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Recruiting: Future Cougars report

WHILE MANY high school and junior college footballers have long since completed their seasons, five future Cougars are still playing -- and chasing championship trophies.

OG Christian Haangana (Milpitas/Milpitas, CA): Haangana and Milpitas will play in the CIF State Football Championship Bowl Games Division III-AA regionals against Campolindo on December 11.  The winner will have a chance to play in the Division III-AA State Finals on Dec. 19 against the winner of La Mirada/Oceanside. Haangana, who verbally committed to WSU on Nov. 23, has helped lead Milpitas to a 10-3 record this season. (WSU running backs coach Jim Mastro starred at Milpitas during his prep playing days).

DB Robert Taylor (CC of San Francisco/San Francisco): Taylor and CCSF are still playing and next up is the big one - Taylor and CCSF will play Saddleback on Saturday in the CCCAA Football State Championship Game. Taylor committed on Saturday and looks to be ticketed for safety at WSU.  In 11 games, Taylor has racked up 43 tackles (28 solo) with 1 1-2 tackles for loss, five interceptions and six pass breakups. Taylor committed on Saturday and looks to be ticketed for safety at WSU. 

S Skyler Thomas (Citrus Hill/Perris, CA): Thomas and Citrus Hill play in the Division II-A CIF State Football Championship Bowl Game regional against Calabasas on December 12.  (Calabasas eliminated Rio Mesa and future Coug Stephen Houston a few weeks ago). If Citrus Hill wins, they would play the winner of Pleasant Valley/Saint Francis in the State Final on December 19. Thomas has 56 tackles on the season (32 solo) with seven tackles for loss, four sacks, 10 pass break ups and one interception.

DE Mason Vinyard & ILB Jihad Woods (Helix Charter/La Mesa, CA): The Helix duo came through again in the 44-30 win in the CIF San Diego Section Football Championships title game over St. Augustine. Update: Woods racked up 10 tackles (seven solo) picked off a pass and broke up another. Mason Vinyard had one tackle.  Helix next plays in the Division I-AA CIF State Football Championship Bowl regionals against Mission Viejo on Dec 11. If Helix wins, they’ll move on to play the winner of Folsom/Bellarmine College Prep in the State Finals on December 19.
OLB Derek Moore (Crenshaw/Los Angeles): Crenshaw fell to Narbonne last Saturday in the CIF Los Angeles City Section Championship game, 57-21. Three of Crenshaw’s regular season losses were within two points or less. A coach could not be reached for stats.
ATH Justus Rogers (Bellevue/Bellevue, WA): Bellevue’s 11-game win streak ended and they finished the season the same way they started: with a loss. The Wolverines lost in overtime 48-42 to Eastside Catholic in the WIAA Championship game. It was the second straight year Bellevue lost to Eastside Catholic in the championship game. Unfortunately for Bellevue, the Wolverines gave up a 28-point lead in the second half. A coach couldn’t be reached for the full statistics of Rogers performance.

S Marcus Strong (Carter/Rialto, CA): Strong was a triple threat for Carter his senior season.  He posted 36 tackles (27 solo) and picked off one pass this season. He returned 10 kickoffs for 310 yards, and 10 punts for 193 hashes. And he caught 25 passes for 353 yards (14.1 avg.) with three TDs and carried the ball 22 times for 205 yards (9.3 ypc) with another three scores. Strong verbally committed on Nov. 12, Carter’s season ended a week earlier.

OT Keenen King (Arbor View/Las Vegas): King helped lead Arbor View to a 9-2 record including a berth in the Sunset Region championship game, where they fell to powerhouse Bishop Gorman (ranked No. 1 nationally in USA Today poll).  King will come to WSU as an o-lineman and of course there are no official stats for that.  He was a spot performer on defense, appearing in six games with seven tackles and a pass break up.

OT Jaelen Lewis (Antelope/Antelope, CA): Lewis helped lead Antelope to the Capital Conference title and a 12-1 mark, losing their only game in the   Sac-Joaquin Section Division II semifinals. Lewis will come to WSU as an o-lineman but also played defense this season.  In 10 games he had 32 tackles (18 solo) with five tackles for loss. He was also credited with 1 1-2 sacks, a fumble recovery and two passes defensed.

RB Romello Harris (Tulare Union/Tulare, CA): Despite battling injuries, Harris had an incredibly productive season on the ground. In nine games, Harris racked up 1,943 yards on 203 carries with 25 touchdowns. He averaged 216 ground yards every Friday night and had seven 100-plus yard games. He was also effective in the passing game with 11 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown. Although he didn't do any kick or punt returns this year, he does have some experience returning kicks from his junior year of high school.  Harris committed Dec. 3 after Tulare Union was defeated his team lost in the opening round of the playoffs.

DE Lyric Bartley (Taylorsville/Taylorsville, UT): According to his Max Preps page, Bartley played a little offense, but defense was his main focus in his nine games of action. He posted 61 tackles (43 solo) including a whopping 18 tackles for loss. He had 13 1-2 sacks and 12 quarterback hurries to go along with four passes defensed and a forced fumble. Offensively, he ran for 86 yards and five touchdowns on just 16 carries with three receptions for 20 yards. Bartley committed on Saturday, with the Warriors going 3-7 on the season.

As detailed in previous reports, the following future Cougs did not reach or were eliminated from the playoffs: CB Isaiah Love (West Covina/West Covina, CA), OL/DL Joshua Watson (Cascade/Everett), QB (ATH) D’Jimon Jones (Federal Way/Federal Way), QB Cody Brewer (Flour Bluff/Corpus Christi), WR Stephen Houston (Rio Mesa/Oxnard, CA), WR Grant Porter (Upland/Upland, CA), WR/DB Jalen Thompson (Downey/Downey, CA), WR/DB Renard Bell (Cathedral/Los Angeles), and WR Josiah Westbrook (Squalicum/Bellingham). OLB Chima Onyeukwu (Contra Costa JUCO/San Pablo, CA) made it to a bowl game, but lost and Contra Costa’s season is also over.

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