Recruiting roundup: Filling the final slots

FOOTBALL LETTERS OF INTENT will be signed in 12 days and if everything falls into place as expected, the Cougars' class will be heavy on skill-position players plus the multi-dimensional big-frame types who could fit at tight end, defensive end or elsewhere. With 18 known verbal and signed commitments and one soft verbal, plus two holdovers from last year's class, the Cougars figure to have three or four slots left to fill.

The final figure could grow by a couple if the Cougars over-sign with the intention of turning some of the new pick ups into grayshirts who would then count toward the 2007 class.

One of the bigger WSU targets continues to be Long Beach Poly corner Vincent Joseph, a top 50 prospect the Cougars have had high on their list for the last year. He plans to announce his college choice on Signing Day on ESPN. Oregon and USC are his other finalists.

Cornerback is a priority for the Cougars. They've signed JC standout B.T. Walker, have a verbal from Kerry Maddox of Houston, Texas, and have a soft verbal from Colton, Calif., prep star James Smith (although Smith's eventual home might be at safety). Smith is not a sure thing for the Cougars, however, as he's planning to be in Boulder this weekend for an official visit with Dan Hawkins and the new staff at Colorado.

The Cougars could probably use four five corners in this class. If Smith sticks with his soft verbal and Joseph comes through, look for WSU to fill one or two of their remaining slots with corners.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Cougars have three linemen – 2005 holdover Joey Eppele and verbal commits Grady Maxwell and Micah Hannam. They could add another in the form of Cody Habben of Issaquah, who is down to a final four of WSU, Iowa State, Washington and Arizona State. If WSU doesn't get him, look for them to stand pat in the trenches.

OTHER PROSPECTS WHO could help round out the Cougars' class are linebackers Robert Williams (Dallas), Mister Alexander (Houston), defensive end Robert Schenck (Mission Hills, Calif.), defensive tackle Toby Turpin (Los Alamitos, Calif.), and Cornorris Atkins (Reseda, Calif.), a 6-2, 210-pound athlete who could play a variety of positions.

Schenck looks to be down to WSU and hometown favorite Fresno State. Bulldog coach Pat Hill's decision to stay in Fresno certainly doesn't hurt their chances with Schenck. He says he plays to make a decision next week.

Turpin is down to a final five of WSU, Washington, Arizona State, Boise State and Colorado. Along with Atkins, he'll be tripping to WSU this weekend (a story of which we'll be posting shortly).

Williams, with numerous offers in hand, had in-homes with UTEP and WSU this week and appears to be down to those two plus Iowa State. He told CF.C last night that each in-home went well and he faces a difficult decision. He says he doesn't have a timetable, and is no closer to making his choice.

Alexander tripped to WSU last weekend and gave the Cougars high marks. He's tripping to Arkansas this weekend and is set to visit Florida State the following weekend, though he's still awaiting an offer from the Seminoles.

Atkins has Arizona, Arizona State, Washington and Utah State among his favorites.

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