Cougs in Top 5 for WR with great bloodlines

DANIEL LOFTON, son of an NFL Hall of Famer, last week received a scholarship offer from the Cougs. With a series of nagging injuries now behind him, the San Diego playmaker is making up for lost time, with six early offers now under his belt. Lofton (6-1.5, 190) is the kind of physical receiver WSU offensive coordinator Mike Levenseller covets -- a technician who is adept in the finer points of the game, such as blocking and beating press coverage.

WSU assistant coach George Yarno spoke with Lofton a few days ago, informing the wide receiver he had a scholarship offer from Washington State.

"I liked him a lot," said Lofton. "He seemed like a really nice, personable guy."

Distance could be a factor in his decision, with Lofton saying he'll likely stay on the west coast but that all his options remain open. While Pullman is a smaller city than what he's used to in San Diego, Lofton said the college town atmosphere at WSU also offers decided advantages for a student-athlete.

"Its in a small town and all but I'm just going to be going to school," he said. "And football -- football is usually just like a business. Its not like you're going to be doing a whole lot outside football and school."

"And I like them -- I like how they've been winning. They open it up a bit with their offense."

Besides Washington State, Lofton holds offers from Cal, San Jose State, San Diego State, Kansas and Duke. In no particular order, his current top five is Washington State, Cal, USC, UCLA and Notre Dame, but he was quick to point out that list remains fluid.

"I think outside of those, though, there are a lot of schools that could soon be right there," he said. Lofton will be looking for the right fit in a college and football program, a position coach he can relate to and the chance to earn early playing time.

TALK ABOUT BLOODLINES. Daniel is the son of James Lofton, Stanford All -American and Pro Football Hall of Famer (16 NFL seasons), and brother to David Lofton, (Stanford senior). Following a stellar pro career mostly spent with the Green Bay Packers, the elder Lofton broadcast NFL games for 8 years before becoming the wide receivers coach of the San Diego Chargers, where he begins his fourth season in 2005. Brother David came to Stanford as a quarterback, was briefly converted to wide receiver and is now in a three way battle for the starting strong safety position.

Besides the obvious benefits of having a father who coaches wide receivers at the highest level, Lofton said a strong work ethic is one of the greatest lessons pappy has imparted to him. Even at wide receiver, Lofton is one of the strongest players on Westview High's entire team, sporting a 265-pound clean.

"You can see there are a lot of people who are close to you in skills -- there's not a big gap in talent out there," said Lofton. "There's a lot of kids who are talented and it just comes down to who wants to put in the work. There's a lot of wide receivers who don't get in the weight room, they're 4.4 guys but once they get to college, they have trouble getting off of press coverage."

LOFTON COUNTS HIS ABILITY to break the press, and blocking, as two of the qualities that make him more of a complete wide receiver. And he has deceptive speed. Lofton's personal bests include a 4.52 in the 40, 22.7 in the 200m, 49.2 in the 400m, and a 400m split time of 48.8.

After a sophomore season at Poway High where he averaged 23 yards a grab (21 rec., 483 yards), he battled injuries his junior season from start to finish. Over seven games in a season where it was an effort just to take the field, he pulled down 16 catches for 450 yards (28-yard avg) and 3 touchdowns at Poway. This year, Lofton will ply his wares at Westview, a new school in the San Diego area.

"I came into the season kind of banged up," he said. "I don't think there was a minute out there that I was healthy, coming into the season with a groin and hip flexor. I didn't get to show my speed and all that my junior year. Its actually taken a while to get that back."

Lofton, who had an impressive outing at UCLA's skills camp in April, is in the process of finalizing his remaining summer camp plans. He does not have a timetable for a verbal commitment, saying it could be late this summer, or at some point during his football season, depending on how events unfold.

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