Cougs lead for surging DE

THE COUGS HAVE a rich history of producing top flight DEs. DeWayne Patterson was first-team All-America. Keith Millard destroyed everything in his crimson and gray path prior to his NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award. Rob Meier just completed Year 6 in the NFL. No one in college football had more sacks than D.D. Acholonu in 2003. Mkristo Bruce had more sacks than any Pac-10 DL in '05 and was Top 10 in the nation. Enter Ansley Clevil, he of boundless potential and a WSU trip this weekend.

Washington State is the frontrunner for Clevil (6.3, 240), a defensive end yet to scratch the surface with but two years of football under his belt.

"I would say it's Washington State right now," said Clevil.

He remains open to everyone, but following an in-home visit from Cougar coaches Kelly Skipper and Robb Akey, the Cougs edged ahead of UNLV for Clevil's top spot this past Thursday.

"Looking at the history and the background of the defensive ends and the d-line at Washington State, well they've been big," said Clevil. "The defensive end coaches (Mike Walker and Akey) know what they're doing there."

Clevil, who runs a 40 yard dash in the 4.6 to 4.7 range, trips to Washington State this weekend for his first official visit. He had planned on visiting Idaho the following weekend but UNLV and Mississippi State are now getting those final two trips on Jan. 20 and Jan. 27, respectively.

Clevil's seen his stock steadily climb this recruiting season. In addition to the Cougs, he's received offers from a total of six schools: Washington State, Utah, UNLV, Mississippi State, Wyoming and Idaho. Boise State is coming on strong and Washington has also been in the mix.

BORN IN HAITI, Clevil came to the States when he was four years old. In ninth grade, he decided to give football a shot but said he got "zero love" from the coaching staff who thought him too small to make a difference on the gridiron.

He was welcomed with open arms by Venice High head man Angelo Gasca when the then-185-pounder decided to transfer. Under the tutelage of Gasca and d-coordinator Gifford Lindheim, Clevil played his junior year at 210 and developed into a 240 pound disruptive force his senior season.

"Coach Lindheim has really helped make me into what I am today," said Clevil. "He's had me work hard, hit the weights, had me out there working on my technique."

IMPRESSIVELY, CLEVIL HAS become a highly sought commodity despite only playing the game of football for two seasons. But he plans on making up for lost time in college.

"Watch out for me, I'm on the rise," Clevil said. "I come hard and fast off the line, and I come with power."

With 41 solo tackles among his 55 sticks in the regular season -- including nine sacks and a bevy of tackles for loss -- Clevil was named first team defensive end all-league his senior season.

Ansley Clevil profile

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