Class of 2005 planning early arrivals

THE LINEBACKER BUILT LIKE ZEUS heads to WSU next month. At cornerback, the incoming Cougar who is always early plans a July 15 arrival. Another defensive back, regarded by many as Orange County's top prep football player last season, also reports for duty in July. The 2005 class can be characterized in many ways but one of the more apt is early, and ahead of schedule. Among several Cougs arriving well before fall camp -- three defensive standouts.

Linebacker Greg Trent (5-11, 225, 4.5) told he plans to arrive in Pullman around the middle of July to begin his collegiate career at Washington State. The first practice of fall camp is August 7.

This weekend, Trent will be in Wichita Falls, Tex., to participate in the 68th annual Oil Bowl held on June 18. The contest at Memorial Stadium pits graduating high school all-stars from Texas and Oklahoma.

Including Trent, fifteen NCAA Division I colleges are represented on the Texas roster alone, including seven Big 12 Conference schools. Texas Tech has the most players in the game with four. The Texas roster boasts two incoming Pac-10 players, Trent and J.D. Walton, a 6-3, 295 OT/C from Allen, Tex., who signed with Arizona State.

Last season for Keller High, Trent fought through injuries, missing four games yet was still named first team all district. The year prior, Trent simply destroyed opposing offenses, racking up 181 tackles on his way to being named District 5-5A co-defensive MVP.

Trent, who runs a 4.5 in the 40, is a player constantly in motion, flying to the football. His prep coach calls him the best linebacker he's ever coached.

SHELTON DANZY doesn't like waiting around. His last day of high school was this past Thursday and all things being equal, he'd rather be backpedaling on the Rogers turf right now. When the defensive back arrives in Pullman mid-July, he'll take about two seconds to get situated and then it's time to work.

"When I get there on the 15th, I'm hitting it running," said Danzy. "That will give me almost three weeks before the (start of fall camp) so I can make sure I get tight on my playbook and everything."

Danzy (5-10, 182, 4.51) will be in Spokane for the East-West all-star game practices that begin June 25, with the game held on July 1. Beforehand, Danzy plans on spending time in Pullman for the Cougs summer camp June 22-25.

Also participating in the annual East-West classic, incoming Cougars Kenny Alfred and Brandon Gibson. Some players worry about the risk of injury during post season all-star games but Danzy isn't one of them.

"If you're meant to be great, you couldn't mess it up if you tried," he said. "Me, I'm going (to Spokane) to play."

At Washington State, Danzy will room with quarterback Arkelon Hall. Hall (6-2, 204) begins summer school at Washington State in less than a week's time. See Monday's story for more on Hall: Early WSU touchdown for Hall

XAVIER HICKS arrives at Washington State the third weekend of July. Hicks (6-1, 185) and incoming Cougar running back Dwight Tardy have been in touch this spring, and Hicks said the pair may travel up to Pullman together.

"We're going to try and figure something out," said Hicks. "We've talked on the phone a couple times and hung out a couple other times."

Hicks, the nephew of former Washington State running back Kevin Hicks (1993-94), will partake in two all star games over the next month.

First up, the 54th Annual Al Malaikah Shrine game on June 25, held at Mt. San Antonio College Stadium. Seventy top graduating seniors in Southern California will participate in Public vs Private school format. Including Hicks, eight players headed to Pac-10 schools are represented on the Public roster alone.

He'll also play in the 46th Annual Orange County North/South Prep all-star football game, held on July 8th at Orange Coast College. One week later, he heads to Washington State.

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