Cougs have competition for junior college DT

JOSEPH TOWNSEND IS maxing out his junior college credit load in anticipation of an accelerated D-I arrival. And he's been busy making big plays out on the edge during Foothill College's spring, ones that belie his 290 pounds. And for good measure, he's picked up another offer in addition to the one he holds from Washington State.

Nebraska offered Townsend (6-4, 296) this past Friday, despite the fact he hasn't played football since 2004, his senior year in high school.

"The coach called me up and said he's got my (high school) highlight tape and wanted to let me know, 'Hey, you've got a scholarship from Nebraska right now,'" said Townsend. "The recruiting coach said he was going to try and come down in May. He said something like all their d-tackles were all seniors and were all going to graduate."

Although Townsend has yet to play a junior college game, Nebraska told Townsend they thought he was one of the better JC prospects.

"He was saying, though, (he thought) I could be one of the best d-tackles in the nation at the JC level," said Townsend. "He said, 'I need to see you play' but I can tell from your tape."

The Nebraska connection is two-fold. The recruiting coach there has connections with the Foothill staff and recruited Townsend during his prep playing days. Given the way Townsend performed during Foothill's spring mini-camp, it's wouldn't be a surprise if the coaches network had reason to talk about the incoming freshman.

"They've got me playing a hybrid d-end," said Townsend. "Now all the (Foothill) coaches are kind of funny -- before it was like 'Hi, coach' and they were 'Hey, how are you doing', and now it's like, 'Hey! Joseph! How are you doing?! How's your day going?!'"

The camp was only a week long and contact was limited, but Townsend made a sizeable impression.

"The recruiting coordinator at Foothill was telling me how happy he was that I came here the other day," laughed Townsend.

And Larry Townsend, Joseph's brother, played for the Cornhuskers in the 90s.

TOWNSEND HAS STAYED in close contact with WSU's Mike Walker ever since he first came on the WSU radar in 2004. The pair talk about once a week in conversations ranging from football to everyday life.

"We talk a lot about family," said Townsend.

THE OFFER FROM the Cornhuskers was a pleasant surprise, and there is a long ways to go in his recruitment. And although he said he's keeping his options open, Washington State still retains it's allure for Townsend.

"It gives me a lot to think about," said Townsend. "But I'll always stay loyal to Washington State. Washington State was there for me when everyone else left...I'm going to keep them Number 1 always. I'm just going to keep all (doors open). So we'll see."

Townsend is taking an increased load at Foothill with designs on receiving his AA degree in 1 1/2 years, with designs on being part of the 2007 class, with three years of eligibility.

The defensive tackle was originally a member of the 2005 Cougar class but academic hurdles prevented him from joining the Cougs for fall camp last August. He took the fall and winter to study up but fell a few points shy on his most recent attempt before going the JC route at Foothill.

Joseph Townsend

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