Big-time recruiting pick up

FOR MANY A pundit in California recruiting circles, it seemed almost a sure bet that <b>Arkelon Hall</b>, one of the West Coast's -- and perhaps the nation's -- top prep QB prospects, would be heading to UCLA. But this week the star from Fresno's Edison High announced that he's going north to Palouse Country and Quarterback U.

Hall -- who stands 6-2 and weighs 204 -- has a strong arm, good escapability and great poise in the pocket. He also has solid speed (4.9 in the 40) and a 3.0 GPA.

"There was a lot of reasons," Hall told national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins of "I did my homework and Washington State has had a lot of success at the quarterback position. They have a very friendly system there that is similar to what we run at Edison. They're a competitive team nationally and watching them beat Texas last year really opened my eyes a bit. I like the Pac-10 a lot and wanted to stay in the West. So when I looked at everything, it was an easy decision for me."

Hall is the second prep standout to commitment verbally to the Cougars. The other is Seattle (Rainier Beach) running back/defensive back Shelton Danzy, whose announcement last month made him the earliest verbal in WSU history. Based on current projections, that leaves just 13 scholarship spots in the Cougars' 2005 class.

The early UCLA forecast for Hall stemmed from Edison High's pipeline to Westwood. For one, word out of Westwood was that Hall was on the Bruins' short list of QBs to get. In addition, Hall's cousin and former teammate, Brandon Breazell, signed with the Bruins in February.

And then the Cougars came calling with an offer in early April.

Until then, Notre Dame -- which was believed to be on the verge of making an offer -- as well as UCLA, Oklahoma, LSU, Michigan and others had talked a good game, but none, save Utah, had backed it up with a bonafide offer.

As a junior in 2003, his first as a starter, Hall earned first-team all-league and all-area honors while throwing for 2,602 yards, 34 TDs and just five INTs. His QB rating was a lofty 128. In addition, he was named second-team All-State, and first-team All-State underclass.

Hall is also a standout on the baseball diamond but says football is his game of choice.

"Since I was little, I always dreamed about getting a scholarship and playing football. I've been to a bunch of college football games and imagined myself playing. I'm just looking forward to this season," Hall told BruinReportOnline earlier this year.

Hall's coach at Edison is former USC and NFL standout Tim McDonald.

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