AN UBER-ATHLETE and a winner. That aptly describes WSU's first known verbal of the '08 class. The future Coug is aiming towards all-state in football and basketball -- Mark Rypien and Ryne Sandberg territory. He's also used to winning. His hoops team didn't lose last year, steamrolling to 29-0 and the 4A state title. On the gridiron this season, his team's undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the state.

First team all-state wide receiver Jared Karstetter (6-4, 195, 4.53) out of Ferris High (10-0) sent his senior season tape out to Washington State last Monday. He was offered by Washington State in short order, on Friday, and a final face-to-face sitdown with Bill Doba was scheduled for Monday.

On Monday afternoon, Karstetter drove down to Washington State and became a Coug.

"They asked what I was thinking and I said I'd like to come down and meet with them today and give them an answer. And then I committed today." said Karstetter.

Karstetter met with Doba, Mike Levenseller and Timm Rosenbach to deliver the news.

"Just living in Eastern Washington, I had always grown up being a Coug Fan, it had always been a dream to play in the Pac-10 and playing for the Cougs would be great. So that's what decided it for me," said Karstetter.

Despite missing some early time this season, Karstetter closed with a rush on the league lead in receptions, yards and was tied for the top spot in TD grabs headed into last weekend's opening playoff weekend. Including Saturday's nailbiting win over Moses Lake this weekend, Karstetter has 41 catches for 539 yards and 8 TDs on the season.

A dynamic athlete who received feelers from colleges basketball programs, the Greater Spokane League's most valuable player as a junior decided earlier this year his future was in football.

Ferris coach James Sharkey said Karstetter has some work to do in the weight room like just about every prep receiver prospect does but owns "a great will to win" and has a very big upside.

In recent press conferences, Doba has talked about the perils of making a lot of early scholarship offers before a prospect's senior season. With Karstetter, says Sharkey, his senior season is what resulted in the Cougar offer.

"What they (WSU) told him at camp was they wanted to see how he performed in the first half of this year...when I talked to coach Levenseller and coach Rosenbach recently, they saw the improvement they were looking for. They saw the improvement in his quickness -- that's what they were really waiting to see," said Sharkey.

A multi-sport winner, Karstetter hasn't tasted defeat in a calendar year. He could also become the first future Coug to earn first team all-state honors in football and basketball since Rypien and Ryno -- as a junior, he was honorable mention all-state in hoops, as well as his league's MVP while playing on the same team as DeAngelo Casto and Shawn Stockton.

The last time Washington State's first known verbal came this late in the year was the class of 2000. Cougar fans hope history repeats itself and on two fronts -- both overall and in regards to Karstetter.

In the class of 2000, Erik Coleman, also a GSL star like Karstetter, became the first WSU verbal commitment over the '99 Halloween weekend.

Among those who verballed to WSU after Coleman and signed in February -- Jason David, Calvin Armstrong and Hamza Abdullah -- all in the NFL, along with Cougar mainstays and key contributors Sam Lightbody, Tai Tupai, Nakoa McElrath and Dave Minnich.

Jared Karstetter profile

Cougfan Top Stories