VERBAL COMMITMENT: Cougs land speed at OLB

THE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR in his conference, Washington State's latest verbal commitment is a testament to the power of moving pictures, his tape having only recently arrived at Bohler Gym. The outside linebacker, touted as among "the best the nation has to offer on the gridiron this season" in USA Today's state-by-state '06 prep preview, talks to CF.C about becoming a Cougar.

The Cougs oftentimes bring in a player on an official trip without an offer, having him meet the staff and then deciding during the trip if it will be a good fit for both player and Washington State. When Bill Doba offered Boise's Marshal Pirtz Sunday, he told him he had some time to think about it if he wanted. Pirtz needed all of about two seconds, telling Doba he was "ready to be a Cougar."

"He shook my hand, told me Congratulations and said, 'You're a Cougar,' it was great," said Pirtz.

With his family and him seeing Pullman and the Washington State campus for the first time, Pirtz said he knew early on this weekend that Wazzu was the place for him.

"First of all, I liked the coaches. Meeting all of the coaches, they were all really good guys. And then the campus -- the campus was awesome," said Pirtz.

Pirtz, a defensive force for Centennial High this season, said he'd been in contact with WSU assistant coach Timm Rosenbach for a month or two but after his tape arrived on the WSU campus this past week, the Cougs lined up an immediate visit. Pirtz said he was the only visitor on an official trip this weekend. (Expected visitor and prep safety prospect Todd Doxey told CF.C Sunday night a scheduling conflict prevented him from heading to Pullman this weekend, CF.C will have more on Monday.)

Pirtz chose Washington State over interest from Oregon, Boise State, Penn State, Washington, Texas and Idaho State.

"The people and the team," said Pirtz, who was hosted by fellow linebacker Andy Mattingly on his trip. "Just being in the Pac-10, and the coaches were just awesome."

AN OUTSIDE 'BACKER with quicks, Pirtz is a hitter and drives well through ballcarrier, has very good mechanics plus a nose for the football. During his senior season, he racked up 101 tackles, (59 solo), a pair of sacks, two forced fumbles, two pass beak ups, and an interception that he returned for a touchdown.

For his efforts, Pirtz was named the 5A Defensive Player of the Year in the Southern Idaho Conference.

His junior season he tallied 95 tackles (50 solo), including 13 again for loss, along with a pair of blocked FGs, 2 FF, 2 FR, a sack and five pass break ups. He was named first team all-state and all-conference in 2005.

Pirtz is also an exceptional wrestler -- much like Cougar defensive end Kevin Kooyman. Early in 2007, along with signing an LOI to Washington State, he will be defending the state wrestling title he took home as a junior in the 189-pound class, logging 40 pins in 43 matches on his way to the state championship.

Pirtz has achieved a qualifying score on the SAT and is fine shape academically, with plans to take the test again because he wasn't satisfied.

"I can do a lot better," said Pirtz.

Pirtz brings to eleven the known members in Washington State's 2007 class: QB Marshall Lobbestael, S/ATH Cornorris Atkins, RB Logwone Mitz, WR Daniel Blackledge, DE Tyson Pencer, OL Andrew Roxas, DT B.J. Guerra, LB Tyson Kirksey, QB Kevin Lopina and OL Kevin Freitag. Note: Lopina enrolled at WSU this summer and practiced all season with the team but because he was ineligible to play in 2006 after transferring from K-State, he is classified by Scout as part of the '07 class.

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