Gray suits younger Levenseller just fine

J.T LEVENSELLER, who passed Pullman High to a 23-2 record and state title in his two years at the helm, plans to take his winning touch to the hometown Cougs starting in a year. Today he talked with CF.C about the prospects of playing for his dad and said any charges of nepotism will only serve as motivation. He also said WSU is taking him as a QB rather the originally envisioned role of wideout.

"I'm going to do everything I can to earn this scholarship and in no way am I trying to go to this school just because of my dad," said Levenseller, whose dad, Mike, is the Cougars' offensive coordinator.

He plans to sign a letter of intent with the Cougars on Feb. 7, but will grayshirt, meaning he'll delay enrollment to next January. That effectively buys him an extra year of eligibility -- as well as a year of separation from touted Oak Harbor quarterback Marshall Lobbestael, who has verbally committed to sign with the Cougars. Levenseller will count toward the Cougars' 2008 recruiting class.

"I'm going to go out there and practice my butt off for four years," said the 6-1, 190-pounder, who also stars in basketball. "If at some point I'm still the scout team QB then so be it, but at the same time, that won't sit very well with me because I'm a very competitive person and it would drive me nuts not to be competing for that job."

Levenseller has good genes -- and a great name -- for Cougarville. His dad was all-leaguer receiver for the Cougars in the 1970s. And the younger Levenseller's initials -- J.T. -- are in honor of his dad's old Cougar battery-mate, legendary WSU quarterback Jack Thompson.

Levenseller was picked this week by the Seattle Times as one of the top 25 college prospects in the state. He is a two-time all-league selection and second-team 2005 All-State pick at quarterback, as well as a 2006 second-team all-league choice at defensive back.

"To become a college player, I've been trying to take the necessary steps for a long time -- I believe I can break down film with the top quarterbacks in the state," said Levenseller. "My junior year was great as far as the state championship but I believe I helped myself out more this year in showing and developing my athleticism. I was able to run the ball a little more, we didn't have as many great players as we did last year."

Levenseller rushed for over 700 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.

Levenseller's senior tape was the catalyst for head man Bill Doba and quarterbacks coach Timm Rosenbach deciding to bring him in as a QB, in the 2008 class, rather than as a receiver in the 2007 class.

"I committed yesterday -- they came out and offered me as a quarterback and they want me to grayshirt," said J.T.

Last fall the Cougars made him an offer to play receiver.

Eastern Washington also offered him a scholarship, but as a quarterback. And June Jones at Hawaii was working to get him to the islands for an official visit.

"Doba liked the film and talked to Rosey and decided on it ... I called and let him know I wanted to be a Coug and he said, 'That's good to hear, you already have been.'"

Utah and others talked to him this recruiting season but most schools said they didn't want to bring him in on a visit since they felt he would almost certainly accept the WSU offer when it was all said and done.

His senior season, Levenseller completed 74 of 150 passes for 1,283 yards with 14 TDs and 4 INTs. He also carried the ball 117 times for 712 yards with 13 rushing touchdowns.

As a junior in 2005 he passed for 1,880 yards and 27 TDs as he led Pullman to a perfect 14-0 season and the 2005 Class 2A state championship.

J.T. Levenseller profile

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