All right, so the verbals actually number only five. But it's still pretty darn impressive when you consider that as recently as two seasons ago it took until late November to reach three in both the win and verbal categories.
The latest prepster to cast his lot with Mike Price is DeMar Baisy of Seattle's Rainier Beach High. He's a 6-5, 225-pound defensive end/wide receiver who turned heads this past summer at Price's annual football camp. A great all-around athlete, he benches 325, runs the 40 in 4.47 seconds and could probably play any number of positions for the Cougs. He's been hampered a bit this season with a shoulder injury but still is a Metro League dominator. Besides WSU, his Pac-10 suitors were Oregon and UW.
"They (Cougars) were the ones who showed me the most interest, they believed in me and that's why they offered me and recruited me hard. They run the offense I like and they are doing real well," Baisy told Ruth Robbins at Realdawg.com.
ELSEWHERE ON the West side of the state, Kent quarterback Carl Bonnell may not be the only prospect from Kentwood High joining Price's next recruiting class.
Word out of the South Puget Sound League is that one of Bonnell's teammates -- 5-10, 175-pound DB/RB Kevin Jones -- is drawing serious attention from the Cougars these days, with the Huskies, Stanford and others lurking. Jones, who rushed for more than 250 yards in one game last month, was a pre-season all-state pick by the Seattle Times. His brother is Eastern Washington DB John Jones.
Bonnell, who's brother Ray is a walk-on freshman linebacker for the Cougars, is a dual-threat signal caller who is considered one of the top overall prepsters in the state and one of the top 25 QB prospects in the nation. He's 6-3, 195 pounds. A year ago he threw for 1,300 yards and 16 TDs. He committed verbally to WSU a few days after the Cougars thumped Arizona.
THE COUGARS' nationally ranked passing attack appears to be paying dividends on the receiving end of the ball, too. James Finley (6-3, 190), a four-star wideout from Los Angeles has pretty well narrowed his list to five and WSU is in the thick of the hunt. In fact, Finley is expected to make an official visit to Pullman the weekend of the UCLA game. Oregon State, Fresno State and USC are his other favorites, with Oklahoma and Michigan lurking.
No word on the status of another top receiving prospect that Price has had his eye on for more than a year: Two-time all-stater Don Turner of Spokane University High. He was one of WSU's earliest offers this recruiting season, but most of the rest of the Pac-10 is expected to make a run at him before all is said and done.
Elsewhere on the skill front, four-star running back Kenny James (5-11, 204) of Dos Palos, Calif., is expected to be making an official visit to Pullman at season's end. He has offers in hand from WSU and Arizona so far, with Louisiana State, Oregon and others expected soon. He has 4.45 speed in the 40, great agility and a nose of knockin' heads.
Besides Baisy and Bonnell, Price's known 2002 verbal commitments are much-touted DE/TE Adam Braidwood of Delta, B.C.; linebacker Brian Hall of DeSales High in Walla Walla (also a Seattle Times pre-season all-state pick); and LB/DE Matt Molinex of Liberty High in Twisp.
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