Recruiting round up: WSU a favorite in California

ONE OF THE TOP RECEIVING prospects in California ranks Washington State among his leaders. A coveted defensive end from the Golden State recently made an unofficial visit to Pullman and now lists the Cougars as a finalist. And a hoss from the Rocky Mountains says Washington State is among his top six. Plus more in this wide-ranging recruiting round-up.

Long Beach Poly wide receiver Travon Patterson (5-11, 175, 4.5) has offers from most of the Pac-10, Colorado and many more but says he's primarily interested in five schools: WSU, Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State and Washington. He recently told analyst Allen Wallace he has no single leader, but was specific when asked about his travel plans. "I haven't set up any official visits yet, but I know that I'd like to get out to Oregon, Washington State and Arizona when I can."

Last season he caught 26 passes for 610 yards and three TDs, and was named first-team All CIF-SS Division I. Also a track standout, he was part of the winning 4x400 team in the National Scholastic Indoor Championships in New York.

One of Patterson's teammates, running back Troy Guthrie (5-8, 195, 4.45), awaits his first offer but is getting considerable attention and told Wallace he favors WSU, UCLA, Cal, Arizona and Washington. "I think that most of the coaches from these programs want to see how I do this season before they offer me," he told

Meanwhile, Westlake Village, Calif., defense end Jeff Miller (6-5, 250, 4.75), recently concluded a road trip that included a stops ranging from Norman, Okla., to Pullman.

"It was cool to see the scenic changes. We'd go from the big city to the wheat fields. They all had their own special marks and were all really special," he told

The first-hand visits have helped him narrow his bulging list of scholarship offers down to seven: WSU, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona State, Oklahoma, UCLA and Washington.

He expects to make a decision before Westlake kicks off its season in early September. Big brother Jimmy is a redshirt freshman at USC. Last season he racked up 60 tackles, including 14 sacks. At tight end, he hauled in 16 catches for 183 yards and a TD. He squats 475 pounds.

ANOTHER BIG BODY from California, Oxnard Rio Mesa defensive end Jacob Manuel (6-2, 240), has one scholarship offer, with Washington State and two others making regular contact and the two hometown schools lurking.

"I've got one offer, from San Diego State, and Fresno State could be offering me really soon. Arizona and Washington State are also really interested in me," he told "And I've gotten letters from UCLA and USC and they both said they are watching me."

Manuel said that San Diego State is his current favorite. "I think a lot of schools still want to see me play some more this fall and see where my better position is on the defensive line. Some schools like me as a defensive tackle, some as a defensive end and some as a tight end. I'd prefer defensive end in college, though," said Manuel.

Last season he recorded 51 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 12 breakups and one interception. As a tight end he had 18 catches for 211 yards.

FORT COLLINS, COLO., hoss Ian Wolfe (6-5, 270, 5.0) says his top six schools are WSU, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Colorado State, Oregon and Stanford. All have offered except for the Cardinal, he told Wallace late last month.

Of Washington State, he said, "I really like coach (Robb) Akey (defensive coordinator) and the idea of the weather up there. It's nice you know… not too hot."

"If I didn't have so many other opportunities for school, Colorado State would probably be a high choice for me. I don't really see myself going there, but they're not totally out of the picture," he said.

HERE IN THE GREAT Northwest, Gig Harbor safety Jake Merrill (6-2, 200, 4.5) reports that his lone offer so far, from Oregon State, has been rescinded while they look at a couple other safety prospects. At the Beavers' summer camp in June, Merrill said OSU had extended a verbal offer, but also said that head coach Mike Riley told him they still needed to discuss it as a staff.

Merrill has been concentrating more on Washington and Oregon, but says he also is very interested in Washington State, and OSU as well.

IN CASE YOU'VE BEEN on vacation over the last two weeks, you'll be pleased to know that two of Spokane's finest --- Mead High standouts Skylar Jessen (5-11, 200) and Andy Mattingly (6-4, 215) --- have verbally committed to Washington State. Jessen, a running back, announced his decision earlier this week and Mattingly, a four-star safety prospect, made the call on August 13. They bring to four the number of verbals the Cougars have secured for their 2006 recruiting class. The others are Bellevue athlete Keith Rosenberg and Mesa, Ariz., running back Marcus Richmond.

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