Recruiting 2006: Brace for impact

THE COUGS didn't have the need to take a defensive end this past class -- that's something that looks to to change in 2006. Defensive coordinator Robb Akey loves to attack with speed off the end and one player who might fit that role is Jason Brace. Speed, tenacity along with considerable size are all hallmarks of the player his coach calls "a real specimen".

Defensive end Jason Brace is seeing his recruitment pick up here in early February. The Cougs and a pair of northwest schools are showing serious interest, with others expected to soon request tape from Spanaway Lake head man John Robak.

"WSU, Oregon and UW are all taking a big look at him right now," said Robak.

Brace told he does not currently have a leader and is undecided on which junior days he might attend. He is planning on traveling down to Eugene for the NIKE camp scheduled in June.

Brace figures to be a sought after DE with the combination of size and speed he brings to the table. Midway through his junior year in high school, he stands 6-foot-5 and checks in at 245-pounds.

"Oh, great speed," said Robak. "Really good feet, extremely quick for a big man. He's a tenacious pass rusher, he can really get after it. And he's got a motor that won't quit -- He just goes, goes, goes. He's real lean, narrow through the waist, very muscular. He's a real specimen."

Among the honors Brace earned as a junior were all-league, all-area and a member of The Seattle Times SPSL all-star team. He racked up an impressive 17.5 tackles for loss, on his way to leading the Sentinels in total tackles on the season.

His stats, however, aren't of major import to Brace, a consummate team player.

"I definitely like hitting people," laughed Brace. "But my team's success is by far the most important thing to me."

Brace, who easily throws up 300-pounds on the power clean and sports a 300-pound bench press, is currently hard at work this offseason on improving his already considerable speed. Robak, who has been in the coaching game for over 20 years, said his star pupil has a work ethic few can match in the weight room.

"I almost have to lock the door to get him out of there," Robak said with a chuckle. "I'm more worried about him overworking than anything else."

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