JC All-American back sets official visit to WSU

WASHINGTON STATE'S 2006 recruiting class includes verbal commitments from prep running backs Skylar Jessen and Marcus Richmond, but the Cougs have their sights set on adding one more ball carrier. There are several options, but one of the most tantalizing figures to be JC All-American J.T. Diederichs, the pride of Ballard High who signed with WSU two years ago. He's off to the races again this season, and ready for an official visit to Pullman late this year.

Diederichs signed with the Cougs in 2004 before academic hurdles necessitated a stint as Dixie State College in St. George, Utah. The 6-2, 230 pounder who's built like Zeus will trip to Pullman in December, after his final junior college season comes to a close.

"I set an official visit for Wazzu for the (weekend of) December 9," said Diederichs.

In addition to Washington State, Diederichs holds offers from Louisville, Utah, Kansas State -- and possibly more.

"I think a couple other schools have, too, but I don't really know off the top of my head," said Diederichs. "I might have more than that but I don't open my letters or my Fed-X packages."

If that sounds like Diederichs is pretty much ambivalent about the process, he's not.

"I'm interested in every school," said Diederichs. "I feel like I need to get done with school and take care of my grades before anything else. I want to get my season out of the way and then I'll figure it out -- I'm just trying to focus on the season ahead."

Of late, Diederichs has heard the most from Washington State, Louisville, Utah and K-State. Arizona State has also called the former Ballard star.

"Nobody is ahead of anyone else right now," said Diederichs.

LAST YEAR AS A FRESHMAN at Dixie State College, Diederichs exploded onto the scene, capturing first team All-American honors. He averaged 6.4 yards a carry and 145 hashes per game. On the year, he racked up 1740 yards rushing with 22 touchdowns. At this early point of the 2005 season, he's ahead of that pace.

Through two gamers, Diederichs has rushed for 301 yards on 41 attempts -- a 7.3 yard average -- and 150.5 yards per game. He has scored five touchdowns. Diederichs lauded his teammates and offensive line, but downplayed his accomplishments.

"I think we're doing very good," said Diederichs. "Our defense is doing great. I'm doing okay. The offensive line is doing the job, I can't ask for more."

Diederichs is on track to receive his AA degree this spring.

J.T. Diederichs profile

Freshman Keauntea Bankhead another former Ballard star, is Dixie State's starting strong safety and returns punts. The 6-0, 220 pound Bankhead has five tackles on the season including a tackle for loss, plus an interception, which he returned 29 yards. Originally signing with Washington in 04, Bankhead said he intends to enroll at Washington State after his junior college turn, but that all his options also remain open and it is early in the game. "Key" enrolled at Dixie in January, is scheduled to receive his AA degree next year, and be eligible for the 2007 class.

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