RECRUITING: Big weekend set for Pullman

AN EMPHASIS ON THE DEFENSIVE side of the ball is the order of the day out on the Palouse, as the biggest recruiting weekend of the season to date gets underway. The majority of prospects tripping to WSU this weekend line up on D and more so, the secondary is in the crimson spotlight, with a cadre of defensive back playmakers taking in the Wazzu experience. Plus a look at some last minute moves.

It is not unusual to see some last minute activity on official visit weekends -- trips being added, trips being rescheduled -- and there was certainly some late week activity up to and including Thursday that altered the numbers and players coming into Pullman. And the changes might not be finished with as of Friday morning. More on that in a moment, but first a rundown on some of the standouts who will be in Pullman this weekend.

CB Woodny Turenne, College of the Sequoias
The top junior college cornerback in the nation, Turenne has an offer list about as long as a football field. But Washington State is one of perhaps five who will get an official visit from the fluid cornerback. Turenne has an unusual combination of speed, height and hip turn -- most burners, and most with great hips, tend to be the corners under 6-foot but Turenne has that and in a 6-foot-1 package. Turenne is originally from Florida and his only visit before this weekend to date was to the school of the same name.

CB Jermaine Thomas, Duarte High
Washington State, Nebraska and Fresno State are recruiting Thomas the hardest and those three are standing apart, he said. The Cougs stopped by to see Thomas on an in-home recently and Fresno State was in earlier this week. He has offers from six schools -- In addition to Washington State, Thomas has offers from Nebraska, Utah, Fresno State, Kansas and Nevada. His prep coach, who tutored Husain Abdullah and Eric Shyne, has said Thomas is an uber-athlete and "the real deal." After this weekend, he's scheduled to trip to Nebraska on Dec. 15 followed by Fresno State on January 13. He had eight interceptions (two returned for scores) and 50-plus tackles before a playoff game last weekend, as well as a fumble recovery for a TD. He also had 2,300 all-purpose yards, including 50 receptions for 1,114 yards with 14 TDs, rushed for 347 yards on 27 carries with two TDs and returned five for scores on punts, kickoffs and interceptions. Thomas lit up when discussing the schools on his radar, "Washington State is a good program and a great Pac-10 school," he said. "My family loved coach (Mike Walker) when he was down here." Everyone except Kansas (WR) sees him at corner. Thomas said out of his three leaders, he doesn't have a favorite although later when asked about his prep coach's comment he might be leanign towards FSU, he said Fresno State was the school who he was most familiar with and had been recruiting him the longest. "I guess you could say I'm kind of leaning towards Fresno but really, it's those three schools at the top right now...All the college coaches say I'm a real athletic corner, I have good speed (4.43), and the way I move and make big plays."

CB Omar Bolden, Colony High
He's listed as a safety by but Washington State sees Bolden at corner, while he said the UW is telling him they see him as a potential 2-way player who could play both running back and corner. Although recent internet reports had Bolden with UW as his leader, he told CF.C he doesn't have a frontrunner. "Yeah I saw that too but I didn't even say that, I don't have a leader at this point. Everybody is always asking me, 'Well there has to be someone that's leading,' but honestly there's not, they're all equal right now because I've been so focused on my season." Bolden is a compact corner prospect with speed and outstanding athleticism, and he's still learning the position. He arrives in Pullman on Saturday, with a game for the championship on Friday. "I heard Pullman is a college town, I like that." Besides Washington State, Bolden said he holds offers from Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, Nebraska, Utah, UNLV, Michigan. UTEP and Washington have been by the most recently for in-homes. "Having a chance to come in and start, at least the opportunity to, is the most important thing." Bolden retook the SAT last weekend. His visit to Washington is set for Jan. 5 while a Nebraska visit that was scheduled for Dec. 15 has been rescheduled for January. Bolden clocked a 4.35 in the 40 earlier this year and has a personal best vertical leap of 34 inches. Coach Robb Akey is running the recruiting point for the Cougs." He's straight up and a stand up guy. He's real."

DT Serge Elizee, College of the Sequoias
Described by one of his coaches as having an "unbelievable motor", Elizee has three-to-play-two and is a mid-year transfer wrapping up his AA degree in a few weeks -- he can sign with a school as early as Dec. 20. With no frontrunner, Elizee says the education will be his top consideration in choosing a school. "I think they're all pretty good, right now all of them are basically equal...The thing that really interests me about the Cougars is that they do play a high level of competition and they're a strong school." said Elizee. He holds offers from Washington State, SMU, Marshall, New Mexico with BYU, Louisville and Minnesota possibly close to offering.

TE/DE Trey Henderson, Vancouver College Prep
Henderson has surprising athleticism for his size, being pretty well put together at 6-3 and 265-pounds. The Canadian import could play either tight end at the next level -- some see great potential for him on offense because of his footwork and how light he is on his feet, others see him as developing into a dominating defensive end. CF.C subscribers can judge for themselves with four highlight packages available on his player page. WSU had not offered prior to his visit this weekend but that could change come Sunday. Henderson is also seeing ramped-up interest from Washington over the past couple of weeks. Henderson has offers from Akron and Kentucky coming into his visit with Washington State. Also an outstanding hammer thrower, Henderson took home gold at the Canadian Junior Nationals.

S Eric Block Bellevue High
Block quarterbacked Bellevue to two state titles in three years but his work in the secondary has also garnered a slew of honors and accolades and his future is at safety at the college level. Block most recently told he favors Washington State solidly over Washington, Oregon State and Stanford, but since that time he told a local radio station he had recently received an offer from Stanford. It was unknown how the coaching change for the Cardinal, with Walt Harris' dismissal, may have affected the offer, if at all. Bill Doba and assistant Timm Rosenbach were in the Block home for an in home visit the first day allowed by the NCAA.

S Marshon Royal, College of the Sequoias
A big hitting strong safety, a coach at Sequoias said Royal's trip this weekend may have been rescheduled by Washington State for January, attempts to reach Royal were unsuccessful. Described as a linebacker in a safety's body, Royal has speed (4.5) and athleticism but his biggest attribute might be that he's a big-time enforcer over the middle. "Marshon has real good speed and agility, but the thing about Marshon is that he hits like a linebacker. He's a real physical kid," says coach Andy Siegal.

There are two additional prospects that other prep and JC coaches told this week were scheduled to visit but CF.C was unable to confirm at press time with either the prospect or the prospect's coach at his school. We'll keep you up to date and let you know what we find out. Titus Young, a WR prospect out University Senior High, the same school Washington State landed receiver Greg Walker from, is not tripping to WSU this weekend but rather, head to the Palouse on Jan. 19. Markques Simas, Mira Mesa Senior High, was scheduled to come in this weekend but verbally committed to Colorado this past Sunday. Both Jim Reuber, tight end out of Tyler JC and Tommy Phelps, a linebacker out of El Camino JC, told CF.C they had their visits re-scheduled for January by Washington State.

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