Washington State offers Spokane running back

<b>THE COUGARS HAVE been aware of Skylar Jessen for a long while. The Spokane product has spent part of every summer at Washington State's camp football since he was a freshman. Today, WSU let it be known to the Mead High playmaker they'd like him to make Pullman his home starting in 2006.

Jessen thought if an offer were forthcoming from Washington State, it'd probably be sometime in late June, around the time of the summer camp. Turns out he didn't have to wait that long.

Washington State today offered a full ride to the 5-10, 200-pound running back and safety.

"I was real excited," said Jessen. "And I was more excited that they said running back."

College coaches can't initiate contact with prospects until spring but recruits can phone coaches. Today, Jessen dialed up coach Bill Doba and the head man of the Cougs made it clear to Jessen they see him on the offensive side of the ball. Jessen had previously turned heads at the safety spot during last year's camp in Pullman.

"They were watching me play some safety when I was down there at camp and I was doing really good, picking off a lot of balls and such. But then he said they had watched a lot of film and said, 'Nope, we want you at running back.'"

BESIDES THE COUGS, Jessen holds an offer from Boston College. Other schools filling up his mailbox include Oregon State, Washington, Oregon, Cal, Arizona State, Michigan State, Ohio state, Miami, Nebraska, Idaho and Notre Dame.

Jessen's already attended the junior day at the UW and will travel to Pullman for some of the spring sessions, although a track commitment will likely keep him from being at WSU for junior day on April 16. He said he does not have a favorite at this time.

Jessen routinely clocked between 10.6 and 10.8 in the 100-meters last year and his speed on the football field is deceptive according to his prep coach. On grass, Jessen was timed at 4.47 in the 40 at the NIKE combine a year ago in Eugene.

"He looks like he's not running very fast -- but he's fast," Mead coach Sean Carty previously told CF.C.

In the weight room, Jessen benches 320-pounds with a vertical in the 30 to 33 inch range. Academically, he carries a 3.5 GPA.

His junior campaign, Jessen suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 2, missing four games and fighting the injury for the remainder of the year. He still gained 960 yards on 105 carries with 14 TDs but Carty said 10-20 yard gains could very well have gone all the way had Jessen been completely healthy.

As a sophomore, Jessen ran wild in the GSL, cranking out 1,965 yards on 190 carries -- a 10.6 average. Named league offensive MVP and earning first team All-GSL honors, he set a single-season league scoring record with 34 TDs.

Skylar Jessen profile

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