Oregon State and Cal. Signing Day is Feb. 4.

“I know a lot about Washington State,” said Alston, a Semper-Fi All-American. “They throw the ball a lot, probably more than any other team in the Pac-12. They have a great head coach, Mike Leach. I think Coach Dennis Simmons has been with him a while now, he coached Michael Crabtree who is now in the NFL. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Washington State lifestyle is like for football players.”

Alston’s page shows offers from Washington State, Oregon State, Nebraska, Washington, Utah, Cal, Arizona, ASU, Penn State and others. He's a burner, as the following video attests:

A RECRUITING CALL with a coach on the phone is one thing but I got the sense that sitting down in person is big for Alston. He said he’s looking forward to visiting with Mike Leach, talking more about his potential role were he to come to Wazzu and to also gather more information about the school’s academic programs.

“I don’t really have any questions, I just want to meet some of the players, meet with the receivers coaches and sit down with the head coach who is also the OC. I’ll have more questions when I meet the coaches, I’m sure… I do want to see how my receivers coach can push me towards reaching my goals and dreams, how they would prepare me towards the next level and the NFL,” said Alston.

Whether Alston would play inside or outside receiver at WSU is to be determined.

“Coach Simmons thinks I can play both outside and inside. He’s told me I’m an explosive, fast receiver who can stretch the field playing on the outside and I can also be a mismatch playing against a linebacker or a safety in the slot. He said there are a few positions I can play where I can be beneficial,” said Alston.

PRE-VISIT to Washington State, although Alston said he didn’t have a leader or a top three, the team to beat (based on his earlier verbal and recent reports) might still be OSU. New Beaver head coach Gary Andersen and WRs coach Brent Brennan had an in-home with Alston on Thursday and he said it went well. Brennan is the lone coach remaining from Riley’s staff to stay on with Andersen and Alston said he’s one of the big reasons he pledged OSU in the first place.

“I like Coach Brenan a lot,” said Alston. “I haven’t met the OC (in person) yet, Coach Baldwin, but I’m supposed to meet him next week sometime (on an in-home) Wednesday or Thursday, I think. At this point I already know all the information school-wise and who is there already (depth chart) so at this point it’s just getting to know Coach Andersen, because I just met him (Thursday).”

The wildcard in all this may be Riley and Nebraska.

“I think it’s a business… And if a coach recruits you to his new school, that means he has a strong interest in you and that’s what I see in Coach Riley,” said Alston. “He recruited me from Oregon State all the way to Nebraska. I’m glad he sees that potential in me.”

ALSTON SAID he could make his decision at any time or it could stretch all the way until Signing Day.

“My plans have changed a lot from me wanting to commit before the season to now,” said Alston. “it’s really been a roller coaster. It will just be about whenever I feel confident in committing to a school.”

Alston said he’s still hearing from Arizona and ASU but you get the feeling it might come down to three: WSU, OSU and Nebraska.

“Distance isn’t a factor for me,” said Alston. “I really don’t mind going as far as I need to for a good program and a good school… my parents are military so they’re used to traveling. I can’t single one coach out, I’m pretty close with Coach Riley, Coach Brennan, Coach Simmons from Washington State, Coach Leach... I’m pretty close to all the coaches at all the schools, I couldn’t single one out because I talk to all of them a lot.”

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