COUGARS RE-LAND STAR RUNNING BACK

J.T. DIEDERICHS, in the middle of a packed travel schedule and back home in Seattle, didn't have much time to be chatting on his cell phone. A man of few words by nature, the star running back -- just as he does on the football field -- took the conversation straight to the end zone: He is sticking with the Cougars! He said he actually verbally committed to the Cougs awhile back but with his visit to Pullman this weekend, he's now ready to let the official word ring forth.

Diederichs this evening told CF.C that he pledged to defensive coordinator Robb Akey that he would be seeing him in Pullman in 2006.

"I had already done it (earlier this year) and from the beginning, I was always a Cougar," said Diederichs, who originally committed to WSU coming out of Ballard High in 2004. "I told coach Akey when he came down and visited me that that was my school and I wanted to go there. And then on my visit (to Pullman) I just kind of made it more official."

Diederichs said a key factor in his decision was Washington State's returning offensive linemen plus the talent in the pipeline -- left tackle Bobby Byrd, left guard Sean O'Connor and right tackle Charles Harris, plus veteran tight end Cody Boyd all return with future road graders such as Kenny Alfred, Dan Rowlands and Andy Roof all primed to make a run in the spring.

"I already knew what my decision was, but I just like to drag it out," Diederichs quipped. "But I was always going to play there."

This year at Dixie State, Diederichs (6-2, 230) capped his fifth consecutive 1,000-yard-plus rushing season and earned MVP honors in the Rotary Bowl for second straight year.

Named a JC All-American a year ago after rushing for 1,740 yards, he concluded a remarkable three-year varsity career at Seattle's Ballard High, earning first-team all-league honors three straight seasons while racking up more than 4,000 career rushing yards.

Diederichs will be no stranger to the Cougars offense. Quarterback Cole Morgan and tight end Tony Thompson were teammates at Ballard High.

J.T. Diederichs profile


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