Early call: Bellevue star verbals with Cougs

KEITH ROSENBERG has yet to put on a WSU jersey but already he's in the rarified air of Cougar lore. With his verbal commitment to WSU this week, the senior-to-be from Bellevue High joins Shelton Danzy (April 28, 2004) and sophomore linebacker Alex Hamill (May 3, 2003) as one of the earliest verbal commitments in the 111 years football has been played on the Palouse. Rosenberg, an All-State DB, figures to be Bellevue's featured running back in 2005 and a Cougar wide receiver starting in 2006.

Last week, Rosenberg told Cougfan.com he was in no hurry, saying he intended to wait until after his senior season before making a verbal commitment. But the Bellevue star decided he needed no more time and would make his pledge well before his season began -- to the crimson and gray.

Rosenberg told the Seattle Times it was a "big relief," saying Washington State was the best fit for him given the way the Cougs spread the ball around.

The first tape he sent out this offseason was to the Cougs. And Washington State responded, becoming the first to offer the Bellevue playmaker just days later.

One of the catalysts for the verbal came during the 6-1, 185-pound Rosenberg's visit to Pullman for the Cougars' Junior Day last month. Taking in the scrimmage and talking to the coaches and players solidified WSU as his top choice. Music to his ears was that Bill Doba & Co. saw him lining up at wide receiver.

"I didn't realize they were thinking about me at wide receiver so I went with the DB coach," Rosenberg told CF.C with a laugh. "Later on, one of the coaches told me they liked me at wide receiver."

With an outstanding running attack year in and year out, Bellevue High just doesn't throw the ball a whole lot. The Wolverines attempted a total of passes over 13 games last season, with Rosenberg the leading receiver – 4 catches, 127 yards, 3 TDs.

But Rosenberg has a knack for getting open and owns an excellent set of hands. Add in his athleticism -- which offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Mike Levenseller likes at the receiver spot -- and it becomes clear why Washington State sees him split out wide on the offensive side of the ball.

A first team all-state defensive back his junior campaign, Rosenberg had 40 tackles in Bellevue's defensive backfield in 2004. On offense, Rosenberg had a limited number of touches with J.R. Hasty in the backfield. But oh, did he make the most of them.

He rushed for 1,227 yards on but 58 carries. That's a 21.2 yard average. In the 3A title game win over Ferndale, he carried the ball 11 times for 189 yards and 3 TDs, scoring on runs of 51, 54 and 36 yards.

This year with Rosenberg now the headliner, Bellevue goes for their fifth straight 3A state championship.

Keith Rosenberg

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