Leon Burtnett earlier this week."> Leon Burtnett earlier this week.">

RECRUITING: Texas RB Woolridge is a Coug

The Cougs have landed another verbal commitment, and this time it's for sure -- Texas running back <b>DeMaundray Woolridge</b> told CF.C tonight that he gave his "re-commitment" to Washington State and coach <b>Leon Burtnett</b> earlier this week.

"I'm recommitted to Washington State University and that's where I'm going," DeMaundray Woolridge told CF.C earlier tonight.

Woolridge, who hails from Keller, Texas, and runs a 4.3 forty called coach Leon Burtnett on Monday and gave him his verbal commitment to play football at Washington State. "Oh, he was glad," laughed Woolridge. "He said he was just thrilled."

Woolridge had previously committed to the Cougs the first weekend in December, but at the urging of his high school coach, decided it best to keep his options open.

"I talked to him and my whole deal is I think Washington State might be the place for him...but I just want him to (keep his options open) and that way he knows for sure what is the right place for him," Keller coach Kevin Atkinson told CF.C back on December 7.

Woolridge said looking at options such as Iowa, North Carolina and Missouri just helped solidify in his mind that the Cougs were the best choice for him. He said he will not be taking his planned trip to Iowa nor any more official visits.

"Now I know it's really the place I want to be," said the newest member of the WSU family.

THE COUGARS have long planned to take three top high school running backs this class -- with the hope of filling the final spot with the nations' No. 1 rated running back prospect, Jonathan Stewart of Olympia, Washington.

They now have two of the three with Woolridge and fellow WSU verbal Dwight Tardy.

The freshman running backs in this Washington State class will step into a prime opportunity in 2005. With Allen Thompson hanging up his cleats, senior Jerome Harrison is the lone returnee with any appreciable experience. Redshirt sophomore Kevin McCall had 40 yards on 8 carries against Idaho in his only action in the Cougar backfield in '04.

"I see myself as a back that can play early because of my size and speed," said Woolridge. "I've been told I have a rare talent, a rare combination of size and speed. I'm 5-9 and 215 and I run a 4.3 flat forty. So they're pretty excited about that and think I can make some things happen real early."

ON AN OFFENSE that featured the pass and had a number of offensive weapons (Keller's QB threw for nearly 3000 yards), coach Atkinson said Woolridge rushed for more than 900 yards on the season for the Indians.

He also told CF.C that Woolridge is a player who runs the inside and outside zone as well as he's ever coached.

"He's got some junk in his trunk," noted coach Atkinson.

Woolridge, who also stars in track and field for Keller, is very excited about the prospects of making his mark in the Pac-10, going up against the caliber or competition in the conference of champions.

"Oh yes I am," he said. "I like the competition, because you just don't want to do it against just anybody. I'd love to do it against USC and Cal and UCLA."

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