Cougars hosting 14 weekend visitors

IN THE BIGGEST gathering of the year, Washington State's recruiting efforts shift into overdrive today. Bill Doba and staff play host to 14 known prep and junior college standouts who will be in Pullman over the weekend to take in the crimson and gray experience. From playmakers to bulldozers to gridiron warriors and beyond, oh my!

An exclusive rundown from on some of the recruits heading to Pullman this weekend:

Kerry Maddox, CB
Tyler, Texas (5-10, 175)

"The General" will man the corner at the next level but Maddox, the cousin of Cougar linebacker Jason Stripling, was the starting quarterback for Tyler his senior season, racking up 1,900 passing and 670 rushing yards. This, despite never having played QB before at any level. He didn't play defense his senior year because of the QB duties, but as a junior was a first-team all-league selection. "This year, we put our best athlete at quarterback," explains first year Tyler coach and 23 year coaching veteran Thomas Brooks, the architect behind Tyler's sudden resurgence. Maddox holds five offers, including Utah and Baylor, while Oklahoma State could be close to offering next week. The trip to Washington State is his first, with Utah and other visits in the planning stages. And why did people down in Tyler bestow upon him that particular nickname? "Because I lead everyone," Maddox told Indeed, as The General took the Lions to the playoffs for the first time in five years.

Devin Mays, CB
Stockton, California (5-11, 160)

Wicked fast defensive back, with a number of schools trying to get in on him late. Holds top marks in Lincoln High history in the 100 meters (10.25 hand-time, 10.46 Fully Automatic Time) and also in the 200-m (20.86 HT, 21.1 FAT). Holds several offers, including Oregon (visited) and UNLV, with a number of others having made or currently setting up home visits. The list of schools on the verge of possibly offering according to Mays includes Washington (who had an in-home with him Tuesday), Oklahoma, Utah and Fresno State. On the gridiron, tallied 35 tackles with three INTs his senior season. His Top Three headed into the weekend is Washington State, Oregon and Fresno State. Regarding his speed, in one 100-m final, Mays tripped badly out of the blocks. Regaining his balance and with the other sprinters almost 10 meters ahead, he lit the afterburners en route to a thrilling win, clocking a 10.89. Used his final prep campaign on the field to be come more physical and hone his man-on-man coverage. "I think I improved in my man-on-man coverage and tackling over the year, getting better as a football player," Mays told CF.C.

Andy Mattingly,LB/TE/S
Spokane, Washington (6-4, 223)

Rated No. 16 in the nation, future Coug verbally committed to WSU in August and promises to be one of the gems of the 2006 Cougar class. The do-everything star and clutch performer keyed Mead High's playoff run and season in 2005 and will be named to a number of post season awards lists. A devastating tackler on defense, and with great hands and receiving skills on offense, the 6-foot-4 Mattingly was also racking up the yards (359) on punt and kickoff returns until teams decided to just go ahead and kick it out of bounds. Off the charts athleticism and football instincts. Might be too good a LB prospect not to play defense for Cougs. On one tackle, Mattingly had to have the buttons on his helmet replaced after they went flying, as did the ballcarrier, who then slammed into another player who also went down. A partial list of his stats include: Second all-time at Mead in career tackles and receptions with 231 sticks (160 solo) and 81 catches. On his senior year, Had 41 catches for 630 yards and six touchdowns, and 70 tackles, five INTs, a fumble caused, fumble recovery. Two defensive touchdowns -- a 54 yard TD interception and 40 yard fumble recovery.

Julius Howard, LB
Irving, Texas (6-1, 220)

He holds nine offers, including Minnesota, Kansas State, UTEP and Iowa. Howard racked up 107 tackles on the season, including 10 for loss with seven sacks plus seven forced fumbles and two interceptions. The Nimitz High difference maker piled up 300 yards in kickoff returns, with one going for 100 yards and a score. Lined up in situational offense on the year as an h-back, gaining 250 yards rushing with four TDs, plus had 210 receiving yards with two TD catches. Most, including Washington State, are recruiting him at linebacker but some see him at safety, "Anywhere I go, I want to hopefully at least play my first year, I don't want to redshirt," Howard told CF.C.

Jason Price, TE
Sanger, Texas (6-4, 254)

Junior college tight end is an accomplished blocker who hasn't yet had a chance to show off his receiving skills. A prep running back, he may be considered raw at the tight end spot by some but not many are 6-foot-4, over 250 pounds and run a 4.6. Price's potential and strength numbers are also worthy of a double take. He squats 575, bench presses 390 and has a 31 inch vertical. Offers include Oklahoma State and Kansas State, with Michigan State appearing on the verge. Price is also seeing late charges by Washington and New Mexico. Has three to play two, and could be a mid year transfer although he'll probably receive his AA in the spring. His leader? "Washington State is," Price told CF.C. "They're the only one that's been legitimate with me."

J.T. Diederichs, RB
Seattle, Washington (6-2, 230)

Just capped his fifth consecutive 1,000-yard-plus rushing season and earned MVP honors in the Rotary Bowl for second straight year as his Dixie State College team downed Garden City CC. On track to earn his AA degree in the spring. Was named JC All-American a year ago after rushing for 1,740 yards. Diederichs verbally committed to Washington State two years ago after concluding a remarkable three-year varsity career at Seattle's Ballard High, where he earned first-team all-league honors three straight seasons and piled up more than 4,000 career rushing yards. Clocked in the 100 meters at 11.4 seconds and the 40 in 4.35.

Micah Hannam, OL
Gig Harbor, Washington (6-5, 265)

A two-time all-league choice who turned heads at WSU's football camp last summer and came away with co-MVP honors for offensive lineman. He verballed with the Cougars just before the season started. Has a frame that will support added strength and muscle. Set Peninsula High power clean record at 320 pounds before season began. Has quick feet and a brain to match --- he carries 3.96 GPA.

Grady Maxwell, OL
Tacoma, Washington (6-2, 312)

He weighs 312 pounds but is incredibly agile and fast. Verballed with WSU earlier this year. Just named to the Seattle Times' first-unit All-Area team. A two-time All-SPSL choice, longtime Curtis High head coach Bob Lucey says Maxwell is one for the ages, comparing him to Yauger Williams, the highly recruited Curtis lineman of the early 1990s who signed with Cal before injury ended his career. Lucey, who has been at Curtis since 1971 and whose teams have won four state championships in the last 15 years, says Maxwell is cut from the same cloth as the former high school All-American.

Keith Rosenberg, WR
Bellevue, Washington (5-11, 180)

A multi-dimensional athlete for perennial power Bellevue High. Verballed with the Cougars back in May. Hampered by injury for much of this past season, but came back strong at the end of the season for Bellevue. Earned a first-team AP All-State defensive back in 2004 who also starred at running back, gaining 1,227 yards and scoring 15 TDs. Speaking to his versatility and athleticism, the Cougars project him to be a receiver.

Skylar Jessen, RB
Spokane, Washington (5-11, 200)

Was on pace to set all time league marks in career rushing and TDs scored when injury curtailed senior season in Week Six. Gained 705 yards on 90 carries in six games. Had storied career at Mead High, where coach Sean Carty points to deceptive speed, great vision and knack for setting up blocks as three things that will serve him well during playing days at WSU. In the 100 meters, routinely ran between 10.6 and 10.8. Playing through injury his junior season, gained 960 yards on 105 carries with 14 TDs. Had breakout sophomore campaign with 1,965 yards on 190 carries.

Editor's Note: has made the executive decision not to disclose the names of four of the players tripping this weekend. Why? Because in similar fashion to what occurred last year around this time as recruiting season enters the final few weeks, we've noticed the same recent trend --- the less publicized players we report on as receiving Cougar interest suddenly begin getting calls and in-home visits from other schools at a rapid rate. If a player informs us they have made a verbal commitment, we of course will bring that news to you immediately. And we hope to bring you details on these four as soon as we think it prudent to do so because they're great stories --- perhaps even Sunday if there are any verbals in the cards. Thank you! for your continued readership and support of CF.C. Onward Crimson Soldiers!!

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