Cougar recruiting notes and quotes

WSU'S NEW CROP OF recruits continues the family trend of recent Cougar classes. Two of the incoming players have close connections to Ol' Wazzu. Lineman Grady Maxwell is first cousins with CouGreat Marcus Trufant, and corner Kerry Maddox is first cousins with freshman LB Jason Stripling. A year ago WSU signed Xavier Hicks, nephew of one-time Coug back Kevin Hicks. In '03, Husain Abdullah joined his brother Hamza in the WSU secondary.

In 2002, DE Matt Mullenix followed in the steps of his dad Scott, a starting Cougar linebacker in the 1970s.

In 2000, Tali Ena followed his uncle of the same name, a record-setting running back in the 1970s, and in 1999 Jeremey Williams followed his dad Wallace, a standout for the Cougars in the early 70s.

YOU'LL HAVE TO FORGIVE Cougar track coach Rick Sloan if he looks wistfully at Bill Doba's new recruiting class. There's a ton of track talent here. OL Joey Eppele is a standout hammer thrower and shot putter. DL Kevin Kooyman, who also happens to be a champion wrestler, won his league's shot put title -- as a freshman! JC cornerback Brian Williams won the Nevada state 400-meter championship two times in high school and was a member of school-record setting 4x200 and 4x400-meter relay teams. JC running back Derrell Hutsona won the 2003 California High School long jump title with a leap of 24-5.75. He's run the 100 meters in 10.75 seconds. In addition, running back Marcus Richmond of Mesa, Ariz., earned All-Region honors last spring for his work in the 100 meters.

ACADEMICALLY SPEAKING: The Cougars' new recruiting class isn't wanting for perfectionists. TE Trevor Mooney, TE/DE Kevin Kooyman and OL Micah Hannam are all straight-A students.

FORMER COUGAR COACH Jim Walden used to joke that recruiting was a lot like the watering hole out on the savannah plains. After all the big animals (i.e. USC, Texas, Michigan, etc.) get their fill, the rest of the pack comes in to get a few gulps. Washington State and Oregon State were reminded of that old bromide late in the recruiting process when they each lost a verbal commitment to late-arriving USC. As fate would have it, both players are from Long Beach Poly: Alfred Rowe, who OSU thought it had, and Vincent Joseph, who had (though it wasn't publicly known) verbaled with the Cougars last month. USC plunked down offers in the 11th hour and, just like that, months of intense wooing were down the drain for the Beavs and Cougs.

IT MUST BE THE WATER: Derrell Hutsona, the 2005 junior college offensive player of the year in California, prepped at Helix High in Spring Valley, Calif. Among his teammates there were QB Alex Smith, the No. 1 pick in last year's NFL draft, and Heisman winner Reggie Bush, the presumptive No. 1 pick in this year's draft. While at Helix, Hutsona rushed for 2,052 yards on 154 carries -- a 13.3-yard average that remains the San Diego area's career record.

NOTABLE NOTES:
Jason Harris, the AP Class 4A Player of the Year, has accepted a scholarship to play college ball at Eastern Washington University, the Seattle Times reports. The star QB from Skyline High, who also excelled on defense, had been invited to walk on at Washington State.

A year ago, Mike Price and Bill Doba were tussling over running back Dwight Tardy, who signed with the Cougars. This time around, Dallas linebacker Robert Williams had the old friends doing battle. The Dallas Morning News reported this morning that the lad decided on UTEP.

To give you a sense of how quickly things can change in recruiting, consider that CF.C's Barry Bolton talked at the crack of dawn today with a solid source at Mister Alexander's high school. The source said the touted safety from Houston would -- within the hour -- almost certainly be headed to WSU. The source called back a few hours later. Somewhere in the final flurry of it all, Florida State came through with a late-breaking offer, so the lad is now Mr. Seminole.

Speaking of Williams and Alexander, both of whom hail from Texas, there's an old adage in recruiting that if you win over the mother you'll win over the kid. In Chat Room session today on CF.C, Cougar assistant coaches Robin Pflugrad and Leon Burtnett didn't name names, but said they lost two prospects from Texas because their moms didn't want them to be so far from home. Their dads? Both were pushing for WSU.

LINKS OF INTEREST:

Washington State's Commit List
Scout.com's Team Rankings
Scout.com West Hot 100
Scout.com Northwest Hot 100

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