VERBAL COMMIT: WSU lands former Pac-10 corner

THE SECOND TIME is the charm. With both Cougar cornerback starters graduating, WSU is in the market for defensive backs ready to play out on the island right away. A big piece of the puzzle is now in place with the verbal commitment of a top corner prospect -- one the Cougs offered out of high school and who already has two years of Pac-10 experience under his belt.

"I'm headed up to Pullman," said Byron Davenport.

The lockdown corner verbally committed to Washington State over UCLA, UW and others, saying he gave the good news to Cougar coaches Kelly Skipper and Robb Akey.

"I called Skip, he was at the airport with coach Akey," said Davenport. "I told him, 'I'm ready to make it happen,' and he asked if I was coming aboard and I said yes. And he put coach Akey on the phone -- they were excited, it was pretty cool."

Davenport said one of the main reasons he chose Washington State was secondary coach Ken Greene.

"I'm definitely excited about WSU and I'm definitely excited about being coached by Ken Greene -- he coached my high school coach and I've heard nothing but good things about him. He's strict, but he's fair. And that's what I want, I want to go someplace where I'm going to get better."

Davenport said Skipper will be down to see him this week, and the two will map out his remaining classes at El Camino in order to make sure they all transfer to WSU without a hitch so Davenport will receive his AA (likely in June) and arrive at Washington State prior to fall camp.

Davenport left UCLA in February of this year primarily due to divisive family issues that surfaced, along with some dissatisfaction while at UCLA. Rumors to the effect it was a grades issue or he had been dismissed from the Bruins were untrue, Davenport telling CF.C. he chose to walk away from football and a scholarship at the time of his own accord.

He enrolled at El Camino but did not play this season. He will have two-to-play-two in Pullman.

UCLA came back into the picture over the past several months, with Davenport and first year defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker having what Walker termed several productive talks where the assistant told Davenport he "needed him back." After the USC game, however, while Walker continued to show Davenport the recruiting love, head coach Karl Dorrell's interest appeared to cool according to Davenport. He said Sunday the main draw to UCLA was that he could enroll there in January, unlike another school where he would need to earn his AA and enroll in August.

Washington was another possibility with the Huskies' Tyrone Willingham asking Davenport to wait to make a decision until a January visit to the UW but Davenport said in his mind, he wanted the issue settled sooner rather than later and decided on Washington State.

"I'm cool with it, and I'm a Cougar," he said.

For more on Byron Davenport and his winding path to Pullman and Washington State, visit his player page here.

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Davenport had 25 tackles for UCLA in 2005.

  • Coming out of Long Beach Poly in 2004, Davenport held offers from four Pac-10 schools -- UCLA, Washington State, Oregon and Cal. He was named first-team All-CIF Southern Section, with 65 tackles, four INTs and an impressive 21 pass deflections. He also blocked three kicks and had four fumble recoveries. As a junior, he logged 58 tackles with 18 pass deflections, and led Poly in interceptions both years. He did not allow a TD pass in three varsity seasons at Poly.


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