East meets West in Jessen and Danzy

BACK IN FEBRUARY, coach Robin Pflugrad told a packed CF.C chatroom he looked forward to the arrival of Seattle's Shelton Danzy. The WSU recruiting coordinator's anticipation centered not only on Danzy's playing ability, but also in that he's a self starter with a gregarious personality -- yet another crimson recruiting ambassador on a roster teeming with them. Spokane's Skylar Jessen recently talked with Danzy, and the duo will meet up later this summer in Jessen's neck of the woods.

Before even arriving later this summer on the WSU campus as a member of the incoming Cougar class of 2005, Danzy (5-10, 182), already looks to be turning Pflugrad into a prophet.

"Yes, I do see Shelton Danzy being a leader in Pullman," Pflugrad told scores of CF.C regulars in the late-lunch conversation on February's National Letter of Intent Day. "He is not shy and that is one of his strengths we saw in his recruiting evaluation. He showed a great personality in our camp and I will use him in recruiting each and every day he is a Cougar."

For those who have followed Danzy here on CF.C, it shouldn't come as a surprise that he's early, taking it upon himself to assume that role now rather than later. He became the earliest known verbal commit (April 28, 2004) in Cougar program history last spring.

"It was real good," said Jessen (5-10, 200) of his conversation with Danzy. "He's coming up for the East-West game in July and I think we're going to hang out a bit."

It also appears Danzy, who has been heard to say, "I have a little mouthpiece on me," has added another field of future endeavor to both stand-up comedian and college recruiting coordinator --- media mogul.

You can read the full text of his Q&A with Jessen on Danzy's website at: SheltonDanzy.com

A HIGH ANKLE SPRAIN in Week 2 hampered Jessen's junior season at Spokane's Mead High, although he fought through it, still somehow managing 960 yards on 105 carries with 14 TDs on the year.

The injury required surgery immediately following the season. Jessen is currently taking a breather from his track season to do a little extra rehab on the ankle with plans on returning to competition for Mead at the districts. Jessen, whose father works in the sports medicine field, is expected to be fully recovered long before hitting the field his senior season.

"It just got a little sore," said Jessen, whom the Cougs have offered as a running back. "I think I just came out running on it a little too early."

In addition to Washington State, Jessen recently picked up his fifth scholarship offer, this one from Harvard. Oregon State, Boston College and Eastern have all offered the Spokane back.

Jessen said no one school is recruiting him the hardest these days. Rather, he's seeing plenty of attention from several schools, with WSU, Stanford and Northwestern among the notables.

"All kinds of coaches," said Jessen. "There's been a lot."

After the Washington State junior day, Jessen received a handwritten letter from every member of the Cougar coaching staff. It further solidified for him that while everyone is still even in his mind, he was liking coach Kelly Skipper and Washington State a whole bunch. Not much has changed since then.

"Everybody is still pretty much even at the moment...and I still like WSU a lot," said Jessen.

Skylar Jessen profile


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