WSU RECRUITING: New Jersey subplot for Cougs

WHEN WASHINGTON STATE travels to New Jersey in September to face Rutgers in Week Two, a recruiting subplot could also be playing out between the two schools.

The Cougs last week extended an offer to wide receiver Donald Stewart out of Paramus, N.J. Rutgers has also offered the 6-4, 190-pounder, along with Boston College, Illinois, Maryland, Syracuse, Temple and Wake Forest.

Washington State, for obvious geographic reasons, doesn’t offer a whole lot of prospects from the East Coast. The offer to Stewart is the first and only known WSU offer out to a Garden State prospect in the 2016 class.

But the Cougs will spot recruit any geographic area their coaches have ties.

And with special teams coordinator Eric Mele now a full-fledged assistant coach, New Jersey is in play as an ancillary crimson recruiting ground.

Before coming to WSU, Mele coached four years in New Jersey at both the college and high school levels. He also played his college ball in New Jersey, where he was a three-year starter at Patterson. has not yet ranked Stewart but pegs him as the No. 14 overall prospect in the state in their list of top 50 prospects. He is also the No. 3 wide receiver out of 11 ranked in the top 50.

Stewart caught 34 passes for 662 yards and eight touchdowns for Paramus Catholic as a junior.

In looking over the CF.C message boards, CougFans haven’t forgotten the 41-38 setback to Rutgers last season, a woulda-coulda-shoulda kind of loss. But if the Cougs were to take care of business on the field this time around and nab a valued prospect in Rutgers' backyard to boot, that would be quite the coup.

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