WSU on top for JC corner after visit

WHILE THE OUTCOME of the game was a disappointment, B.T. Walker said Pullman experience put the Cougs alone at the top of his list, although he remains open to everyone. The shutdown JC corner didn't make a verbal commitment on his trip to Pullman, but he spoke in terms of "us" and "we" when asked about Washington State, saying he sees the Cougars being a great fit.

Walker was hosted by Tyron Brackenridge, saying the fellow corner, wide receiver Michael Bumpus -- who hosted Charles Dillon -- and quarterback Arkelon Hall were among the players he enjoyed spending time with during the trip. He also said Cougar student assistant and former NFL safety Cory Hall made a lasting impression.

"Arkelon Hall is a funny guy," said Walker. "He was fun. Hopefully I can see him in the future throwing the ball to Charles and us winning a Pac-10 championship. And I really bonded with Cory Hall. We just talked about the game and stuff. He used to play with the Atlanta Falcons. Overall, the players seemed like they were real cool."

Walker said it would be smart to take his time and also to concentrate on his final junior college season at College of the Canyons. He'll probably take some unofficial visits to perhaps UCLA, Cal, Rutgers and USC before making his final decision.

"I talked with coach (Bill) Doba and he said (it's wise) to take my visits but we also both have this mutual trust, and also me and coach (Mike) Walker, and I know I'm going to make the right decision," he said. "I'm just looking around, it doesn't hurt. This is going to be my last time to be recruited."

WASHINGTON STATE was the first school to offer the corner and Walker said that counts for a lot to both him and his parents. He said despite the loss to Stanford, the experience of a true college town was a big plus.

"The loss was kind of rough, but the atmosphere was great," said Walker. "At a lot of colleges, the college is built around the city. (At WSU) you can tell the city is built around that college."

Walker said the student body made him feel welcome at the game and over the course of the weekend.

"They knew who I was," said a surprised Walker. "They kept calling mine and Charles' name. It was fun, it was real fun....Everybody seemed very genuine and everybody seemed like they really wanted to win."

Walker went on to say he felt Washington State isn't far away from fielding a team similar to those that won 10 games three years running from 2001-03.

"In time, the city needs a great team to come out and I view it as kind of like a Penn State situation," he said. "All they're missing is basically a couple more players and it could be a turnaround. That loss was just mental, I think. You could tell the fans, they need it too, they want to win so bad."

The fact that Washington State has sent a number of corners on to the NFL in recent years was not lost on Walker.

"I was looking at this poster of Marcus Trufant," said Walker. "I was looking at that and thinking, 'Man if I do well...' My mindset is to get myself ready to go to the next level and at Washington State, the opportunity is there."

Walker said his decision will ultimately hinge on a school that has a significant need at cornerback and has an opportunity for him to earn a starting role.

"Basically, what it all comes down to is I want the school that needs me," said Walker. "There might be schools that want me, but those that need me is a big thing. And Washington State, I think, really needs me."

Walker, more familiar with schools from the East Coast being from New Jersey, was made aware of Washington State by his trainer, John Diaz. "He really put WSU on the map for me so I have to thank him," said Walker. "He runs Young Athletes for Christ in the Port Hueneme and Oxnard area. He's helped out with a lot of guys, Will Poole, Whitney Lewis, Lorenzo Booker and others."

Jamathan Ingram-Lyle sprained his MCL Friday night and could not make the trip to Pullman this weekend. Possible rescheduling dates include the final two home games against ASU and Oregon.

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