THE COUGARS PRESSING need for cornerback help got a major boost today with the announcement by playmaking New Jersey native B.T. Walker, who just wrapped up his sophomore season at California's storied College of the Canyons, that he's bound for Pullman. Walker becomes the eighth known verbal commit for WSU. In a breaking news exclusive, talks to the newest member of the 2006 class on why he knew Washington State was the place for him and more.

Walker chose WSU over Oregon State, Rutgers, Boston College, Kansas State and others.

"Washington State is the place for me," said Walker. "I committed."

Rutgers, close to Walker's home in Jersey, doesn't look like it's ready to give up on him, but he said he's telling all the schools who are calling that he's a Coug.

"I've been letting schools know that I've committed to Washington State," said Walker.

The opportunity to earn early playing time and the Washington State coaching staff were key factors in Walker's decision. Visits last week at College of the Canyons with Mike Walker and Bill Doba helped seal the deal.

"The coaches' loyalty was big," said B.T. Walker (no relation to Mike). "Coach Walker and coach Doba came down to my practice last week and wished me the best of luck and I just thought that was really genuine. And the fact they need me, they need corners. It's just the best opportunity for me to come in and play right away."

The fact Washington State has sent corners Jason David, Marcus Trufant, Lamont Thompson, Karl Paymah and others on to the NFL in recent years also helped sell him on Wazzu.

It's now looking as if Walker won't be able to partake in spring ball, as originally forecast. He'll more than likely graduate with his AA degree in the spring rather than this month. There still remains a possibility for a mid-year transfer but some of his classes don't appear as if they will be transferable from Northeastern, where he spent a year before coming to COC. Walker said he'll know for sure in the next couple of weeks. Regardless, he'll arrive in Pullman with two to play two.

Opponents mostly went away from Walker and the formidable Canyons secondary this season, trying to keep the ball on the ground and out of Walker's hands. He ended the season with 13 pass breakups, three interceptions and 25 tackles. He also had a fumble recovery.

"It was just a great season being with (fellow corner) Justin Tryon and Troy Nolan," said Walker. "We always tried to outdo each other and I took some stuff from Justin -- I used to do the NFL rule where I wouldn't touch 'em, and so then he did some of that. And then I've become more physical now. When the season started winding down, I started to become much more physical and beat them up. We fed off each other."

Ironically, College of the Canyons is also nicknamed the Cougars and their helmet logo is similar to WSU's scripted Cougars decal.

B.T. Walker profile

Walker wanted to mention he couldn't have received the opportunity to play in the Pac-10 without help from family, friends and two junior college coaching staffs.

"I would just like to say Thank You to my cousin, Tom Wright," said Walker. "He's helped me out tremendously since I've been out here in California with me being from New Jersey. And also coach John Diaz from YAC Foundation, my mom and my dad, and the coaching staff at Ventura and coach Morris for giving me the opportunity. And of course the coaching staff at College of the Canyons. I made a lot of friends (including Charles Dillon) from those two schools who helped me."

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