Cougs offer Mouton

<b>WASHINGTON STATE has made significant recruiting inroads in the state of Texas -- but their bread and butter will always be the Northwest and California athlete. Out of the 12 known offers extended by the Cougs for the class of 2006, half are to Californians -- including an athletic safety who brings the lumber, Jonas Mouton. His versatility also means he could play a number of positions at the next level.

Jonas Mouton (6-2, 208) has received his fifth offer this recruiting season, the latest being from Washington State. The Venice, Calif., safety recently called up coach Kelly Skipper.

"He's a nice guy," said Mouton. "I had a chance last year to talk to him when he was down here for our seniors. He seems like he really knows his football. I might trip there, I'm not sure yet."

In addition to the Cougs, the All-City, All-State and Defensive Player of the Western League from Venice High holds offers from Arizona, Nebraska, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. He's seeing interest from the rest of the Pac-10 and LSU, Tennessee and Auburn. Mouton said everyone is even and going out of state is not a factor.

"I'm hearing from a lot of different schools," he said.

Not a surprise considering the junior tape he sent out that was culled from a junior season in which he had 87 tackles, 5INTs and 3 sacks on defense, while scoring 12 TDs on the other side of the ball with 30-plus receptions for 620 yards and 40 carries for 375 yards.

Some schools are recruiting Mouton on offense as an athlete but WSU is looking at him on defense. For his part, Mouton said he'd like to play strong or free safety but is open to whatever position is best for him and the team.

Factoring into his decision will be the potential for earning early playing time, but he's also desirous to have an accomplished player at his position, one he can learn from.

"I play a lot of positions now so it would be nice to know the situation," said Mouton. "I'd like to play strong or free safety, so how many people they have there, if they're recruiting a lot to that position."

"But I also want a guy that's already there (at my position), someone who can help show me the way... maybe a senior who's getting ready to go to "The League". Because if I go out of state, it's just going to be me."

In a position coach, communication and honesty are what's most important, he said.

"I want to play for a guy who's straight up," he said. "If I'm playing terrible, I want him to come up to me and tell me, 'You're playing terrible'. But someone who'll tell me what I'm doing wrong and coach me. Honesty. And just show me how to do it right. I don't want a coach who would just say 'get your stuff together' and leave it at that."

Just as recruiting is a year round pursuit, so is training. A couple days after his football season ended, Mouton was back in the weight room full tilt, getting ready for his senior football season and preparing for track.

In between competing in the long jump, 200, 400 and 4x100, he hopes to attend junior days at Tennessee and Nebraska this spring. Last year, Mouton clocked a 50-flat in the 400 and a 40 time in the low 4.5 range. He said he's looking forward to putting up a career best in the 40 by summer's end.

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