WSU kicks off official visit weekends

WASHINGTON STATE'S recruiting season moves into high gear this weekend -- formally hosting high school and JC prospects on official campus visits -- as Cougar football returns to Pullman for the first time in more than a month. With four of the next six games at home, WSU will be plenty busy hauling out the welcome wagon. At least three prospects with Cougar offers trip to Pullman this weekend. That, and much more, in a wide-ranging round up of what's happening in the world of Wazzu recruiting.

Among those tripping to Pullman this weekend will be 6-0, 175-pound cornerback Jamathan Ingram-Lyle.

He has a final three of Washington State, Oregon and Wisconsin, with Oregon being the only one of the three he's visited thus far. The shutdown corner says the Ducks and Badgers lead slightly over WSU, liking Oregon because of the chance to play early, Wisconsin because of the academic support they offer.

He is one of four known prep cornerbacks Washington State has extended offers to this recruiting season. The others are Chris Carney, Vincent Joseph and Bobby Guillory.

THERE'S ALSO A junior college cornerback in the Cougars' orbit --- B.T. Walker --- and he too will be tripping to Pullman this weekend. WSU is tied at the top with Oklahoma for the 5-10, 175-pound Walker. Originally from Hackensack, New Jersey, he's finishing up his JC career at national powerhouse College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California. Rutgers, USC and Oregon State round out his top five. The Cougs and Beavers have offered, with Rutgers appearing close to extending a full ride.

Walker has been a disruptive force in the COC secondary despite not seeing much action come his way with five pass breakups, one interception and 8 tackles. In 2004, Walker notched 50 tackles, 15 pass breakups and three interceptions. Walker will earn his AA degree this fall, allowing him to participate in spring ball and has two to play two. His mother would prefer if he'd play closer to home in New Jersey, while his father is telling him wherever he goes is fine. Walker said his father is also high on Washington State.

"Washington State has shown me a commitment," Walker told Cougfan.com. "And I'm really close to committing to them. But I think right now it would be best if I'd be patient, play my cards right. I really want to bite, you know. But my family is telling me to be patient and focus on school and the season and stay focused on my goals."

CLOSE TO ACCOMPLISHING his own goals is Charles Dillon (6-0, 190), as he looks to wind up a stellar JC career at Ventura College. Dillon, who signed with the Cougs in 2004, has WSU as his leader heading into the weekend visit.

On track to receive his AA degree next spring, Dillon has lit up the Western States Conference. Increasing double teams have slowed his production, but not by much. Through five games this season, Dillon has 34 receptions for 574 yards with seven touchdowns. On six chances on special teams this far, he's averaging 34 and 13.0 yards, respectively on kickoff and punt returns. He's also carried the ball 11 times for 152 hashes.

In 2004, Dillon caught 56 passes for 541 yards and eight touchdowns. An exceptional basketball player, averaging 15.2 points per game at Ventura while leading the Western State Conference in steals his freshman season.

Among the prep receivers Washington State has offered include Stephen Carr, Travon Patterson and Terrence Austin.

THE NUMBERS CAN remain in flux all the way up to Signing Day but as of right now, Washington State looks to sign 20-21 recruits when February 1 rolls around. The figure is not inclusive of grayshirts, players who delay enrollment until January and are counted against the '07 class.

Expected to enroll this January and count against the 2006 class are offensive lineman Joey Eppele, receiver Greg Walker and corner Nehemiah Mundy. Defensive tackles Bryan Tarkington and Joseph Townsend are also possible January enrollees if they meet academic requirements.

The Cougars have six known verbal commits: Tacoma's Grady Maxwell (OL), Gig Harbor's Micah Hannam (OL), Spokane's Andy Mattingly (ATH) and Skylar Jessen (RB), Mesa, Arizona's Marcus Richmond (RB) and Bellevue's Keith Rosenberg (WR). That leaves 11-12 spots plus any grayshirts.

NOTES:
Another JC corner to keep an eye on over the course of the recruiting season is Justin Tryon, Walker's teammate at COC. A sure-tackler, Tryon has a rare combination of speed and physicality. He holds offers from Oregon State and BYU, with Washington State firmly in the mix.

Richmond and Jessen are having stellar senior seasons. Richmond's already topped the 1,000 yard mark five games into the season, with 1,108 hashes to his credit. Last Friday, he left burn marks on the turf racking up 354 ground yards, scoring on runs of 1, 62, 68, 61 and 20 yards. Meanwhile, Jessen's rushed for 744 yards on 94 touches in five games. He's five shy of setting the all-time GSL career mark for touchdowns scored.


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