WSU first to offer Canada's tackling machine

TYSON PENCER, at 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds, gets noticed right off the bat for his size. Probably turned some heads last year when he racked up a record 25 tackles in a single game, too. But the DE/TE prospect out of Delta, B.C. might have made his biggest splash in Pullman last week, catching the eye of the coaches at Washington State's summer camp. Soon after, WSU became the first school to offer.

Out of the same region as Cougar defensive end and No. 1 CFL draft choice Adam Braidwood, Pencer has some quicks (4.62 in the 40) to go along with his size. He hit it off with the Washington State staff from the camp's outset.

"The coaching staff really made me feel welcome there," said Pencer. "It's a college town which I'm not used to but it does have it's benefits -- the whole city has their eyes on the University. And it's all about football, which is great."

Pencer got most of his WSU camp work at defensive end but said the coaching staff told him they can see him playing either defense or offense.

"They said I could play both, tight end or d-end," said Pencer. "I went down there as a d-end and they also knew I played a little bit of "tight" so I ran a few routes and caught a few passes there. It was like, 'We know you can play both so wherever you're playing better is where we'd put you.'"

PENCER DOESN'T HOLD an overly strong position preference but did say that while making the big play on offense has it's draw, he most enjoys the hitting on defense. Ideally, Pencer said he'd like to make a decision before his senior season. He remains receptive to everyone but some schools are standing out.

"I'd say Washington State, Oregon and Colorado," said Pencer. "And Oregon State seems similar to Washington State in that the coaches were really nice and the town, again, thrives on the football team."

OTHER SCHOOLS HAVE talked about bulking him up and moving him inside but Pencer doesn't necessarily want to diminish those attributes -- namely speed -- that make him the player he is out on the gridiron.

"There has been a little of that, 'If you gain about 50 pounds we'll move you to d-tackle or o-tackle,' but I think with my speed, I don't think that would be where I'd best be used," he said. "I don't think I would be moved but I guess if they wanted me to..."

IN ADDITION TO his Palouse experience, Pencer has visited a number of schools in the Lower 48 this offseason including Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and UNLV. Oregon, Oregon State and Washington were quick stops, with Pencer planning another trip south later this summer to the Beaver State and Oregon. Pencer has been able to spend the most time thus far in Pullman and Boulder.

"I really liked the coaches at Washington State and Colorado," he said.

Pencer, who knows Braidwood, said the pair have a number of things in common including that both were offered as "Grade 11s" by Washington State, and each also holds the WSU staff in high regard.

"They're good coaches and that you can trust them -- that was my feeling when I was down there," said Pencer.

  • Pencer racked up a ridiculous 25 tackles in the game against Windsor last season. "That's the game tape I sent out to everyone," he said. Video on Pencer should be arriving to shortly.

  • Pencer has played the game of football for 11 years, first buckling up the chin strap when he was 5 years old.

    Tyson Pencer profile

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