Another Montanan WSU-bound?

<b>COLIN DONOVAN</b>, 6-7, 260-pound lineman from Western Montana who quietly ranks as one of the top 40 football prospects in the Northwest, looks like he may be leaning toward Washington State, though Nebraska and others are coming on strong.

If you want to find Superior on a map you better have your magnifying glass handy. It's just off the highway from Spokane to Missoula, and includes roughly 800 inhabitants -- none bigger than Donovan. And certainly none receiving the amount of mail Donovan is.

He's getting lots of attention from college recruiters and projects as either an offensive or defensive lineman. He comes by his talent naturally -- dad Shaun and uncle Pat both played at Stanford, with Pat going on to a Pro Bowl career as an offensive tackle with the Dallas Cowboys in the 1970s and early 80s.

If Donovan chooses WSU, he will continue a proud legacy of Montanans who have journeyed to Pullman. Among them: Matt Kegel (Havre), Doc Farley (Hamilton), Ryan Leaf (Great Falls), Kerry Porter (Great Falls) and Ty Paine (Billings). Beloved old Cougar coach Jim Sweeney also was as a Montanan. spoke with Superior head coach Dan Lucier, who also doubles as athletic director and counselor for Superior High. He's seen his team go from 8-man to 11-man ball eighttimes, and right now is the toast of the state's Class B ranks.

"It's easier to play with 11 because it's more crowded," Lucier said. It must come easy to Superior, because at 7-0 they have already won their league, despite being the smallest Class-B school in the state. Their average margin of victory? 41-3. Donovan, a defensive end and offensive lineman who also stars in basketball, is a big reason why.

As far back as the eighth grade Lucier knew they had a live one in Colin. "He's always been a great athlete," Lucier said. "In eighth grade he ran the 400 in 59 seconds. He was second in shot last year at state."

The nearby University of Montana offered Donovan when he was a sophomore. The lad earned all-state recognition as a junior and seems a lock for the honor again this season.

Colin's 40 time fluctuates between 4.94 and 5.06. He uses his size, speed and strength to go after offenses from all spots on the DL. "Defensive end might be his best position because he can disrupt the passer," Lucier said. "But offenses like to line up away from him, so he'll ask to move inside to keep them honest."

Scholarship offers have been tendered by Montana, California, Washington State, Wyoming and Colorado State. He's even received an offer from Florida Atlantic University. "Nebraska is in the process of offering him," Lucier said. "Stanford is after Colin hard but I don't know if they've offered him yet."

Colin went around the west this summer, checking out Stanford, California and Washington State. "He's still pretty open, but I know he likes Washington State a lot," Lucier said. "There's a lot that he likes about them."

For one thing, the Cougars are content with giving Donovan the luxury of being able to choose which side of the ball he wants to play on.

There are a couple of twists to Colin's story. "Montana just started talking about basketball a couple of weeks ago," Lucier said. Montana's basketball coach is none other than Pat Kennedy, formerly of DePaul and Florida State.

"Their coach called him a couple of weeks ago, and that got him to thinking about playing both sports. He could be a good power forward."

Lucier also mentioned that a scholarship offer from Notre Dame would be tempting to Colin. "That one would be hard to turn down," he said.

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