COUGFAN.COM HAS learned that <b>Washington State has secured its 11th known verbal commitment for the 2005 recruiting class</b> -- a record-breaking prep running back whose high school coach -- the winningest coach in California history -- thinks the lad is off-the-charts talented. CF.C talked to the latest member of the WSU family moments ago.

Dwight Tardy, a 5-11, 202-pound running back out of Santa Fe Springs in Southern California, gave his oral commitment to the Cougs during his in-home visit Wednesday night with head coach Bill Doba and line coach George Yarno.

The battle for Tardy came down to a contest between two old friends -- Doba and Mike Price.

"We were discussing the program and my grandma was asking a few questions, and then (coach Doba) asked how I felt about Washington State," Tardy told "I told him that I really liked it a lot. I like the program, I like the athletes, and I just told him I'd like to go there."

Both Doba and Yarno were thrilled to land the power back with 4.5 speed who piled up 2,272 yards on 236 carries -- that's a 9.6 per carry average. Tardy scored 34 rushing touchdowns for the Swordsmen this season. His biggest day was in the first round of playoffs, when he tallied a remarkable nine TDs on runs of five, six, seven, nine, 15, 41, 41, 46 and 62 yards. And oh by the way -- two other would-be TD runs were called back because of penalties.

"They were glad," said Tardy of coaches Doba and Yarno. "They were very glad that I committed to them...They were excited and shook my hand when I told them."

Academically, Tardy looks to be in fine shape, carrying a near-3.0 GPA. He took the SAT exam recently and will receive the results back late next week. Asked how he felt he did on the test, Tardy told CF.C, "I think I did pretty great."

With the departure of Allen Thompson, Washington State has some holes to fill at the running back spot -- and Tardy knows he could earn early playing time this fall with hard work and dedication.

"I think that I can make an impact at Washington State. And I think I can get an opportunity to play now if I work hard during the offseason and during the summer, maybe get a little playing time in next year."

Tardy is also a star on the baseball diamond -- one with Major League talent. Many projections place him as a top six-round selection in next June's MLB Amateur Draft. The New York Yankees called him just the other day.

But when asked about the two sports, Tardy said his heart belongs to football.

"There's a little chance. But I have a scholarship now... It depends on how high I would get drafted but I don't think I'd go (play baseball) unless well, they offered me some outrageous money or something, who wouldn't look at that. I just think its a good situation for me at Washington State."

For additional information -- and insight on why this power running back was such a sleeper -- please see our previous article on Dwight Tardy:

CF.C Recruiting Wire: Two old friends battle for Tardy

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