CF.C talks w/ one tough RB ahead of WSU visit: Zion Echols

THREE-STAR PROSPECT Zion Echols, tripping to Pullman this weekend out of Covina, Calif., is down to Washington State and Cal. His senior film, yardage totals and postseason awards are impressive. They become even more compelling with the knowledge he played this past season with two broken wrists.

Echols (5-8, 175) cranked out 2,147 rushing hashes on 249 carries his senior year (8.6 ypc) for Charter Oak High, with 28 receptions for another 306 yards. He tallied 44 TDs total, three of them on returns. He said he broke his wrists at different times this past summer. Doctors advised him not to play this season, but he did anyway.

“I wasn’t able to stiff arm a lot this year,” Echols quipped to CF.C.

Echols verballed to Cal this spring but decommitted in November. Heading into his WSU trip, Echols says he isn’t leaning one way or the other between Wazzu and Cal.

“I’m just in the middle right now,” said Echols.  “I want to see the WSU campus for myself, with my own eyes.  And then I really want to meet the whole coaching staff.”

And that’s what Echols said his decision is likely to come down to: the comfort level with the coaching staff.  WSU’s area recruiter is Ken Wilson. The Cougs are looking at him at running back and this weekend will be his first opportunity to shake hands with Cougar running backs coach Jim Mastro.

“I haven’t met him in person yet but I’m going to this Friday, he is really excited about me,” said Echols.  “(WSU and Cal) are both letting me do the same thing - they’re both looking to give me the ball as much as possible, they’re going to use me as an athlete so I’ll catch the ball coming out of the backfield. I’ll get the ball handed off to me, I’ll definitely be in the slot (at times).  So playing is not it, it’s more about going where I feel comfortable.”

Echols said he’ll visit Cal on Jan. 22.  Will a decision between the two schools come soon after?

“I have no idea, it could be right after the Cal visit or on Signing Day,” said Echols, who was offered this cycle by half the Pac-12 (Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, Utah, Cal and Wazzu).

He will arrive in Pullman after having had surgery on Wednesday.

“It went really well,” Echols said. “We’re looking at about five months (rehab) for both wrists total --  I just had one surgery, I don’t get the other wrist (done) until later.  I just have one Thor’s Hammer on,” said Echols.

Echols was named MVP of the Hacienda League, all-CIF Central Division and was named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune’s 2015 Offensive Player of the Year. 

“There were some games I’d play where I’d get tackled a certain way and where I’d have to go sit out a play or two until the pain went away. But other than that, when it would both me a lot, I’d just tape it up more, because of the adrenaline. Adrenaline is the best,” said Echols.

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