Recruiting 2006: Pasco's driving force

<b>THE OFFENSIVE LINE is shaping up to be one of the deepest positions in the state of Washington for Division IA football prospects in 2006, with Pasco's towering Ryan Tolar getting the early nod as the most coveted hoss of them all. Both literally and figuratively, he's been a driving force behind Pasco's offensive juggernaut over the last two seasons.

The entire Pac-10 is recruiting Ryan Tolar, and they're not the only ones who have taken notice of the 6-6, 320 pounder. The offensive lineman is also getting serious interest from Notre Dame, Northwestern and Michigan State.

He isn't leaning toward anyone at the moment. "Every school that is recruiting me, I'd put in a high spot," Tolar told

Tolar will be at Washington State in April to take in the Crimson and Gray game for the second straight year.

Before heading to Pullman for some spring ball, he'll travel to the UW for the Huskies' junior day later this month and then down to Oregon the first week in March. He'll also be attending a NIKE camp but is undecided on if it will be the camp at Stanford or the one in Eugene.

TOLAR BLASTED LANES for Pasco running backs last year, with Leon Jackson and Tony Coburn combing for more than 3,300 yards. Pasco was the state 4A champion in 2003. Last season, the Bulldogs were 12-0 and ranked No. 1 before being upset in the semifinals by Skyline, 28-23.

"He is very large," laughed Pasco head man Steve Graff. "He's just very tenacious. He's one of the best offensive linemen we've ever had here. He was very important to our success last year and he was very important to our success as a sophomore."

Tolar also suited up -- and played -- on the varsity as a freshhman. He is the only freshman to ever to have started for Graff in his eight seasons as head coach at Pasco.

There aren't many stats kept for offensive linemen. Graff did however offer a glimpse of the dominating force that Tolar is -- the pancake blocks he doled out on the competition last year were both numerous and memorable.

"I'd say he averaged 5 to 10 a game," said Graff. "He finishes really well -- that would be one of his best characteristics. He finishes better than anyone we've ever had."

Tolar has very good lateral movement at 320 pounds and is busy this offseason working on improving his speed and quickness. Graff said Tolar's athleticism is fast coming along to match his strength.

"He's gotten better and better, his athleticism has improved leaps and bounds," said Graff. "He works very hard in the weight room, very hard at watching film -- just all of those 'little things'".

Indeed, on Monday afternoon Tolar hit a personal best with a bench press of 335. He also has a squat of 565 pounds.

AS A JUNIOR, Tolar received a slew of honors and accolades. He was a consensus All-State pick and Lineman of the Year in the Big 9.

Academically, Tolar has already achieved a qualifying test score on the SAT.

Graff said unlike Nebraska-bound Jackson, who only made one official visit last year, Tolar will take a few trips before making a decision. He also said he might line up on defense a bit for Pasco this coming season.

  • Spring practice at Washington State begins March 22 and concludes on April 16 with the annual Crimson and Gray game.

  • Some of the notable in-state offensive linemen who figure to attract attention over the coming year include Tolar, Steve Schilling (6-5 280) Bellevue... Jason Brace (6-5 240) Spanaway Lake... Alex Linnenkohl (6-2 265) Capital.... Grady Maxwell (6-3 310) Curtis.... Caleb Schlauderaff (6-2 265 Shelton)

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