Recruiting: WSU on verge of next verbal

DESPITE THE FACT Woodland Hills, Calif., defensive back <b>Jason Haywood</b> has yet to schedule his official visit to Washington State, the big-time hitter appears sold on the Cougars. Haywood told <i></i> that he anticipates giving his verbal commitment to WSU prior to his campus visit.

"I think I'm going to go ahead and before I even make my trip to Washington State, I think I'm going to commit to them," said Jason Haywood.

Coaches Bill Doba, Mike Walker and Leon Burtnett have all made a lasting impression on the Taft High star.

"Washington State is my No. 1 choice," said Haywood. "They've just actually been showing me how they really want me, how they really like me as a player. They seem like they've really been watching me from Day One. By me, they've done real good."

Haywood was the defensive player of the year in the West Valley League as a junior, putting up some unreal defensive stop numbers: 200 tackles. He also had seven interceptions, returning three of them for touchdowns.

He's not paying much heed to his stats this season.

"I haven't really paid attention to that, I've just been playing the game. I'm all about helping the team out, getting the job done...I'm doing alright."

At 6-4 and 186 pounds, Haywood is a wiry athlete. But the defensive back packs an absolute wallop for his weight. Heck, he packs a wallop for anyone's weight.

"The big hit -- go get 'em," laughed the DB when asked what he enjoys most about playing on defense. "I think I'm a good stopper. I'm going to come up and make big plays."

Haywood projects as a college safety, but if he can bulk up he could also be an outside linebacker.

Taft is 8-1 and plays Jefferson this Friday.

Besides Washington State, Haywood said he has offers from, and is being wooed most heavily by Oregon State and Nevada. Fresno State, Marshall, Nebraska, Oregon and San Jose State are all continuing to show interest.

Haywood is the brother of Taco Wallace, two-year pro for the Seattle Seahawks.

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