WSU lands another (BIG) one

WITH THE CLOCK ticking on the 2004 recruiting season, Washington State has received yet another verbal commitment. This one from an in-state hoss, making this class one of the biggest loads in recent Cougar memory.

Matt Eichelberger, the massive (6-5, 320) lineman from Sehome High School in Bellingham, cast his lot with the Cougars last night. A first-team All-State selection this past season and a three-time all-league pick, he was coveted by both the Cougars and Huskies.

Among the state's top three classes; (4A, 3A, 2A), Eichelberger was the only player selected to both Associated Press first-teams as both an offensive and defensive lineman. ranks him one of the top 50 defensive line prospects in the nation, but he may get a look on the offensive line -- a spot where the Cougars have loaded up with talent in this recruiting class with the likes of Andy Roof, Dan Rowlands and Eddie Vickers.

"He could play on either side of the ball at the Division-1 level," Sehome Line coach Stew Egbert told this past November. "He really carries his size well. For a kid that's 310-320 pounds, he has great feet and intuition for the game of football. He plays really hard."

As big as Eichelberger is, it can be easy to overlook his athleticism. He actually handled kick-off duties for the Mariners; somewhat rare to see a 320-lb. lineman booming the ball deep. Eichelberger was also in as a fullback on short-yardage and goal-line packages this season.

"He'll hit the line of scrimmage so fast that nobody will take him head on, so they'll try to cut him," said Egbert. "One time when they tried to cut him he just jumped right over them. It was probably one of the greatest moves I had ever seen. He's just blessed with talent."

With 24 known verbal commitments, the Cougars are nearing the end of the trail on this class. One prime prospect the Cougars are still waiting on is superstar Ohio running back Delbert Ferguson, who is believed to be a heavy lean to WSU.

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