RECRUITING: Texas' Stripling is a Coug

THE COUGS have struck deep into the heart of Texas. Again. The Cougs have landed another verbal commitment, this time from Tyler, Texas., standout Jason Stripling. has confirmed that Jason Stripling has verballed to Washington State. The 6-0, 215-pound Stripling, who tripped to Washington State this weekend, projects at linebacker for the Cougs.

Named Defensive MVP of the district his senior season, Stripling joins fellow Texans James Bradley and DeMaundray Woolridge as members of the Cougs 2005 class.

Stripling helped lead the Red Raiders to the school's first-ever state football championship in the Class 5A, Division I Texas Bowl with a 69-yard interception return for a score. The previous week in the semis, he also returned a 64-yard pick to paydirt.

Taking back interceptions in playoff games became something of a habit for Stripling. His junior season, the Stripling racked up 122 tackles and four interceptions, one of which he returned to the house in a playoff victory.

Stripling played slot receiver and cornerback at Arlington Lamar before transferring to Lee for his junior and senior campaigns. His father, Sanchez Stripling, played his college ball at Texas Southern.

IN STRIPLING, the Cougs have landed a smart, physical player who will throw himself into anyone, anytime. In kickoff coverage one game this season, he plowed straight into the wedge, sending the blocker flying back into the return man. His Lee teammates cleaned it up from there.

"That kickoff play just defines him," said Lee head man Mike Owens about Stripling in The Tyler Paper. "He does things like that every game and we depend on him to do things like that every game for us to be successful."

Owens said Stripling excels in both coverage and run support -- a tremendous open-field tackler. But what really sets him apart are his football smarts.

"Stripling is a smart, physical guy that just makes plays everywhere," Owens said.

Stripling becomes the 19th known member of the 2005 Washington State class with Marlon Wood changing his verbal commitment to the UW earlier today. The numbers can remain in flux all the way up to Signing Day but as it stands now, Washington State is likely to take 21-23 players on Signing Day, not counting any potential grayshirts.

Cougfan Top Stories