JC Texas TE takes long look at Cougs

JUNIOR COLLEGE TIGHT END Jason Price, a Texan, was welcomed to Pullman over the weekend by the Cougars' growing contingent of players from the South. The big-time blocker who originally signed with the Houston Cougars coming out of high school, says his weekend on the Palouse was a winner. He talks about the trip, where he goes from here and how much distance will play a factor in his decision.

"It was real good, I liked it," Price said of WSU.

Linebacker Cory Evans, from Lena, La., served as Price's host on the trip and was one of several Cougs who made an impression.

"I got along real well with him," said Price of The Bayou Bomber. "And there was a quarterback, Arkelon Hall also. And then a dude from Tyler (Texas), Jason Stripling and a guy from Keller (Texas), DeMaundray Woolridge. He's big."

Price said he also was able to spend some quality time with coaches Bill Doba, Leon Burtnett and Robin Pflugrad.

"I liked them a lot," said Price. "They basically told you what they wanted and were straight forward with you. Honest."

There's no question Price is enamored with Washington State and the Cougs with him, but Price has strong family ties and distance from home could be a factor.

"I can see myself going there but it's pretty far," said Price. "I'm pretty strong on them right now, though."

Price's next visit is scheduled for Michigan State this weekend.

HE MAY BE considered raw by some, but not many players are 6-foot-4, weigh more than 250 pounds and run a 4.6 in the 40. And Price's potential and strength numbers are worthy of a double take. He squats 575, bench presses 390 and has a 31 inch vertical.

Price has been called upon thus far to help plow the road, which he's done so admirably. But he also could be a pass catcher waiting to happen. Trinity Valley coach Mark Sartain, who's won two junior college national titles, calls him "very physical" and someone of high character.

"Jason has been primarily a blocker," says Sartain. "Although we do run a passing game out of tight end sets, it's just infrequent that we can get it to him. But he's an athlete. He just needs a tight ends coach and a tight end offense that can polish his skills and I think he'll be a big-timer."

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