Recruiting '07: Cougars in early on Cali DE

WITH VETERANS UP front at both end and tackle, Washington State is in the market for contributors to their stop corps in the 2007 recruiting class. The latest prep standout to receive a scholie offer from the Cougs -- Michael Reardon of Orange, Calif. -- is a 6-6, 253-pounder his coach describes as an intense, driven competitor. Based on the Cougar staff's offer after receiving his tape, that assessment looks to be dead on.

Reardon received the scholie in the mail from Washington State last week -- the second prospect from Orange Lutheran to receive a Cougar offer -- but has yet to speak directly with anyone in Pullman. Schools cannot initiate contact until the May evaluation period.

"I hadn't heard anything from them and then all of a sudden me and Aaron Corp got the (offers) in the mail," said Reardon.

WSU has two known offers out to defensive linemen, with Joseph Townsend planning on earning his AA degree in time for the 2007 season.

Reardon has received four offers over the past week and a half including one from the Cougs, bringing his total to six. Besides the Cougs, Nebraska, Colorado State, Ole Miss, Oregon State and Arizona have all offered.

Other schools of interest who could step up at some point include USC, Stanford, Notre Dame and UCLA. Reardon will head to Stanford on an unofficial visit April 11 and just got back from Southern Cal's junior day this weekend.

"Pretty much all 200 prospects had their shirts off along with all the coaches having their shirts off," said Reardon. "Coach (Pete) Carroll and all the coaches were getting everyone pumped up, having everyone take their shirts off. It was pretty cool....I felt like it went really well. I liked the coaches there and everything."

Reardon said all schools are even, although he enjoyed USC's junior day and has enjoyed the conversations he's had with the Stanford coaching staff.

PREVIOUS REPORTS HAD Reardon with an offer from Arizona State, and that he might be looking to make an early decision before his season starts - but he said neither of those is the case.

"I'm in no rush," said Reardon.

AS A JUNIOR, Reardon racked up eight sacks and 80 tackles from his defensive end position but where he plays in college will depend on the signing school. Reardon said most are looking at him at defensive end while others see him as an offensive tackle, tight end or defensive tackle.

"USC wants me to come to their camp, play offensive tackle so they want to see if I'm capable of playing there," said Reardon.

Reardon's preference would be to play defensive end, but said that he'll gladly play wherever he can best help a team. Besides hitting the quarterback, he said he enjoys being a run stopper out on the edge.

"If you do a good job, you can contribute a lot by stopping the run from going to your side," said Reardon.

Wherever he ends up, Orange Lutheran coach Jim Kunau said Reardon will bring plenty of game with him.

"He is a very intense driven competitor and then you combine that with a great work ethic and humility, and he has a very powerful presence both physically and I think from a larger sense, a character standpoint," said Kunau. "He is a big kid, 6-6, 250 but he has a much larger presence than his frame belies and his frame is pretty good."

What has drawn schools to Reardon is the versatility given his size -- it's not often a prospect has the skills set to play either DE, DT, OT or TE at the next level.

"For a big man, he has excellent feet and I would attribute that to basketball," said Kunau. "Until now, that had been his primary sport. He's the best basketball player in our program. He has very good feet, very fluid."

AN EXCELLENT STUDENT, Reardon has a 3.9 GPA and just took the SAT. Key to his decision will be academics followed by "the athletic part of it."

Michael Reardon profile

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