Tackling machine in Pullman this weekend

COMING TO THE PALOUSE this weekend on an official visit will be a linebacker prospect who has, over just the past 1 1/2 seasons, racked up nearly 250 tackles. He won't be the only member of his family present for the WSU-UCLA tilt and in forecasting where a prospect ultimately signs, few recruiting axioms are more tried and true than this: there is rarely an opinion that matters more than mom's.

Marcus McGraw (5-11.5, 210, 4.62) out of Arlington's Bowie High, just outside of Dallas, will travel up to Pullman this weekend.

When Washington State first began recruiting him earlier this year, McGraw wasn't sure about going to attend college and play football at a school outside of the Lone Star state. Those concerns, said McGraw, have been allayed.

And it turns out he won't be coming up by himself to the Palouse.

"I'm feeling a lot better about that (distance) because of my parents. They're talking about moving and so...(my mom) is going to come down there with me this weekend... and look at the state of Washington a little bit," said McGraw.

Both he and his mom, McGraw said, will also be keenly interested in learning about the academics at Washington State while on the visit.

MCGRAW SAID OF the schools who have offered plus those others who are recruiting him, Washington State is showing him the most love. Assistant Leon Burtnett is running the recruiting point for Cougs.

"I've been hearing from them a lot," said McGraw, who named SMU as another school he's been hearing from frequently over the past 4-6 weeks.

THE TACKLE NUMBERS McGraw has put up this season, and over his prep career, are eye-popping.

Through 6 games this season, McGraw has racked up 91 tackles, an average of over 15 stops a night. Last year as a junior, he logged a ridiculous 156 tackles in 11 games. As a sophomore, McGraw tallied 95 tackles.

Bowie coach Kenny Perry said not only that his numbers are legit, but so too is McGraw and his potential at the next level.

"He's played like a wild man," Perry told CF.C recently. "He's so mature for his age and he plays with such speed. He's a wrestler, and wrestler's have kind of a different mind set, and he plays like that on every play."

Washington State has shown interest in recent years in football players who have success as grapplers. Promising DE Kevin Kooyman and OL Steven Ayers both won state titles in wrestling during their prep careers.

Marcus McGraw profile

It's Cougar basketball and football -- both on Saturday. In preparation for its exhibition game against Lewis-Clark on Nov. 4, the Cougar hoops team will hold an intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at Beasley. The scrimmage is open to the public, and fans are encouraged to swing by before heading to Martin Stadium to watch the WSU-UCLA football game at 3:30.

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