Recruiting '07: Cougs offer athletic QB

WASHINGTON STATE HAS offered a scholarship to one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2007 class: Chris Forcier out of San Diego's St. Augustine High. The 6-3, 180-pounder, who holds early offers from a dozen schools, is believed to be the third prep QB extended a scholie by WSU in this young recruiting season. He's a gamebreaker who makes plays with his arm -- and legs.

Forcier said he doesn't know as much about the Cougs as he does some of the other schools who have offered, but his interest in piqued.

"I haven't had too much contact with Washington State," said Forcier. "Washington State, I like them and want to check them out. They've had a pretty good history going to the Rose Bowl not too long ago. I actually went to that game...Definitely a top program and definitely going to look into it."

Upcoming plans include unofficial visits to Mississippi and Alabama. Trips to the Northwest to check out WSU and Oregon are possible, but nothing has been planned yet.

"Oregon, I like a lot," said Forcier. "I do know they have a lot of quarterbacks there right now. I don't want to go somewhere there's a ton of quarterbacks. I'd kind of like to have separation between me and the QBs that are already there.

"I do like Oregon, though. I've talked to coach (Gary) Crowton, and he text messages me. He seems like a great guy and they've had success sending guys onto the next level with the quarterbacks."

Forcier's interest in Oregon began at the US Army combine in San Antonio, where he and his dad met and got to know Oregon OL Geoff Schwartz, who was there to watch his brother, 2007 OL prospect Mitchell Schwartz (6-5, 314).

"He's from California, too, and he said he likes it a lot even though it's a change," said Forcier. "So I definitely want to check them out based on what he said."

BESIDES WASHINGTON STATE and Oregon, Forcier holds offers from UCLA, Arizona State, Nebraska, Texas A&M, BYU, UNLV, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and San Diego State. Alabama, previously reported as having offered, has not extended a full ride but they, along with Florida and Miami, could be getting close.

"Alabama hasn't offered, just want to clear that up," said Forcier. "I'm going on another recruiting visit in two weeks to Mississippi and Mississippi State. I'd also like to check out Alabama because they have high interest in me."

IN JACKSONVILLE FOR a combine and to check out the Florida schools, the California native said distance won't be the deciding factor and a school where things revolve around the football team is a plus.

"There's a difference between Florida and California, obviously," said Forcier, who said he gets text messages "all the time" from Florida coaches Urban Meyer and Dan Mullen. "The football around here seems to be more 'big time'. It seems like there's more passion out here for the sport. In California, there's a lot more stuff to (choose from) and do out there. It seems like here everyone is really into it, which I think is really cool. The SEC schools, that's big time."

Still, while open to everyone, Forcier said UCLA is the slight leader.

"They've been recruiting me since the first day of my junior season," said Forcier. "I'd say they're a little bit on top of all the schools that have offered. For schools that haven't offered like Miami and Florida, that's one of the reasons I'm down here, to get to know them...I'd say UCLA has a slight lead, but I'm open to everyone. And the only reason I'd say UCLA has a slight lead is because they're close to home and I've had the most contact with them."

ACADEMICS, COMFORT LEVEL, tradition and a school that can utilize his talents are among the things Forcier said will be important to his decision.

"Florida is awesome -- with Urban Meyer, they utilize the quarterback to the best of his abilities in running and throwing," he said. "That's what I like."

HIS JUNIOR SEASON, Forcier was first-team all-state, county and league and CIF-Championship Game MVP, San Diego Section D-III. He completed 163-of-272 passes for 2,382 yards with 31 TDs, along with 415 rushing yards and another four TDs. Older brother Chris plays for Michigan.

At Jacksonville this weekend, Forcier checked in with a 4.06 in the shuttle, a 7.09 shuttle, 34 inch vertical leap, and went for 9'8" in the broad jump. He's run in the 4.5 range at both the Stanford and USC combines but clocked a 4.6 this weekend.

"I wasn't too happy with that, I usually run a 4.5," said Forcier. "That was my first event and I don't think I was that warm and ready for it. I would have liked to have run a 4.5, but it's all good. I don't think it hurts me at all."

Chris Forcier

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