Reece's WSU hall election an ode to walk ons

NEWS FRIDAY that Geoff Reece was one of 25 old Cougars elected to the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame stood out for a couple of reasons. First, because it's much-deserved recognition for a guy who tends to be overshadowed on one end by Mel Hein and on the other by Robbie Tobeck in the discussion of WSU's all-time great centers. The second reason is this: he started his Cougar career as a walk on.

In the span of five years, Reece went from walk on to first-team All-American to the No. 61 overall pick in the NFL draft.

His election to the WSU Hall of Fame got the brain trust at reflecting on the great walks ons in WSU history, so we're dusting off this list from a 2011 story in which we picked the top five position players (i.e. not any kickers or punters) to walk on in Cougarville. Here they are ...

GEOFF REECE (center 1972-74): First-team All-American and two-time all-conference selection. Played in East-West Shrine and two other all-star games before moving on to the Rams and Seahawks. From Cascade High in Everett.

DOUG FLANSBURG (receiver 1965-67): First-team All-Coast and all-conference in 1966. Caught 140 passes in career and held WSU record for most in one game (12) up until the Mike Leach Era. A member of the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame. From Palouse High.

CORY WITHROW (offensive lineman 1994-97): Three-year starter and mainstay on 1998 Rose Bowl team. Played 10 years in NFL. From Mead High in Spokane.

KEN GRANDBERRY (running back 1971-73): Ranks in WSU’s all-time top ten for rushing yards and touchdowns. Played for Chicago Bears. From now-closed Dupont High near Tacoma, but spent first three years of high school in Waco, Texas.

SHAWN TIMS (receiver/returner 1994-97): First-team all-conference as a punt returner and one of the legendary Fab Five receivers on 1998 Rose Bowl team. From Vallejo (Calif.) High.

IN CASE YOU'RE WONDERING who our choices in 2011 were for the five greatest specialists in Cougar history whose careers began as walk ons, they were Jason Hanson, Gavin Hedrick, Rian Lindell, Kyle Basler and Drew Dunning.

Cougfan Top Stories