Hoss with big appetite eats up Pullman

IT'S NOT ALWAYS EASY to stay under the radar when you're 6-foot-7. It's more difficult still when you earn first-team honors on the Hall of Champions All-San Diego team. A once low-flying, 310-pound hoss from Spring Valley says the Cougs treated him right -- and served up some tasty grub -- on his official trip to Pullman over the weekend.

Juan Bolanos (6-7, 310) out of Spring Valley's Mount Miguel High is large. In high school football, when you're that much bigger than your competition the tendency can be to just do enough to get by because you don't have to work as hard. But that's not the case with Bolanos.

"(College coaches) have said they see a certain intelligence and a certain toughness in me. They mention my athleticism, that I have good feet," he said.

Comparatively speaking, Bolanos hasn't seen as much media attention this recruiting season as some others, but he holds offers from Washington State, Arizona State, Colorado State and San Diego State. He said he's unsure what the coaching change at ASU means for his offer. His last contact from the Sun Devils was a letter from ASU after Dirk Koetter was fired.

WSU, SDSU and Colorado State all came by last week for in-home visits.

Beyond the food this weekend -- which Bolanos said he devoured if it wasn't bolted down -- the closeness of the town and campus, and interacting with the WSU coaches were among the highlights of his visit. Andy Roof served as player host.

"It's a very nice school, and the faculty was nice," said Bolanos.

Bolanos, also an all-league and all-county selection, departed Pullman telling the coaches the weekend had given him a lot to consider.

"The way I left things was that I would think about it really hard, because I think it could go either way," said Bolanos, who said distance from Spring Valley, about 10 minutes outside San Diego, would be "a very small factor" in his decision.

He has a scheduled official visit for Jan. 19 to Colorado State.

Important to his decision will be the school and coaching staff that can best develop his skills at the next level. Bolanos also asked to note the contributions of his Mount Miguel teammates and coaches, including head coach Tom Karlo and offensive line coach Nick Williams. They of course couldn't come on the official visit to WSU but mother Maylene traveled up to Pullman.

"She liked it," said Bolanos. "She's always been there for me. When nobody would be there, I could always turn to her. That's why I'm the player and person I am today."

Juan Bolanos profile

After the football season, Bolanos dropped 25 pounds in order to compete in the 285-pound class on the wrestling team. After wrestling is done, he said he'll be back up to around 310 in fairly short order.

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