May arrival at WSU for Tarkington?

THERE'S ONE FINAL piece of academic business to attend to for future Cougar Bryan Tarkington before the JC defensive tackle will be ready to head to Pullman and start "tearing up that middle." Following that, the 6-4, 320-pound physical force said he doesn't plan on waiting until fall to arrive at Washington State.

All that remains for Tarkington is to complete an English final before he receives his AA degree. After taking care of business, he said he plans on heading to Pullman asap.

"I'm almost done," said Tarkington, who's "holding a strong B" to this point in the course. "I should be done by the end of this month or the first week of May."

If it's the latter, it wouldn't leave much time but Tarkington could still arrive and enroll at WSU for the first summer school block, beginning May 8. If not, he could enroll in one of the two later sessions offered in June. Tarkington, though, said he's got his gaze firmly fixed upon an earlier rather than later arrival at WSU.

"I'm going to the summer session," said Tarkington. "As soon as I get the grade, I'm going to get (the paperwork) to Washington State and then I'm gone," said Tarkington.

THE D-TACKLE HAS stayed in touch with coach Mike Walker and spoke to the Cougs d-line coach just a few days ago. Tarkington said he plans on tearing up the middle at Washington State, and hopes to begin doing just that on Sept. 2 in front of a national audience on ESPN.

"We talked about the first game, we talked about Auburn," said Tarkington. In addition to finishing up his coursework, Tarkington has stuck to his workout routine these last few months, and then some.

"I've been running, still going to the gym five days a week and I've been running bleachers," said Tarkington. "In the mornings, I've been doing the ladder, working on quick feet. I'm starting to do some more conditioning -- I've been doing a lot of bleachers."

WASHINGTON STATE WAS without d-tackles Fevaea'i Ahmu and Ropati Pitoitua for all or parts of the just concluded spring session. While both Ahmu and Pitoitua are expected to be 100 percent by fall camp, Tarkington could provide instant production and depth at a position the Cougs are looking to for improvement in '06.

The Cougs finished with a high number of sacks in 2005 but a large number came during the non-conference slate and the defense also had issues consistently shutting down the run. Aaron Johnson, Ahmu and others this spring provided reasons for optimism, and Tarkington, according to Moorpark coach Jim Bittner, is made for neutralizing the run game.

AT MOORPARK COLLEGE in 2004, Tarkington dominated by racking up 78 tackles from his interior line position. He recorded 16 sacks, forced seven and recovered seven fumbles, and deflected five passes on his way to first-team all-Northern Division honors.

Coming out of Taft High in Woodland Hills, Calif., Tarkington was set to sign with Oklahoma but didn't secure a qualifying SAT score and ended up going the junior college route.

Tarkington signed with Washington State in 2005 over Michigan State, Colorado State, Kansas, Marshall and San Diego State but fell short of receiving his AA degree. When he arrives in Pullman, he'll have two to play two.

"I'm ready to knock some heads off," says Tarkington.

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