RECRUITING: Will former OSU signee be crimson?

<b>JUNIOR COLLEGE standout Lorenzo Bursey, a touted running back prospect out of high school but perhaps an ideal college slotback, says his official visit to Pullman over the weekend went very well and that he's likely to make a decision next week on where he'll be suiting up in 2005.

"It was cool," Lorenzo Bursey said of his trip to Pullman. "I liked it. It was a little cold but other than that it was really good. It was a nice trip."

His official host was freshman defensive back Ian Bell of Woodland Hills, Calif., with freshman receiver Michael Bumpus of Culver City, Calif., starring in a supporting role. "We got along real well," Bursey said, adding that his time with the coaching staff was a highlight. "I really enjoyed that. They're a good group of guys."

The fact Pullman is a college town is a real draw for the three-star prospect. "It would be much easier to concentrate on school and football," he said.

One wildcard in the process is where his younger brother, prep defensive back Laronzo Bursey, ends up going. The brothers would like the opportunity to play together. Laronzo, who received an early offer from Arizona State, apparently is quite smitten with Idaho these days.

Is that good for the Cougars, given Pullman's proximity to Moscow, or bad, in that it might mean Bursey would eschew a Pac-10 opportunity in order to make the family connection happen on the gridiron?

Bursey plays it close-the-vest.

"I'm waiting on my brother, so I'm just going to wait and see," Lorenzo said. "In another week or so, I'm probably going to make my decision."

In addition to the Palouse possibilities, the elder Bursey is weighing other options, including a late run from another Pac-10 school.

WHEN ACADEMIC HURDLES blocked Bursey's road to Corvallis, he sat out the 2003 football season and focused on his studies. This past season, at West Los Angeles College, he put the pads back on and picked up right where he left off -- rushing for 1,100 yards, catching another 300 yards worth of balls and, in spot duty on kickoff and punt returns, taking two to the house. His work earned him first-team All-Western States Conference.

Bursey looks to wrap up his AA degree next month, and will have three years of eligibility at the Division I level.

IN THREE YEARS of prep varsity ball -- two seasons at Beverly Hills High and a senior campaign at national powerhouse Long Beach Poly -- Bursey scored 61 touchdowns via land and air. Over those last two seasons he rushed for 2,471 yards, nabbed passes for 507 yards and scored 41 TDs. He also starred at cornerback. As a junior in 2001 he was named league Co-MVP.

With speed reputed to be somewhere around 4.4 in the 40, and a Downey-soft pair of hands, most observers see his future at slotback. That's where Dennis Erickson was leaning with him before heading to the NFL.

Besides great hands and foot speed, Bursey has tremendous balance and vision. All of which could make for a great D-I running back. But his unimposing size -- 5-9 and 170 – is why some think those skills might better fit at slotback. One reporter two years ago likened him to Oregon standout (and current Minnesota Vikings) receiver Keenan Howry – except for Bursey being faster.

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