Cougs not alone in eyeing more JCs

COUGAR HEAD MAN Bill Doba said on Letter of Intent Day two months ago to expect more junior college players in WSU's recruiting future as NCAA eligibility requirements become stricter. His forecast appears to extend to all of college football. USC's Pete Carroll, who normally keeps his attention focused primarily on the preps, is headed to College of the Sequoias today, where he says the Trojans have identified 27 potential D-I prospects.

It wasn't like Sequoias, situated about midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, was an unknown commodity. But a good number of the Division I-A heavyweights didn't bother to come by last year.

Washington State, Purdue, Mississippi, Texas Tech -- these were the kinds of schools who made regular recruiting trips to COS in '05. More will undoubtedly make the pilgrimage this year.

"Quite honestly gentlemen, that is going to be a trend with the (NCAA) requirements getting stiffer and stiffer for a high school kid to quality," said Doba this past LOI Day. "Because of that, I think there are better quality students academically and athletically in junior college. I think it is going to be a trend in the future."

His statement might not only apply to the WSU's of the world.

COLLEGE OF THE SEQUOIAS offensive coordinator Andy Siegal has been around. But he's never seen a D-IA head coach come by a JC this early. USC's Pete Carroll will do so today. Because in Carroll's estimation, Sequoias is stacked.

"Coach Carroll called me and told me he thinks we have 27 Division I players," said Siegal.

Twenty-seven. That is not a misprint.

Siegal's coaching turns include a stop at Dodge City Community College in Kansas, where he had the No. 1 passing offense in the nation one year. K-State and others regularly recruited his players. But this is a first.

"I've had over 70 Division I players since '99 and have never, ever, ever seen a head coach come down for spring," said Siegal.

AMONG THE COS talent, CB Woodny Turenne has offers from USC, UCLA, Ole Miss and Florida. Receiver A.J. Jackson holds a USC offer, and WR Michael Benson may have a Trojan offer as soon as today.

Turenne, Jackson and possibly Benson are on pace for the early JC signing period. They would receive their AA degrees in December, enroll at a D-I school in January and be eligible to participate in a school's spring ball -- something schools find valuable.

ANOTHER INTRIGUING PROSPECT at Sequoias who could draw interest this season is John Wood (6-4, 265, 4.6), a defensive end who spent one year at Miami. He'll only have but one year of eligibility at the next level after this season. But Siegal thinks that's a tradeoff a school might be wise to consider.

"He's got the fastest three steps off the edge that I've ever seen in my life -- and I saw Jevon Kearse in high school," said Siegal. "He's either going to be a 1-for-1 in Division I, or try to go the NFL at the end of the fall...and he's one of the nicest kids you've ever seen in your life."

Wood is set to get his AA in December, also making him eligible to participate in a school's spring ball.

JUNIOR COLLEGES, like Sequoias, will bear watching over the recruiting season for the Cougar Nation. Coach Ken Greene and COS head man Curtis Allen have a great relationship, forged during their time at Fresno State, as do Siegal and WSU's Leon Burtnett. Sequoias CB Markus Dawes is expected to arrive this summer in Pullman and soon after, his picture along with many of the 70 Siegal's helped get to the next level will adorn the wall of his office. Provided he can find the space.

"I've tried to get them all on the wall here in my office but we can't, we just don't have the room," laughed Siegal. "But I've got a bunch of them up. I'm going to put as many as I can up there. I think the new rule is going to be we'll put you on the wall but if you don't graduate (from a 4-year college), we'll pull you off the wall."


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