VERBAL: In-state OL goes crimson

MONDAY EVENING, the Cougars landed the first known offensive lineman commit of their 2007 class, Burien's Kevin Freitag. The 6-3, 296-pound hoss out of Kennedy High took in the Cougs summer youth camp and was headed to Eugene for Oregon's camp when his prep coach called him. Freitag turned the car around. "I've always known Washington State was the place for me," Freitag told CF.C.

After hearing from his high school coach, Freitag called WSU coaches George Yarno and Mike Levenseller, immediately telling the two his recruiting process was over, he's coming to Pullman.

"I committed to Washington State," Freitag said Monday night. "It was just about two hours ago."

Through the winter and early summer months, Washington State was what Freitag has been working towards. At the Cougars' camp, offensive line coach George Yarno let him know all that hard work was more than apparent.

"I met with coach Yarno and he told me I've really improved from last year and that he really likes me, likes what I'm doing" said Freitag. "He said I have everything they look for in an athlete."

BEFORE THE WSU coaching staff decides to offer an offensive lineman, Yarno looks for "intangibles", considering those a better barometer of a good college OL than are just the measurables. Intangibles like athleticism, intelligence, aggressiveness, passion for the game and position, and a strong desire to be a Cougar.

"He said I have all of those things," said Freitag. "He really likes how athletic I've become and how much I've improved -- that my footwork has really improved. He likes that I've gotten bigger, lost some "fat weight" and gained some muscle mass. The only thing I need to work on a bit is my pass blocking because my high school runs the Wing-T."

AFTER TALKING WITH Yarno at the Cougs' camp, Freitag and his dad sat down with head man Bill Doba. Doba let father and son know Washington State was very high on the '05 two-way all-league lineman, with a late summer offer a definite possibility. Turns out that schedule would be more like 24 hours after the Cougar brain trust conferred further this morning.

"Coach Yarno said that coach Doba this morning said, 'We want him,' so they called my coach and then I called them," said Freitag.

With Washington State always his top choice, the journey down south for the Ducks camp was immediately shuttered. Freitag said he's known for a long time he wanted to don the crimson and gray.

"I went to (WSU's) camp last year and I really like coach Yarno," said Freitag. "I like the school, the football program, the coaches -- everything about Washington State."

An exceptional student, Freitag carries a 3.8 GPA. The Cougs see him at either the center or guard position up front. Freitag was all-league on both sides of the ball, named a South King County All-Star on defense and helped power Kennedy's drive to the 3A state semifinals last season.

Some recent -- and impressive -- strength numbers for Freitag include a bench press of 420 pounds, and a squat of 545. He was timed at 5.3 in the 40 earlier this spring.

Kevin Freitag profile and junior video

Freitag becomes the Cougs' second known verbal commitment, joining Kevin Lopina. The former K-State QB is in Pullman but will sit out the 2006 season due to NCAA transfer rules, entering the '07 campaign with 3-to-play-3 at Washington State.

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