Cornerback help touches down in Pullman

MARKUS DAWES ARRIVED at Washington State yesterday, bringing with him instant corner help to the Cougar secondary. He'll hit the ground running, starting summer school classes at WSU next week, and will take part in the voluntary summer workouts. It's been a long journey to WSU for the 'savage tackler', originally a mid-year transfer out of College of the Sequoias.

Dawes (6-0, 201, 4.5) first committed to Purdue but after arriving on the West Lafayette campus, found out a test score had rendered one of his History class grades too low. He traveled to Washington State but until he re-took that test, he couldn't sign anywhere. He did so, passed with flying colors and has since been counting the days ever since until he could return to Pullman.

"I had signed with Purdue but that was a big mistake on my part," said Dawes. "One reason I signed was I have two (friends) up there at Michigan State but to be honest, I should have signed with Washington State on that day."

"When I went to Washington State on my trip, it felt like home and I felt like only good things would happen to me there. I felt comfortable with the coaches and the players. I'm glad that Purdue didn't work out and that I came back to Washington State."

DAWES WILL BE expected to compete for immediate playing time in 2006. Following the final spring practice last month, Cougar secondary coach Ken Greene told CF.C he wasn't satisfied with the current level of corner play.

"Individually, some guys have really risen to the challenge, and helped themselves because of it," Greene said. "Other guys have not performed the best that they can, and have hurt themselves -- it's been frustrating for me to watch, and they are just going to let other guys roll right on by them in the fall if they don't get on it."

Dawes will naturally have an adjustment to make, going from JC to Pac-10 ball. But cornerback is one of the few positions well suited to a rookie, coming out of high school or a JC, to step in and immediately play at the D-I level.

"I'm going up there with my head on straight, looking to help make a difference in the secondary," said Dawes. "I plan on doing my best, doing everything at 110 percent. I'm coming into a great situation...I'm ready and I'm excited. I've been waiting too long."

SEQUOIAS ASSISTANT COACH Andy Siegal says of Dawes; "He runs well and he's a savage tackler. He can definitely play right away in the Pac-10." Dawes agrees. "I'm also a finesse player, I can move my hips and adapt to the ball, but I'm an aggressive player -- I'll come up and hit you," said Dawes. "Some corners don't have that aggressiveness to come up, make the hit, and make big plays. I'm thinking I'm the type of guy that Washington State needs."

LAST SEASON, DAWES was named second team All-Central Valley Conference, racking up 45 tackles and two interceptions in '05.

At Bradenton-Bayshore High in Florida, Dawes was all-state his junior year at receiver. He sat out his senior year to concentrate on academics and attended Hutchinson (Kan.) C.C. in 2004, earning All-Conference honors after logging 30 tackles and one interception. He has has three years to play two at Washington State.

MORE CB HELP ON THE WAY Another junior college cornerback, Brian Williams tells CF.C he'll be coming to Pullman for the third summer school session, set to begin June 19. Expected to arrive in time for fall camp is JC corner B.T. Walker, and Greene is also very high on incoming freshman corner Kerry Maddox. The cousin of Jason Stripling, Maddox runs a 4.43 in the 40 but the athletic Texan didn't play defense his senior year in order to be the team's QB. He was an all-league defensive back in 2004, no small feat for a junior, racking up 80 tackles. Despite never having played QB at any level prior to '05, Maddox was named first team all-district 12-5A at the position this past season.

Markus Dawes


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