RECRUITING '07: Battle is joined for Munns

ONE OF THE top signal callers in the Class of 2007, Kennewick's Jason Munns had Washington State as the slight early leader a few weeks back. But it's only April, and recruiting is in it's infant stages for most prospects, including The 'Kennewick Cannon'. This Easter Weekend, the 6-5.5, 225-pound record-setter visited Utah and BYU and as a result, his leader board has undergone a change at the top.

SPECIAL NOTE: Mark your calendars for this Wednesday, April 19, at 12 p.m. PT when Robb Akey, defensive coordinator for the Cougs, will be answering questions in the CF.C chat room during a lunchtime chat session. The chat with Jeff McQuarrie, producer and director of an upcoming new 4-hour documentary about the colorful history of Cougar football has been rescheduled for the following Wednesday.

Previously listed as Munns' leader, it's back to being tied at the top for Washington State in the recruitment of the state's No. 1 quarterback out of Southridge High.

In an interview with's Allen Wallace at the end of March, Munns said, "I'm definitely going to look locally first," and noted that WSU "is like the hometown team and a lot of kids from my high school go there. Everyone around here loves them. They have good tradition and the team is on the rise."

But in recruiting, being a leader one week doesn't mean the same will hold true the following week. And there are other schools besides WSU who have also captured his interest.

"I think seeing these other two schools has pretty much evened up the field again," said Munns.

The strong armed quarterback was referring to recently completed unofficial trips to BYU and Utah.

"I've found every school I go to has it's pros and cons," said Munns. "They've all got a pretty established program and that's not going to change. They've all got good coaches and good players."

Specifically on Utah, Munns said he's always been a fan of the Utes with an uncle having gone there. And his first trip to BYU, too, left a favorable impression.

"Just experiencing BYU really for the first time, it just really opened my eyes to it," said Munns, who is Mormon.

SOME SCHOOLS SHY away from the recruitment of Mormon student athletes. On one hand, the conventional wisdom goes that schools like BYU can figure to hold an edge too great to surmount. Ben Olson was arguably the nation's No. 1 quarterback coming out of high school in 2002. He eschewed offers from USC, Stanford, Oklahoma, Texas and others to sign with BYU.

Plus, there's usually a 2-year Mormon mission that delays or interrupts a college career.

The guess here is that Munns will make the decision on where he spends the next 4-5 years of his life based on a variety of criteria. One of those certainly includes his faith, but being Mormon won't be the deciding factor in where he chooses to embark upon his college academic and playing career. He's also undecided on when he might take his mission.

WASHINGTON STATE HAS made a strong initial impression, with coaches Bill Doba and Timm Rosenbach fashioning a solid connection with Munns on his recent unofficial to the Palouse. He's said his parents would like for him to stay close. All that would seem to bode well for WSU, but it's decidedly early in the recruiting season and distance away from home is, like his religion, only one factor. And Munns, who has said he plans to take his official visits, is in no hurry.

"Going to these places is great to actually get to witness first hand what they've got," said Munns. "But then it just seems to confuse you even more."

Munns also said there's plenty more on the schools, programs and coaches he needs to find out.

"I still haven't spent enough time at any of the schools to get a full feel for them," said Munns.

So far this recruiting season, Munns has taken unofficials to Washington State, BYU, Utah and Washington.

AS A JUNIOR, Munns threw for 2,178 yards and 32 TDs en route to Big Nine Co-Player of the Year honors. He completed 62 percent of his passes in 2005.

The player who veteran Spokesman-Review sportswriter Vince Grippi calls a right-handed Matt Leinart is also a standout in the classroom (3.8 GPA, 1540 SAT).

"He has an absolute cannon," says Southridge coach Andy Troxel. "He's very accurate and he can run -- when he decides he's going to take off, he can definitely run."

Jason Munns profile

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