CB/ATH Hawkins, LB Kaufusi preview WSU visits with CF.C

WITH A MONSTER recruiting weekend on tap at Washington State, CF.C talks to two of the visiting prospects getting close to making their final decisions. Linebacker Jackson Kaufusi and CB/ATH Tayler Hawkins both tell CF.C they’ve got Washington State in their final three and their WSU visits will be huge. What are they hoping to see out on the Palouse?

For Kaufusi, that close-knit feel of Pullman is at the top of his list on a weekend where 14 prospects are expected to be in town.

“I’ve been talking with Coach Joe Salave'a and we’ve discussed the defense, but we’ve obviously discussed the college-town atmosphere of the university. It’s a small community out there, but there is a lot of support for the programs. I like that a lot.”

The 6-2, 205-pound outside linebacker received his crimson tender shortly before the start of the 2015 football season. Salave’a, his area recruiter, has been on him like a hawk ever since. 

RELATED: The full list of WSU official visitors

Ranked two stars by Scout, Kaufusi, out of Salt Lake City, has picked up offers this recruiting cycle from WSU, Cal, Utah, BYU, Utah State, Weber State and Virginia Union.

It’s a Pac-12 battle for his services, though.

“My final three are Washington State, Cal and Utah,” Kaufusi said. “I’m taking my visit to Washington State this weekend, then I’m headed to Cal on Jan. 22 and Utah on Jan. 29. I’m pretty open with my choices right now. All three schools are pretty even for me.”

The OLB added that one thing about WSU sticks out to him a bit right now.

“I just like the whole idea of how they’re like a family over there,” he said. “I talked a lot with Coach Salave’a during my in-home visit (early December) about how close everyone is. I like that Pullman is a true college town and I love their defense as well.”

As for Hawkins, the three-star prospect tells CF.C he can’t wait to hop on a plane for Pullman on Friday morning.

The Palm Springs, Calif., senior has picked up scholarships this cycle from WSU, Arizona State, Washington, Colorado State, San Diego State, UNLV and many others.

Similar to Kaufusi, he has WSU in his final three. 

“I’ve narrowed things down to Washington State, Colorado and San Diego State,” Hawkins said. “With WSU, they’ve been on me since the beginning of my junior year. Coach (Ken) Wilson and Coach (Mike) Leach have been the ones on me. They’ve been telling me it’s a great place to be. There’s a lot of positives about that school right now for sure.”

Hawkins is rated the No. 64 cornerback in the country, but if he were to commit to WSU, his position wouldn’t be determined until after he arrived on campus, he said.

“They’re recruiting me as more of an athlete,” Hawkins said. “They really like me on both sides of the ball. I don’t have a preference on either position. Wherever they want me to line up at, I’ll play at.”

The 6-0, 180-pounder added that he’s built a close bond with Wilson, his area recruiter. 

“They offered me last year and Coach Wilson and I have built a good relationship since,” Hawkins said. “I like how the program is very competitive right now and I like the uniforms for sure. When Coach Wilson and I talk, it’s a lot about football, but we talk about other stuff too. We talk about life and ourselves."

Hawkins will visit San Diego State on Jan. 22 and then hopes to make his decision shortly after. He took his official visit to Colorado last month.

 

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