RECRUITING: NEW COUGS VERY ATHLETIC

WASHINGTON STATE'S 2007 football recruiting class, to be unveiled Wednesday, is heavy on athleticism, with champion hurdlers, wrestlers and basketballers. Three members of the high school haul -- all from Washington -- quarterbacked their teams to a combined four state titles. And the JC transfers include the highest-rated recruit in recent WSU memory, plus a 340-pound hoss who prepped in Fiji.

The other thing that jumps out about the group is their blue-collar nature. Some might not have seen as much hype as a few of their compatriots but after the clock reads all zeros and the dust has settled, they're the kind of group that just makes more plays than the other guys.

The class also includes a pair of bounce backs -- kids who signed with WSU previously but needed to time to clear up their academic situation.

Here's the complete breakdown of the players expected to sign national letters of intent with WSU on Wednesday:

HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS

QB MARSHALL LOBBESTAEL
6-2, 210 – Oak Harbor

The state's Class 4A Player of the Year and one of only four players in the state dubbed blue chip (capable of college stardom) by the Seattle Times. Led Oak Harbor to its first-ever state title in 2006, passing for 34 touchdowns and 2,776 yards. "Marshall is the best quarterback, the best leader, the best passer, the best player I've ever coached," says prep coach Dave Ward.

QB J.T. LEVENSELLER
6-1, 190 – Pullman

Was 23-2 as a starter at Pullman High, throwing for 3,189 yards and 43 TDs in two seasons. Also rushed for nearly 1,500 yards. First-team all-league quarterback and second-team all-league defensive back in 2006. As a junior in 2005 he guided Pullman to a 14-0 record and the Class 2A state championship; earned first-team all-league and second-team 2A All-State plaudits. Son of WSU offensive coordinator Mike Levenseller. Also a standout basketball player. Plans to grayshirt in 2007 and enroll at WSU next January.

OL KEVIN FREITAG, 6-4, 286
6-4, 286 – Burien/Kennedy

First-team Associated Press All-State and one of only four players in the state named a blue chip prospect by the Seattle Times. Led Kennedy and its high-powered ground game to the state finals. Prep coach, Bob Bourgette, says Freitag is farther along at this stage than one of the most celebrated linemen ever to come out of the Seattle area: former Kennedy standout, WSU first-team All-American, and Detroit Lions starter Mike Utley. Named Seamount League Offensive and Defensive Lineman of Year. Will play center or guard at WSU. Squats 545 pounds and holds a 3.8 GPA.

OL STEVEN AYERS
6-4, 275 – Bellingham/Sehome

Rated the No. 33 prep guard prospect in the nation by Scout.com. A first-team all-classifications All-State pick by the Seattle Times and AP Class 2A all-state choice. A two-way star at Sehome High.. He is a favorite to win the state Class 2A state heavyweight wrestling title in 2007, and also is a standout in track and field. Chose WSU over UNLV and Oregon State.

OL ANDREW ROXAS
6-3, 298 – LaCanada, Calif./St. Francis

Rated one of the top 75 offensive guard prospects in the nation. First-team all-league three straight years and all-region as a junior and senior. Named Mission League's most valuable lineman in 2006. Had not allowed a sack in two years entering his senior season. Earned OL MVP honors at Washington State's summer youth camp in 2006. Chose WSU over Colorado, Baylor, Utah and many others.

FB LOGWONE MITZ
6-2, 220 – Redmond

Mitz, the son of former Seattle Seahawk Alonzo Mitz, is the No. 11-rated prep fullback in the nation by Scout.com. He averaged 104 rushing yards per game in 2006 and was on track for a 1,000-yard-year before an ankle sprain shelved him late in the season. He was named first-team all-Kingco Class 4A. He is a punishing runner who has been timed in the 40 at 4.55 seconds. Also is a league champion discus thrower.

WR JESHUA ANDERSON
6-2, 190 – Woodland Hills, Calif./Taft

One of the top high school hurdlers in the nation, he has 4.45 speed and outstanding route-running skills. Caught 40 balls for 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2006. Also had 12 rushes for 129 yards and one touchdown. As a junior, Anderson finished second in California in the 110 meter hurdles (14.30) and 300 hurdles (36.75). Ranked in the top 10 nationally for the 300h. Chose WSU over Oregon.

WR DANIEL BLACKLEDGE
6-0, 175 – Colorado Spring/Palmer

Named 2006 first-team all-classifications All-Colorado by the Denver Post, and second-team Class 5A all-state the Rocky Mountain News. Averaged 4.3 catches and 60 yards per game. As a junior in 2005 he hauled in 51 receptions for 876 yards and eight TDs. As a situational running back, he racked up 685 yards and 10 TDs. Also a standout in basketball and track, as well as he classroom. His prep coach calls him "explosive" with excellent cutting ability. Chose WSU over Colorado State.

DL B.J. GUERRA
6-4, 300 – Moses Lake

First-team AP All-State pick and the 2006 Defensive Player of the Year in the 4A Columbia Basin League. The Tri-City Herald calls Guerra "the most dominating force" and says "the soft-spoken Guerra has tormented and beat up offensive lines, garnering the attention of two, sometimes three blockers trying to keep him under wraps. And sometimes that isn't even enough." He also is a standout basketball player.

CB Chima Nwachukwu
5-11, 192 – Allen, Texas

First-team Dallas-area All-District in 2006. Hard hitter with great speed (self-reported 4.5). Has played both corner and safety but looks to have talent to play corner in college. Collected 90 tackles in '06, with four passes broken up and two interceptions. Chose WSU over Rice.

CB ROMEO PELLUM
5-11, 165 – Santa Fe Spring, Calif.

Rated by Scout.com as one of the top 100 prep corner prospects in the nation. Named his league's defensive MVP in 2006 after piling up 58 tackles, 11 pass deflections and a head-turning four field goal blocks. He picked off three balls and recovered a fumble. On offense, he pulled in 40 catches for 916 yards, rushed 20 times for 220 yards and scored 13 touchdowns, including one on a kick return. Has 4.49 speed. Chose WSU over Arizona State and Utah.

CB TYRONE JUSTIN
5-11, 165 – Culver City, Calif.

Hails from the same high school as Michael Bumpus. First team all-league selection at receiver as a junior and senior season. A two-way standout, at DB and WR. In 2006, had 69 tackles, four interceptions, two fumble returns for two touchdowns, and one punt return for a TD. On offense, had 34 catches for 499 yards and eight touchdowns. With 4.5 speed, also a standout in track, running the 100 meters and 4x400 relay. Chose WSU over Iowa State, UNLV and Nevada.

LB MARSHAL PIRTZ
6-0, 210 – Boise/Centennial

First-team Class 5A All-State pick as a junior and senior. Named conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, racking up 101 tackles, including 13 for loss. Had 95 tackles as a junior. Speed, very good mechanics, hits hard and a nose for the football. Also an exceptional wrestler, taking the state title at 189 pounds as a junior, with 40 pins in 43 matches. Has achieved a qualifying score on the SAT.

S ERIC BLOCK
6-1, 190 – Bellevue

A three-year starter at Class 3A powerhouse Bellevue, where he starred at quarterback and defensive back and led Wolverines to two state titles. Earned a plethora of honors in 2006 and 2005 for his work in the secondary --- first-team all-league, first-team All-Area and first-team Class 3A All-State by the Associated Press for both his senior and junior seasons. Rated one of the nation's top 100 prep safety prospects by Scout.com. Chose WSU over Stanford.

S DEON FORD
6-0, 195 – Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Tough and physical with speed in the 4.6 range. A 3-star receiver prospect who is penned in at safety for the Cougars but could also be a fine possession receiver. Caught 30 passes for 510 yards and five TDs in 2006, following up on a junior season with 23 receptions for 405 yards and five touchdowns. Played safety and linebacker as a junior, posting 56 tackles and an interception, as a junior. Chose WSU over Colorado State, Fresno State, Utah and others.

DE/TE TYSON PENCER
6-5 1/2, 240 – Delta, B.C./Sands

Turned heads of Cougar coaches at WSU's 2006 summer camp and earned an offer shortly thereafter. Could play tight end or defensive end, but based on his summer camp work it looks like WSU has him slated for defense. The son of a long-time youth coach, he began playing organized football when he was 5. Racked up a ridiculous 25 tackles in a single game as a junior, but had his senior season sidetracked because so many of Sands' opponents chose to forfeit rather than face what they considered a team with massively superior athletes. Chose WSU over Colorado.

JC TRANSFERS ALREADY ENROLLED

OL VAUGHN LESUMA
6-5, 340 – Mt. San Jacinto College; Fiji

Mammoth and athletic, this 3-star prospect could provide Cougs an instant answer at right tackle spot opened up by graduating Charles Harris. An all-league pick in 2006 as well as a second-team JC All-American selection. From Fiji, where he played rugby in high school. Played football for first time two years ago at Snow College. Transferred to Mt. San Jacinto College in southern California this past season. At the JCFootball.com spring combine in 2006 he benched 16 reps of 225 and showed good footwork and strength in O-Line/D-Line drills. Plays with energy and brings that attitude to the locker room as well. Will have two years to play two. Has completed a Mormon mission. Chose WSU over Oregon State, San Diego State and others.

TE DEVIN FRISCHKNECHT
6-3, 250 – Snow College; Manti, Utah

Exploded onto the scene as a pass catcher in 2006, and could figure in prominently for WSU with the graduation of Cody Boyd. Had 54 receptions for 763 yards and nine TDs for the season, ranking him No. 8 nationally among JC receivers. Was Snow's offensive MVP in team's bowl game. A full qualifier out of Manti (Utah) High, he was close to accepting an offer from Utah when Urban Meyer left for Florida. Has 3-to-play-2 for the Cougars.

JC TRANSFERS ENROLLING IN FALL

CB DEVIN GILES
6-0, 170 – Coffeyville College; Tampa, Fla./Jefferson

Attended community college out of high school, but only practiced with the football team while a running member of the track team. Ran the 100 meters in 10.66 in 2006. As a high school senior in 2005 he was rated one of the top 100 prep football prospects in the state of Florida and one of the nation's top 65 prep cornerbacks by Scout.com. Landed a scholarship offer from Rutgers. Is physical, anticipates well and supports the run nicely.

S TERRY MIXON
6-2, 220 – Grossmont College; Compton, Calif./Dominguez

WSU's first 5-star recruit in recent memory. A two-time junior college All-American, posting more than 200 tackles over the two seasons, along with 14 INTs. Had three kickoff returns for TDs and two INTs returned for scores. Never surrendered a TD in two seasons of JC ball. Chose WSU over Cal and Arizona State, both of whom he committed to at one point. Played quarterback in high school but was projected by Scout.com in 2004 as one the top 50 corner prospects in the nation. Committed to San Diego State over Oregon out of high school before academic hurdles detoured him to the same junior college that sent Derrell Hutsona to WSU a year ago.

DL OGA FAUMUI
6-3, 290 – Garden City College; Auburn-Riverside, Wash.

Big and athletic, he played both defensive tackle and defensive end in junior college. Racked up 47 tackles and eight TFLs in 2006 while earning second team all-conference honors at Garden City College in Kansas. Has a non-stop motor. As a prep senior in 2004 he was named Defensive Lineman of the Year in South Puget Sound League-North. Chose WSU over Hawaii. Will have three years to play two.

DE JESSE FEAGIN
6-3, 250 – L.A. Southwest College; Long Beach, Calif.

A 3-star prospect who plays with intensity, he registered 60 tackles, 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and returned an interception 35 yards in 2006. Graduated from Long Beach Jordan High in 2004 but missed qualifying by one point on the ACT. At the time, he had an offer from Oregon and was planning to become a Duck. Scheduled to receive his AA degree in June.

HOLDOVER FROM ‘06 CLASS

S CORNORRIS ATKINS
6-3, 205 – Reseda, Calif./Cleveland

Signed with WSU a year ago but fell short on the SAT. Now fully qualified and enrolled at WSU. Highly athletic player with size and speed (4.55) who could play receiver, safety or possibly linebacker. Logged 34 tackles as a prep senior in 2005 with two interceptions. On offense, he scored 12 TDs, caught 25 balls for 320 yards, and rushed 21 times for 112 yards. He was recruited by most of the Pac-10 a year ago, but academic concerns limited his offers to WSU, Nevada and Utah State. Could contend for immediate playing time in 2007.

DIVISION I-A TRANSFER/ALREADY ENROLLED

QB KEVIN LOPINA
6-3, 230 – Concord, Calif./ DeLaSalle

Transferred to WSU from Kansas State last summer, but counts toward the Cougars' 2007 recruiting class. Was named WSU's Scout team offensive player of the year during his mandatory year of ineligibility in 2006. Having redshirted his first and only season at Kansas State in 2005, he will have three years of eligibility for the Cougs starting in 2007. Rated by Scout.com as one of the top 25 prep QB prospects in the nation in 2005 recruiting season. As a high school senior he threw for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns, and ran for another 750 yards and 10 TDs. Runner-up for Bay Area player of the year, regardless of position, by the Contra Costa Times.


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