WSU Recruiting Round-up, 12-9

WHILE THERE WERE visiting recruits on campus, things were relatively quiet for Washington State this past weekend. It doesn't mean there wasn't news, but news from the Palouse can sometimes take a bit longer to hit the newstands than elsewhere. But that's not to say it's a slow news day.

One player we've been able to confirm was in Pullman this weekend was Chaffey JC defensive back Tyron Brackenridge. He's a 5-11, 180-pounder who is also on JCFootball.com's top 101 list. His star has been on the rise the past few weeks and is considered one of the best available DB's on the west coast.

With Washington State losing three senior starters in the secondary (Jason David, Virgil Williams and Erik Coleman), Brackenridge could provide a nice boost to a depleted DB corps. He's also planning on visiting Washington and Utah before he announced his intentions, and expect some competition for Brackenridge's letter of intent.

In other DB news, Keston Cheathem has narrowed his college choices to Michigan, Washington State and Oregon State, according to Don Hoekwater of GoBlueWolverine.com. Cheathem had a monster visit to Pullman, and my opinion is that he'll go to WSU if the Pomona safety decides he needs to be on the west coast. But Michigan is a heavy favorite in this race, and will be awfully tough to beat.

But if Cheathem decides to don the Crimson and Gray, that opens things right up for his teammate, coveted DE Eugene Germany. There's a shot at a package deal, but that shot is becoming a little more and more remote all the time. Instead of narrowing his list as he's gone along, Eugene has actually opened things up. Michigan, USC, Oregon State and Tennessee have all come calling.

But one top defensive lineman that has openly declared his fondness for WSU recently is Honolulu (Hawaii) McKinley DT Randy Faletoi, who has narrowed his choices to the Cougars, Oregon and USC. Expect a visit date from Faletoi soon. It's a lean year on the islands, but he's a player that can keep the pipeline flowing.

We have not been able to confirm whether or not Phoenix (Ariz.) Moon Valley TE Andrew Pettes was at Washington State this weekend, but there's definite interest on Pettes' part, and also from the Cougars. With offers from at least three other Pac-10 teams besides WSU, Andrew is considered the top TE on the west coast not named Zach Miller or Dale Thompson.

He'll be hard to squeeze out of Arizona, but if Pettes did, in fact, visit the Palouse this weekend, that can't be seen as a bad sign. In fact, the willingness to travel that far shows an openess and serious interest. We'll keep you posted on Pettes.

There is one more player that did visit, but for right now we'll call him 'Mister X' (with all due respect to Miller Barber). We spoke with his parents last night and they did not want his information out, and we will of course respect that request.

Suffice it to say, it's a player that has been committed to a school for some time and is known around the Pac-10 schools as a guy that could be a prime-time player. Hopefully we'll be able to reveal 'Mister X's' identity at a later date, possibly as a Washington State Cougar signee...???

One regional player that publically expressed his open interest in the Cougars for the first time was Bellingham (Wash.) Sehome OL/DL Matt Eichelberger. In an interview that will be published later Monday, Eichelbeger told TheInsiders.com that he will be visiting Pullman the weekend of January 16th. It's his first official visit, with ones to Washington and also to Oregon in the works.

Another player that has really burst onto the scene of late is Spanaway (Wash.) Bethel TE/DE Caesar Rayford. Rayford's stock is going off the charts. Washington was the first to offer, followed soon by a UCLA visit and offer. Now Oregon has offered and the Cougars are starting to make a late bid. It's understandable, as they are also hot and heavy after Caesar's teammate, Aaron Klovas.

Klovas told TheInsiders.com Sunday afternoon that the Cougars were most likely the school to get his last official visit date, and they, along with Oregon and UCLA 'probably' comprised his top-three choices. Aaron is still trying to leave things as open as possible, but there's no question the recruiting picture for him is clearing up by the day and the Cougars figure prominently.

Now that they have the class 4A championship game past them, expect both Cole Morgan and J.T. Diederichs to set up official visit dates with WSU. Both had not done so as of Saturday night.

KICKER GOES COUGS
Loren Langley, a 5-8, 160-pound kicker from Puyallup, Washington, and a teammate of TE Jacob McKinney, has also verbally committed to the Washington State Cougars. This news was initially reported by Craig Smith of the Seattle Times.

Langley has not missed a FG from inside 35 yards the past two seasons for the Vikings and was 8-11 in field goal attempts as a senior. Loren chose the Cougars over Oregon State and Montana State.

PINKARD UPDATE
Josh Pinkard has set an official visit up with USC for this weekend. "That should be a good experience," Josh told TheInsiders.com Monday night. "I should know where I'm going after that. I also have an official visit set up for Oregon, but I don't think I'll follow up on that visit."

Washington State and USC are Pinkard's top schools, but Josh admitted that he has given a verbal commitment to the Trojan. "I've given them a verbal right now," he said. "I'm verbally committed to the school.

"There are some things I'm going to look at when I take my trip. Their depth chart is pretty deep, so at this point I'm trying to see where I fit in, things like that."

Expect Pinkard's verbal commitment to solidify after the weekend. "I'll pretty much know by the end of my visit. The chances I go to SC are high, very high."

HICKS CHANGES MIND?
Fresno Edison DB Bernard Hicks committed to Washington St back on 11/16 and just a few weeks later he's back on the market.

"I'm not really sure right now. My parents want me to stay in California," Hicks told TheInsiders.com. "They just brought it up with me this morning. They said they wanted me to be close, but now they are serious and said that they don't want me to leave California."

Bernard visited Cal this weekend but denies rumors that he had committed. (Norris Malele from L.A. Carson, who was also at Cal on an official visit, says that Bernard did, in fact, commit to the Bears).

"He said he came down to a decision and told the coach. It wasn't like they announced it to us, but that's what I heard," said Malele.

But Bernard insists he's still undecided. "I'll still talk to my parents about it. I'm at a basketball game now because I wanted to get away from all this. It's been a very hectic day and I'm still waiting to sit down with my parents and find out why they don't want me to go away. We have some family things going on, so that could be part of it."

His host at Cal was Terrell Williams. "Everything was just fun. It was all good. I loved the hotel. It was real big and nice. The players are really cool and I liked hanging out with all of them. It's a real good school too and it's close to home."

So, whether or not Bernard is actually committed to Cal is unclear. But what is clear is that he is no longer committed to Washington St. "I called them earlier and let them know what my parents thought. I told them I had to think about it. Right now, Cal would be my top choice."


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