WSU kicks off in-home visits

COACH BILL DOBA was over on the west side of the state Sunday, the first day coaches can make in-home visits to prospective student-athletes. One recruit the Cougar head man visited on the afternoon was Issaquah's Cody Habben, the 6-5, 280-pound offensive lineman headed to his second state final in as many years. The Skyline High hoss talks about the WSU in-home, Apple Cup, a busy schedule over the next couple of months, the timeframe on when he plans to narrow his list, plus his latest offer.

"I talked to coach Doba today, he came over for a couple hours," said Habben. "It was cool, I really like coach Doba. He's a great guy. It was nice to be able to sit down and talk to him."

Habben took his official trip to Washington State in October, with the in-home visit more about two guys talkin' football.

"I've already gone on my official there so I've gotten all my questions answered," said Habben. "We just sat down and basically just hung out. It was really nice just hanging out with him and talking."

Habben, who's also been on "several" unofficials to Washington, took another one to the UW last weekend for the Apple Cup, saying he always enjoys his trip to the nearby school.

"I like Washington, I think they're going to be good in the next couple years," said Habben. He went on to say he's impressed with Huskies coach Tyrone Willingham, and then in the game, with WSU's offensive line performance as Jerome Harrison, the nation's leading rusher, ran for over 200 yards.

ALL SCHOOLS REMAIN even for Habben, but that is likely to change a bit sometime after the playoffs.

"I'm going to sit down sometime after next weekend and make my final cut and come up with my top five teams," said Habben.

Helping him arrive at his final five will be a couple more in-homes on tap.

"Iowa State is coming out Wednesday, Oregon State is coming out Tuesday or Thursday, either one," said Habben. "Arizona State is coming out the following week; and then Oregon might be up in the next couple weeks."

ASU has come on strong after Habben since offering him in October, around the same time as the UW. The offer list for Habben has now reached double digits and Cal could also end up knocking on the door of the Habben residence for an in-home. The Golden Bears are the latest school to offer a full ride, and they're one who has been talking to Habben all year.

Habben's official visit schedule has Iowa State down for Dec. 9, and then Oregon State has moved out to January 13 with the extended playoff run and Christmas break upcoming. Habben said his final decision might therefore get moved to the late part of January rather than in the early to mid part of that month.

HABBEN ALSO SAID what a school has coming back on the offensive line over the next couple years will have an effect on his decision.

"That plays a huge role, spots open," said Habben. "I know I'm (probably) not going to play my first year but I'd still like to be able to know I could compete, possibly, for a spot."

UP NEXT ON the field for Habben is the title game. Skyline (13-0) and their high powered offense takes on Woodinville (11-2) for the class 4A championship Saturday at the Tacoma Dome. It is Skyline's second consecutive trip to the finals.

"I think we can play a lot better," said Habben. "There's always room for improvement."

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