2 COMMITS: Cougs sign pair of Texans

RECRUITING NEVER STOPS. When Bill Doba introduced his 2007 class three months ago, he said the Cougars had some room to add another player or two and would be on the lookout for defenders who could play right away. Sure enough, the Cougs recently signed a pair of JC transfers who will be counted on to help this season -- a 5-10, 188-pound DB and a 5-10, 245-pound linebacker with 4.49 speed.

LB Ken Dunn (5-11, 245, 4.49) and DB Alfonso Jackson (5-10, 188, 4.43) were high school teammates in Hearne, about 100 miles northwest of Houston. They then traveled south about 50 miles to attend the same junior college, where they will receive their AA degrees this month. The next stop for the duo?

The Palouse and Washington State.

"They offered them about three weeks ago and they signed about two weeks ago. They will graduate from here in May and then enroll up there in June," said head coach Brad Franchione at Blinn College, the 2006 NJCAA National Champions.

Both received feelers from D-IA schools but when nothing solidified before Signing Day, both chose to forego signing with a D-II school to wait and see if one of the big boys would come calling in the spring. Washington State was the first one to come through the door.

"I kept telling people, they were missing on this kid," said Franchione of Jackson. "I don't think there's any doubt he's a Division I kid. Hawaii was going to offer Alfonso and they were also talking to Ken. I don't think there's any doubt Washington State got a couple of steals. They're great kids, they're good students --- and they are great football players. They are competitors in every sense of the word."

JACKSON LINED UP mostly at free safety for Blinn. An exceptional tackler in the open field, he also served as the team's third cornerback, said Franchione, and that may be where Washington State will try him first.

"He can play man coverage, which is one of the things that made us great last year. He is the best open field tackler I have ever coached -- and I've been coaching for 12 years and I've seen a few," said Franchione, the Southwest Conference coach of the year in '06. "In the two years he was here, he did a phenomenal job of stopping the bleeding. We might make a mistake on the front end of the running play but Alfonso would clean it up and make the tackle."

Jackson racked up 54 tackles in 2006, with two for loss, plus a pair of interceptions and two pass break ups.

WITH DUNN, in addition to the linebacker's quickness and flat-out speed, he is one of the strongest players to ever come through the Blinn program regardless of position, said Franchione.

Indeed, Dunn's squat is a ridiculous 630 pounds. He also sports a 315 pound power clean.

"Ken is a great athlete, he's very strong. He's got great quickness and he can really play in open space. The other thing is Ken had six sacks as a rusher," said Franchione.

Dunn logged 36 tackles this past season, with six for loss, plus seven quarterback pressures, six sacks and a fumble recovery.

Both have two to play two for Washington State.


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