Cougs lasso Texas star

ONE OF THE TOP prep defensive players in the state of Texas is going against the grain -- and half-way across the country -- to play his college ball amid the rolling hills of the Palouse.

Linebacker Tyson Kirksey, a consensus All-Texas pick and his league's Co-Defensive Player of the Year, has committed verbally to WSU, according to John Outlaw, his coach at Lufkin High.

Kirksey, who tripped to Pullman this past weekend, finished the 2003 season with 95 tackles, including 18 for losses, recovered four fumbles, and nabbed one INT.

He brings to 23 the number of known verbal commitments in WSU's 2004 class of recruits. Letters of intent will be signed next week.

The Cougars may be taking a flyer on the talented lad. "He committed," Outlaw said of 6-foot, 215-pound Kirksey. "He had offers from schools like Texas Tech and Kansas, but he was pretty lightly recruited because he didn't have a test score."

Outlaw said that Tyson is a three-year starter for Lufkin, and led the team in tackles each of those three seasons.

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