Speed merchant corner draws crimson interest

SPEED ON THE GRIDIRON is the one thing they haven't learned how to teach yet. A junior college lightning bolt at Bakersfield with serious hops, and who prepped in the Evergreen State, is drawing initial interest from Washington State. The 6-1, 181-pounder is pointing towards earning his AA degree in December, making him eligible for spring ball. Most like him as receiver, but not the Cougs.

Attrail Snipes is a soft verbal to Hawaii, saying he's keeping his options open. One of those possibilities is Washington State.

Washington State and UCLA are two Pac-10 suitors who like Snipes at corner, a position he hasn't played before. Snipes said the Cougs and Bruins think he might have the speed, hops and hips to make a solid Pac-10 corner. Snipes also has a cousin at WSU.

"I've never played defense. But I do have a good vertical -- I've jumped 40.5 inches," said Snipes. "I've been trying to get bigger but then the coaches told me don't worry about getting bigger, just get stronger."

The other schools are all recruiting Snipes at receiver. Distance, he said, will not be a factor.

SNIPES SAID Hawaii holds an allure because of their propensity to pass the ball. An old Rainier Beach teammate, Adam Leonard who was a hot Pac-10 prospect until a devestating knee injury his enior year, is also a starting inside linebacker for UH and has been lobbying Snipes to join him at Hawaii.

"They're a passing team and they've been basically recruiting me since high school. Them, Oregon State and Washington are the schools that have been (recruiting) me since high school," said Snipes, who at the same time said contact from OSU and UW has been sparse of late. "(Washington) hasn't been contacting me lately, they've only talked to me once. I haven't really talked to Oregon State much recently either."

In addition to Idaho, Hawaii, OSU and UW, Snipes said he's heard from Sacramento State, USC, LSU and Kansas State.

Meanwhile, Idaho has also made their interest known. Vandals receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Luther Carr told him he'd like to have him standing next to him on Saturday afternoons, rather than see him across the field.

"He basically told me that they're in the WAC too and he didn't want to play against me, he wanted me to play for them," said Snipes. "I've never really seen them play but I've heard they have a young team."

Snipes' goal is to come out in December, earning his AA early and increasing his stock further by allowing him to enroll early and participate in spring ball. If not, he'll receive his AA degree in the spring. Regardless, he'll have 3-to-play-2 after enrolling at Bakersfield in the fall of 2006.

Because he'll be coming in as a junior, the opportunity to earn immediate playing time will factor heavily into his decision.

SNIPES THIS TRACK season at Bakersfield put up some blistering times -- 10.6 seconds in the 100 meter dash, a 21.7 in the 200-m and a 48.2 in the 400-m.

Snipes is also an excellent student, yet one who did not qualify out of high school.

He missed a huge portion of school over the years caring for his ill mother. And he'd also moved a staggering 40 times in his life before he finished his senior year. In the end, there was virtually no chance of qualifying, even though he went from rarely attending class to earning a 3.83 grade-point average in what amounted to his junior year.

This time around, however, without the same issues to confront him, he will earn his AA degree on time or perhaps even early.

His coach at Rainier Beach, Mark Haley, back when Snipes was in high school, explained his future on the gridiron this way to the Seattle Times; "He's going to play somewhere in college, whether it's a JC first and a four-year institution later. The game comes natural to him. Some people recognize him as a track guy playing football, but I think he's a football guy who runs track. He has that football instinct."

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