'Sterling' LB high on WSU after Palouse visit

AMONG THE OFFICIAL VISITORS in Pullman this weekend to take in the Cougar experience was a 6-0, 231-pound linebacker with a penchant for tracking down ballcarriers and quarterbacks -- in nine games this season he has seven sacks and 13 total tackles for loss. And his visit to the Palouse? He says he loved every minute of it.

Washington State picked up two future starters last Signing Day from national champion Blinn College (Texas) in linebacker Ken Dunn Kendrick and safety Alfonso Jackson. And the Cougs are looking at more for the '08 class.

Linebacker Sterling Lewis holds a Cougar offer and was in on his official visit this weekend. Dunn served not only as Lewis' host but also as his sounding board about the Wazzu program.

"Seeing the football team and seeing my old teammates were definite highlights...Ken said he likes everything about being there except he was cold," said Lewis with a laugh.

Pullman's average high temp from May-October is 73 degrees according to the Weather Channel but the Palouse does experience all four seasons of the year, unlike some of the southerly states. Blinn is located in Brenham, the south central part of the state about 90 miles east of Austin where average highs soar into the 90s four months of the year. So coming from Texas, is the weather something that will factor into his decision?

"No, not at all," said Lewis. "I think it's a very high (possibility) that I will go there."

AMONG THE TRIP highlights for Lewis were the usual suspects most cite after an official visit to Washington State... the facilities, academics, team, coaches -- and especially the coaches, he noted.

"It went really good," said Lewis. "I like their facilities and the program they have up there...I like their (the staff's) intensity -- they make sure everything gets done right around there. I didn't see any downside, it was exactly what I was expecting."

In addition to Washington State, schools like Arizona, Arkansas and Tulsa are all showing Lewis the recruiting love. He said he thinks he will take an official trip to Arizona later this month.

"I just have to talk to the coach and set that up," said Lewis. "It (a decision) is going to come pretty soon. I should make a decision by December."

What drew the WSU coaches to Lewis, he said, was his quicks.

"They said they like my speed and how I get to the ball," said Lewis.

Lewis this season racked up 56 tackles (39 solo) in 9 games -- including an impressive 7 sacks plus another 6 tackles for loss.

He also had an interception, one that he took back to the house, and forced a fumble.

Lewis is a true sophomore, giving him 3-to-play-2 at the next level.

Sterling Lewis profile

  • Dunn and Jackson, along with Lewis, helped lead Blinn to the No. 1 ranking and national title in the final NJCAA Football Poll of the 2006 season.

  • Blinn teammate Paul Stephens, a ball-hawking cornerback with seven picks on the year, was not in Pullman this weekend but he might be one to watch as LOI Day approaches, said Lewis. "I think he's talking to Ole Miss and Arizona," he said.

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