Recruiting '06: Tacoma WR has hands like glue

<b>WHETHER YOU SEE him live or on videotape, it doesn't take long for Brendon Waiters to make an impression. Great hands, the size (6-2, 195-pounds) schools covet in a big play receiver and he's a physical force in the secondary for Tacoma's Curtis High. He'll be traveling to Pullman later this summer for WSU's camp and his prep coach says Waiters can play on either side of the ball at the next level.

College coaches are making frequent inquiries these days to Curtis coach Bob Lucey on Waiters, an electrifying wide receiver and free safety. Washington State and the Northwest schools have all shown interest and that list is certain to grow over the coming recruiting year. In addition to the Cougs, his early list includes Washington, Oregon State, Oregon, Cal, Florida and Miami with no favorite among them.

Waiters will again head to Pullman for the WSU camp and earlier traveled to Seattle last month for the UW's junior day.

"I liked it," he said of the Cougar camp last year. "I talked to coach Levenseller -- he's a good guy." Waiters' position coach and offensive coordinator at Curtis, Steve Levenseller, is brother to Washington State's OC and wide receivers coach, Mike Levenseller.

Waiters hasn't finalized plans for additional camps and combines just yet. He'll also be kept busy running the 100 and 200-meters this spring for Curtis, using the track season to work on improving his speed and strength for football.

AT WIDE RECEIVER, Lucey said Waiters has a habit of making receptions when it looks like there's no chance he can even get to it. And more than his speed, Waiters uses his athleticism after the catch to make people miss.

"He catches the ball every time it gets near him -- great hands," said Lucey. "He has a strong, strong lower body -- runs like a running back after he catches the ball. He's extremely athletic."

MUCH OF WHAT you need to know about Waiters on defense can be found within Curtis' playoff loss to eventual 4A state champion Evergreen last season. That lower body strength was on display with 11 solo tackles. Most of those sticks were in run support against the Class 4A Player of the Year in 2004 -- power back Taylor Rank. Rank, who signed with Steve Spurrier and South Carolina this February, gained little ground when he and Waiters collided on the field that night.

"I've been fortunate to have some pretty good safeties in my time here -- Singor Mobley, Mike Levenseller to name a few, and Brendon is right up there in that same category," said Lucey.

On the year, Waiters was the second leading tackler for the Vikings with 68 sticks (43 solo) from his defensive back spot. He snared 5 INTs with 5 pass breakups and averaged 22 yards per KO return.

In 11 games on offense, Waiters had 25 receptions, averaging over 20 yards a catch, with 9 of those catches going for TDs. Those numbers don't tell the whole story. QB Jordan Rasmussen fractured his ankle, missing three games and playing at less than full health the entire year.

"That really impacted what Brandon's numbers would have been," said Lucey, who actually moved him to quarterback the game before Rasmussen returned. Not surprisingly, said Lucey, the athletic Waiters performed very well running the offense.

"He's the kind of kid you'll want in your program," said Lucey.

Brendon Waiters profile

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