California gamebreaker likes the Cougs

ALL PURPOSE YARDAGE machine Derrell Hutsona traveled up from California this weekend to take an official visit to Washington State. The lightning bolt came away impressed with the Cougar program, players, coaches and even the weather. The Cougs are one of two frontrunners for the JC All-American with National Letter of Intent Day -- Feb. 1 -- drawing nigh.

It looks to be down to Washington State and K-State for Hutsona, following the lightning fast athlete's return from his official visit this weekend out on the Palouse.

WSU made a decidedly positive impression on the Grossmont College burner.

"It moved them up a lot -- it was a pretty fun trip," said Hutsona.

Hutsona (5-10, 183) was hosted by Cougar cornerback Ian Bell.

"He's a pretty cool dude," said Hutsona. "I had a good time."

The close knit Cougar family and facilities at Washington State also caught the eye of the junior college speed merchant.

"They have great facilities," said Hutsona. "And I really liked the environment."

HUTSONA PLANS ON taking one final trip to K-State this coming weekend and then making his decision not too long after that.

"I liked Washington State, it was pretty cool," said Hutsona. "It's still early so I want to take my time."

Early? While it may seem to recruiting observers to be more on the late side of things with LOI Day fast approaching on Feb. 1, it makes more sense when considering Hutsona's history.

Hutsona and his family felt he made a pledge too soon to San Jose State out of high school. This last go-round, he wants to take the trips, be deliberate, and make sure they do it right this time.

THERE WAS ALSO ONE more highlight for the Californian on his trip north.

"The snow!" said Hutsona. "It snowed just a little bit. I'm not used to snow but I liked it. It wasn't that cold at all -- not like everyone says."

WHEN IT COMES to running away from pursuers on the gridiron, Hutsona can fly. He said he'll regularly run a 40 yard dash in the 4.3 range, clocking a 4.28 coming at San Jose State's Pro Day coming out of Helix High. But what also opened eyes this past season at Grossmont was Hutsona, through diligent toil, developed into a solid, accomplished blocker and therefore, a more complete football player.

He holds offers from Washington State, Kansas State, New Mexico State, Utah and Arkansas.

GIVE THE UNCERTAINTY surrounding Michael Bumpus's situation, Hutsona would look to be an ideal fit. Hutsona was the JC All-America Co-Offensive Player of the Year, churning up over 1,000 yards on punt and kickoff returns alone in 2005.

Including the playoffs, Hutsona racked up a ridiculous 2,534 all-purpose yards all told in 2005 -- with nearly 1,000 of the total coming in crunch time over a four game playoff run as Grossmont laid claim to the JC national title.

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