RECRUITING: Texas 'backer eyes the Cougs

AT PRO DAY at Washington State in March, NFL scouts didn't tell Cougar players their 40 times. The more data out there, the more other NFL teams come calling. The same can hold true in the recruitment of prep athletes. Texas LB prospect Julian Herron clocked a wicked 40 at a school's camp this summer. By the time coaches looked up from their stopwatches, they already had on their best poker faces.

At 6-0, 210 pounds, Herron projects as a linebacker at the next level. A fast linebacker.

He clocked a 4.33 in the 40 at Tulsa's camp a little over a month ago.

"This was June 24. They didn't say anything to me at the time, I think they just wanted to keep it to themselves. My coach didn't even tell me at the time -- they just told me 4.6 at first so I wouldn't get all big headed," laughed Herron.

Before the bullet train time in Tulsa, the Herron had regularly been clocking in the 4.5 range -- still a very fast time.

WASHINGTON STATE has offered the Bowie High speed merchant, along with fellow Arlington standout cornerback Andre Richardson. Greg Peterson is running point on the duo.

Herron said WSU, SMU, Texas A&M and Tulsa are recruiting the hardest. He doesn't have one leader but mentioned A&M, Tulsa, SMU and Wazzu as schools that are standing out.

"I have about five (offers) -- Baylor, UTEP, Tulsa, Washington State, SMU," said Herron. "(Peterson's) great, that's a good coach right there. I really like the college from what I've heard. It is kind of far, though. Distance is a factor, but it's just a little factor. It's not that big a deal."

STILL, CHANGE CAN be often hard. Washington State has seven Texans on the 2006 roster. For some southerners who now don the crimson and gray, an official visit to Washington State was critical to removing any reticence that would naturally come with making a move north. And few can match Washington State's official visit to commit ratio.

Out of 37 prospects hosted for official visits in 2005, 21 signed with the Cougs, not including grayshirts. The year before was even more impressive -- Out of 34 official visits in 2004, WSU signed 20 of them. Those are virtually unheard of success rates. Herron said he has yet to set up any officials but will probably start doing so in the next month or so.

A GOOD Business school will be important, as will a program that will help him develop to his full potential as a football player and student.

"I don't want to be a little fish in a big pond," said Herron.

This will be Herron's first year playing linebacker. The past two seasons he had his hand down, earning second team all-district honors as a defensive end in 2005.

Julian Herron profile

Cornerback Andre Richardson says of Herron: "I had a guy beat on the out route once. He jumps up bats the ball in the air and I pick it off. Thanks for making me look good. He knew that I knew that it was his (doing). I'm very thankful he's on my team." For the earlier CF.C article on Richardson: Cougs continue Texas prospecting

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