WSU campers go on to scale football heights

PULLMAN -- The 29th WSU high school football camp was held this past week, drawing talented prospects from across the West Coast and Canada. The event gives kids the insights, intensive instruction and detailed techniques they can't get elsewhere. Here's a sampling of former campers -- some of whom will contend for All-Pac-10 and All-America honors in 2006 -- who made a mark in recent years.

NAME: Mkristo Bruce
VITALS: 6-6, 260 defensive end
HIGH SCHOOL: Liberty (Renton, Wash.)
HIGHLIGHTS: An All-America candidate in 2006, Bruce posted career-best numbers of 67 tackles,10 sacks, 15 tackles for loss plus two fumble recoveries his junior year, earning All-Pac-10 honors. His 15 TFL tied for first in the Pac-10, while his 10 sacks were second in the conference. This offseason he was named to the 2006 Watch Lists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, awarded to the best defensive player in college football, and the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award. Additional early honors and accolades this summer for the senior include the Sporting News and Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook All-Pacific-10 Conference preseason first teams, and he was a preseason All-America second team selection by the Sporting News. Bruce, a quarterback coming out of Liberty, has started 22 consecutive games for the Cougars and over his career, has recorded 18.5 sacks, ranking sixth all-time at WSU.

NAME: Scott Davis
VITALS: 5-11, 228 linebacker
HIGH SCHOOL: Kamiakin (Kennewick, Wash)
HIGHLIGHTS: He enters his senior season having recorded 181 tackles, 17.5 tackles-for-loss, five sacks and six fumble recoveries over the course of his WSU college career. Davis, an all-state high school player at Kamiakin, has started every game the past two seasons for the Cougars. One of the strongest players in Washington State weight room, Davis notched 66 tackles, including five tackles-for-loss, five pass breakups and a forced fumble in 2005. He followed up an impressive '03 rookie campaign with a sophomore season that saw him earn All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors in 2004, posting 86 tackles (8.5 for loss). His 7.8 stops per games as a sophomore was seventh-most in the Pac-10. In the 2004 Apple Cup win, he racked up double-digit tackles including a key sack and forced fumble that Will Derting recovered for a TD.

NAME: Steve Dildine
VITALS: 6-1, 235 linebacker
HIGH SCHOOL: Bethel (Graham, Wash.)
HIGHLIGHTS: In his only season playing football at the high school level, Dildine earned a cadre of post season awards, excelled at both linebacker and running back. He became only the 27th player in State history to top the 2,000 yard mark with 2,265 yards and set a state record with 45 all-purpose touchdowns. Dildine started every game for WSU in 2005, placing third on the team in tackles (68) with 30 of those sticks coming over the final four games. He's carried that into this spring, according to Bill Doba; "He's really starting to come into his own," said the Cougar coach. "I think he'll be a good one this season." After redshirting his first season, Dildine played in all 13 games as a rookie in 2003-04, including a start against Arizona State. Dildine had four starts in 11 games as a sophomore.

NAME: Charles Harris
VITALS: 6-6, 323 offensive lineman
HIGH SCHOOL: Mead (Spokane, Wash.)
HIGHLIGHTS: Put together a breakout season in 2005, manning the starting right tackle spot with aplomb for all 11 games. Having bulked up over the winter, the athletic Harris now checks in at 323, up 15 pounds from his junior campaign. All-league honorable mention but still an unheralded defensive end at Mead, Harris is the consummate self-made man, said George Yarno, citing Harris' exemplary weight-training and conditioning efforts. "He's really made himself into what he is today," says the Cougars' offensive line coach. Harris grayshirted out of high school before being named to The Sporting News' Pac-10 all-freshman team following the Cougars' 2003-04 season. He moved up from the scout team before the Stanford game that year and started the following week against Oregon State at right tackle. Harris played in 11 games during the 2004-05 season and started against Idaho before his star turn last year.

NAME: Sean O'Connor
VITALS: 6-6, 281 offensive lineman
HIGH SCHOOL: Redmond (Redmond, Wash.)
HIGHLIGHTS: Turned heads during the spring session a year ago, earning the starting left guard spot at Washington State for 2005. An unsung performer, O'Connor went on to a sterling junior campaign, helping to plow the road for a 1,900 yard rusher. He began his WSU career as a tight end, primarily for blocking and short yardage situations, and special teams performer. He saw action in all 11 games as a sophomore, including a stellar performance that saw him neutralize All-American and future NFL player Dave Ball in the Cougars' win over UCLA. He proved his worth early at Washington State, playing in nine games, including the Holiday Bowl, during his freshman year.

NAME: Andy Roof
VITALS: 6-4, 303 offensive lineman
HIGH SCHOOL: East Valley (Spokane, Wash.)
HIGHLIGHTS: The sophomore will enter the fall as the No. 1 right guard, coach Bill Doba said following this year's spring session. No stranger to the weight room,. Rood already had an NFL-like 655-pounds squat coming out of high school. At East Valley, Roof was the first freshman to play varsity football in Greater Spokane League history and was an all-state selection as a senior. The three-time All-GSL pick was among the most touted hosses in the West as one of eight players from the state of Washington to earn The Seattle Times Blue Chip distinction.

NAME: Cole Morgan
VITALS: 6-2, 182 quarterback
HIGH SCHOOL: Ballard (Seattle, Wash.)
HIGHLIGHTS: Following a solid spring, the quarterback heads into fall camp deadlocked in the competition for the No. 3 spot in 2006, said Cougars' quarterbacks coach Timm Rosenbach. Morgan's high school position coach at Ballard was Cougar legend Jack Thompson but The Throwin' Samoan has been tutoring Morgan since he was 10 years old. He amassed 1,816 yards and 26 touchdowns in his senior season, leading Ballard to the state playoffs for the first time in school history. (Ballard played in the 1951 annual Thanksgiving Day game before the state playoff system was implemented) Morgan delayed enrollment at Washington State, arriving in Pullman in January '05. As a high school junior, he was an all-league selection, connecting for 21 touchdown passes.


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