Recruiting Class of 2005 -- a status report

WITH THE LIST of Washington State verbal commitments now numbering 11 -- plus two holdovers from the 2004 class and a trio of others in the wings -- the Cougs are moving ever closer to filling out their recruiting class. Here is an updated breakdown on the class of 2005.

The numbers can remain in flux all the way up to signing day but as it stands now, the Cougs are looking at taking 19-21 players this February. That figure is inclusive of any holdovers from '04 who will enroll as part of the 2005 class. The figure does not include some players who may sign with WSU in February but end up going the grayshirt route, eventually becoming part of the 2006 class.

as of December 20, 2004


Fevaea'i Ahmu
DT, 6-0, 290, San Diego (Serra HS)

Dominating presence on the interior. Naturally strong player with a big motor, overpowering. Big wingspan and low center of gravity. Possesses the speed to chase down QBs outside the pocket and RBs outside the tackles, has clocked a sub-5 seconds time in the 40.

Sound bite: "He has amazing speed for his size and a great engine. He makes plays all over the field." Brian Basteyns - Serra HS football coach

James Bradley
WR, 5-9.5, 170, Garland, Texas (South Garland HS)

Cornerback who can make a game-deciding play at any time. Great feet, great hands. Aggressive, confident playmaker whom opponents found extremely hard to shake. Also a special teams standout, had seven blocked field goals/PATs on the season.

Soundbite: "He has really fluid hips -- If he was 6-foot, he'd be the No. 1 corner in the country -- he's that fluid and his feet are so good. We always put him on the best receiver for every team we played because we knew he'd shut him down. The other thing about him, he has such confidence when he plays. If a mistake happens, he has the ability to come back and just make an incredible play right after that." Mickey Moss - South Garland HS football coach

Dwight Tardy
RB, 5-11, 202, Santa Fe Springs, Calif. (St. Paul HS)

Elusive, powerful running back who put up monster numbers this year. Instinctive ability to make the first man miss. Very good hands coming out of the backfield. Great burst and acceleration, clocked a 4.5 in the 40. Outstanding work ethic. Also a star on the baseball diamond, probable first six-round June MLB draft choice but enjoys football more, says only a very slight chance he'd go pro in baseball.

Soundbite: ""He's not going to go out there and run any 4.3 -- but if you had a drill where two guys had to tackle him -- then he would obviously be one of the top guys in that camp... He's got the power. He's got the ability to run over people. And he's got the ability to run away from them." Marijon Ancich - St. Paul HS football coach

Kenny Alfred
OL, 6-3, 285, Gig Harbor, Wash. (Gig Harbor HS)

Alfred is rated the No. 11 player overall in the Northwest. Good drive blocker who can open the lanes. Has a great motor, very good athleticism and lateral movement.

Soundbite: "Arguably the top in-state offensive lineman, a real load. He'll be asked to be a run-specialist inside." Chris Fetters - NW Recruiting Analyst

Marcus Burton
LB, 6-0, 220, Channelview, Texas (Channelview HS)

Linebacker who flies to the football, equally comfortable chasing down the quarterback or dropping back in coverage. Dedicated athlete who lived in the gym this past summer.

Soundbite: "Marcus is a stand-up defensive end or outside linebacker with great size and he can run. He rushes the passer well from either position and is really explosive. He's moved to middle linebacker from defensive end this year. He's just gotten so much stronger and faster." John Launius - Channelview HS football coach

Shelton Danzy
CB, 5-10, 185, Seattle (Rainier Beach HS)

Starred on offense as well, with more than 1,000 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns (17 total) but future looks to be on defense. Played safety for Rainier Beach this year, earning consensus All-State recognition. Had 88 tackles (63 solo) 8 sacks, 12 tackles-for-loss with 4 INTs and 4 fumble recoveries.

Soundbite: "Great athlete, but better football acumen. Just a playmaker who knows how to be at the right place at the right time." Chris Fetters - NW Recruiting Analyst

Joey Eppele
OL, 6-7.5, 290, Vancouver, B.C. (Vancouver College Prep)

A massive lineman, very definition of a prospect who flew under the radar. Player who is still learning the game but under the tutelage of the WSU coaches, has a very high ceiling given his size and strength..

Soundbite: "The only other school that really knew about him was Eastern (Washington), where we have our summer camp. When he was over there, I took him down to the Cougar camp and that's when the coaches found out about him. His physique will take your breath away. He is a raw player, but with enough time and patience the Cougars will have a legitimate Pac-10 left tackle." Todd Bernett - Vancouver (BC) College Prep football coach

Brandon Gibson
WR, 6-0, 175, Puyallup, Wash. (Rogers HS)

Precise route runner with great hands. Timed in the 40 at 4.4 seconds. Goes after the ball in traffic, dead set on coming down with the pigskin. In run-oriented offense and despite missing two games, Gibson was a versatile threat with 946 all-purpose yards.

Soundbite: "Another playmaker who is underrated because he committed so early in the process. He's one of the top two in-state receivers, along with Jamil Turner." Chris Fetters - NW Recruiting Analyst

Arkelon Hall
QB, 6-2, 204, Fresno (Edison HS)

One of the top-rated QB prospects in the West and No. 8 in the entire nation in the latest rankings compiled by Great field vision and reads coverages very well. Strong-armed pocket passer who has all the throws. Very sound fundamentals. Passed for over 2,000 yards and 22 touchdowns this season.

Soundbite: "A very accurate quarterback who is at his best in big games." Andrew Friedman - Southwest Recruiting Editor

Xavier Hicks
S, 6-0, 185, Fullerton, Calif. (Fullerton HS)

Extremely versatile athlete who led his league in both passing and total offense but will play safety for WSU, where he wowed observers this year. Committed early to WSU and the Cougs got a true gem in Hicks. Sees the whole field, able to smartly anticipate where the ball is going. Has great football smarts to go along with his athleticism.

Soundbite: "He's an outstanding young man. He's a good hitter, he has great feet. He has a good sense to the ball." Julian Smilowitz - Fullerton HS football coach and Athletic Director

Wilson Holman
DT, 6-4.5, 295, Moses Lake, Wash. (Moses Lake HS)

Very powerful straight up field, naturally strong and a good bull rushing tackle. Very good feet and understands how to use his leverage. With dedication and a commitment to consistency, could develop into an unstoppable force.

Soundbite: "Big men with quick feet are always coveted, and Wilson's been an all-league selection two years in a row." Chris Fetters - NW Recruiting Analyst


Cole Morgan
QB, 6-3, 185, Seattle (Ballard HS)

Mobile quarterback who makes things happen. An instinctive quarterback with very good decision making skills. Completed 128 of 217 passes for 1,816 yards and 26 touchdowns during 2003 senior season, leading Ballard to state title game.

"The kid is going to be a big-time quarterback. The great thing about him is he's a leader. People respond to him." Doug Trainor - Ballard HS football coach

"He's a gifted athlete. I'd put him up against anybody." Jack Thompson - Cougar legend and quarterbacks coach for Ballard HS

Benny Ward
WR, 6-3, 190, Van Nuys, Calif. (Birmingham HS)

All-purpose yardage machine. Great hands and does all of the "little things" very well. Precise route runner. Also an exceptional blocker, especially downfield. Athletic wide receiver who will enroll in January and participate in spring ball. Has big upside over the course of his WSU career.

Soundbite: "He's a big receiver, very athletic and he just always seems to come up with the ball, especially when it's thrown up in a crowd...I don't know how many times he had our "Hit of the week" for making a great block that sprung someone else, turning a good gain into a big play...I'd say they have a real talent in him because of his ability to go up and get the ball plus his flat out foot speed. He's sub-11 flat in the 100 meters. He's a fast kid." Ed Croson - Birmingham HS football coach


Tyson Kirksey
LB, 6-0, 215, Lufkin, Texas (Lufkin HS)

Good burst and relentless in pursuit. Led his team in tackles the past three years. Co-Defensive Player of the Year after putting together a senior season with 118 tackles, including 18 tackles for loss.

Letrell Myers
DE, 6-3, 240, Moreno Valley, Calif. (Riverside JC)

Strong athlete who is really put together. Sheds blockers well and has great acceleration to the ball. Very durable athlete. Was rated No. 1 in Riverside's rating system for defensive productivity.

Michael Willis
DB/WR, 6-3, 190, Tacoma (Lincoln HS)

Phenomenal athlete. Talented enough to play early on either side of the ball. Great hitter on defense with a nose for the ball. Prototypical combination of speed and strength, very tough to bring down as a wide receiver.

Cougfan Top Stories