Recruiting Wire - No time to waste

AMONG THE TOP RECRUITS visiting WSU this weekend is none other than <b>Jesse Canada</b>. What is he looking for in a school? Does he prefer a school in a rural setting or one with more of a city feel? Where is Washington State on his list of leaders headed into the weekend? All of this and much more with the game breaking wide receiver..

In the third week of the season, Jesse Canada was hit with back spasms. The spasms persist, but they're not enough to keep him off the field.

"I've fought through it..since the third week," Canada told CF.C matter-of-factly. "All it takes is time to heal. And we (Monrovia) don't have time. We got through a pretty tough non-conference schedule and faced some tough opponents. We played well, but in some key spots on our depth chart because of injuries we came up short in three games.. But we're 2-0 in league and 4-3 overall."

The biggest game of the season to date for Monrovia is on tap this Friday against highly regarded South Pasadena. Canada comes in averaging over 20 yards a catch.

"We're going up against an undefeated team in South Pas so this is basically for the league title right here. This is the showdown, one team is going to be second, one team is going to be first after this."

In addition to starring on offense at wide receiver, Canada is playing a pretty mean corner on defense this season. But when you watch the videotape on Canada's Scout page and see his ability after the catch, and how he runs with the ball, you'll see why schools are recruiting him as a wide receiver. He's a threat to break one every time he touches the pigskin.

ON THE RECRUITING FRONT, Canada has several things on his list he wants to find out about Washington State this weekend.

"For the most part, questions I can't really ask them. Questions about how the city looks, how people react to me there, the coach-player relationship, the way they handle themselves as they prepare for game day, (especially in a big game like this one against USC) I want to see the facilities and the surroundings -- and just see if I can see myself there (attending Washington State.)

Cougar coaches Mike Walker and Robb Akey have forged a good relationship with the 6-3, 190 pound athlete, according to Canada.

"Pretty good -- real good, actually, " said Canada. "Me and coach Walker have a real good relationship, and I've talked to (he and coach Akey) and gotten to know them pretty well.."

Apart from football, a school's academics are of vital important to Canada. But he's also already done quite a bit of his homework on that subject.

"Its definitely important what the school has to offer education wise... I want to find out as much as I can about that (from a school.) But all Pac-10 schools, as far as academics go, are pretty strong. And WSU is definitely up on that level."

Does Canada prefer a school in a rural environment or one with a big city feel, if given the choice?

"For the most part, I'm just curious to see what kind of town it is but either way, I can pretty much adapt to whatever it is. But I probably prefer more of a football town, one kind of rural...beautiful views -- just a hometown feel."

The style of offense a school plays is important to the wide receiver, but not exactly as you might expect from a wide-out.

"Nothing less than a balanced offense. One that passes a little more maybe is somewhat preferable for my position but in football I feel you have to do both -- and the better you do one, the more it opens up the other."

Apart from the skills, the x's and o's, the thrill of the game is what gets Canada going.

"I love football. I play it with a passion. I put all my heart into it."

Pitt was the early front runner as his top choice. That is no longer the case. Several schools are recruiting Canada hard, but Cal is probably making the biggest push right now. But Canada also said Washington State is right there with them.

"If I had to choose one (who is recruiting the hardest) I'd probably say Cal, but its a pretty close race between them and Washington State and Oregon State."

Is that then also his top three, Washington State, Cal and Oregon State?

"Yes, I would say that," said Canada. "Outside of those three, I'd say Oregon and ASU... It's those three up top, and then those other two."

Canada originally thought he'd go on all five of his visits, take his time and then make a decision. But it's looking more likely he won't take all five visits after all.

"I planned to at the beginning of the season," he laughed. "As you probably have learned and know having talked to a lot of recruits, its kind of hard to wait that long." Canada went on to explain he just doesn't want to wait until the last minute before pulling the trigger.

So if the right situation came up on a visit, if he simply knew it was the right place for him while on a visit, would he commit at that time?

"Yes."


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