Recruiting season heating up

FOLLOWING THE APPLE CUP victory, coach Bill Doba sent seven Washington State coaches out on the recruiting trail looking for future Cougar playmakers. As the book closes on the '05 regular season, the other season in college football, the recruiting season, now takes center stage. A look ahead to the coming weeks and months before Signing Day.

Less than 24 hours after their second straight Apple Cup victory, most of the WSU assistants were already out on the recruiting trail. NCAA rules allow for seven assistants on the road at any one time.

Among the 23-24 players Washington State is expected to sign on Feb. 1, cornerback and receiver are two decided positions of need.

At corner, Cougar targets include B.T. Walker, Jamathan Ingram-Lyle and Chris Carney.

Following his visit to Eugene, Vincent Joseph looks to have narrowed his choices to Oregon and Southern Cal. Walker is a junior college DB, a mid year transfer eligible to enroll in January and strap it up for spring ball. Ingram-Lyle has a final four of Washington State, Oregon, Wisconsin and Washington.

Carney, in the midst of a playoff run, has been everywhere this season, racking up an amazing 102 tackles during his senior campaign. Some of those sticks have come as a special teams gunner, where he's sparkled just as brightly as he has from his corner spot.

GRADUATING FROM WSU this year will be receivers Trandon Harvey, Greg Prator and Marty Martin. Charles Dillon, Anthony Houston and Xavier Lucas are among the prep pass catchers Washington State is zeroing in on.

Dillon originally signed with Washington State before heading to Ventura College. Despite frequent double teams, he topped 1,000 receiving yards this season, with 13 touchdown receptions and added another 302 yards rushing. WSU leads for Dillon, with UCLA and Arizona (offer) also coming on.

Houston's final four remain deadlocked, with Washington State, Oregon State, Nebraska and Miami in the running. Lucas is deciding between WSU, UTEP, Colorado State and others.

ON OFFENSE, Washington State will probably not take a quarterback this class. Two running backs have verbally committed to date in Marcus Richmond and Skylar Jessen and WSU is looking for more among a group that includes J.T. Diederichs, the one time Cougar signee and junior college All-American. The Seattle native will be visiting Washington State in December.

Up front, the Cougs have received verbal commitments from Washington products Grady Maxwell and Micah Hannam. Another from the state the WSU coaching staff would like to see in crimson and gray is Cody Habben. The Skyline High hoss is currently leading his team through a playoff run, with the state semifinals on tap this weekend. Besides Washington State, schools in the running for Habben include Iowa State, Washington, Oregon State and Oregon.

The Cougs could take two tight ends this class, with Trevor Mooney and Anthony McCoy on the radar. The Cougs have ground to make up for McCoy (Jan 13 visit) while Mooney was blown away by his trip to Washington State. Verbal commitment Andy Mattingly, one of the jewels of this class, could play tight end, linebacker or even safety for the Cougs.

Washington State may also go after a pair of big safeties, players who could stay at that safety position or grow into linebacker, with linebackers making up the heart of the Cougar special teams.

IN ADDITION TO the Cougs seven verbal commitments, three more are scheduled to enroll at WSU in January in OL Joey Eppele, WR Greg Walker and CB Nehemiah Mundy and become part of the 2006 class.

Washington State looks to have at least two big recruiting weekends this December when they bring in prospects on official visits. The coaches out recruiting are scheduled to return home for Thanksgiving and then head right back out. The contact period, when coaches can make home visits, begins Sunday, November 27, and coach Bill Doba will be among those hopping a flight out early that morning.

Cougfan Top Stories