Does prolific tackler still have WSU in lead?

HIS TEAMMATE at Bowie tripped to Pullman last weekend. But this Texan took his official visit to Washington State three weeks ago, where do things stand for him now? Do the Cougars still lead for the Arlington linebacker who has racked up 364 -- and counting -- tackles over the course of his prep career?

Linebacker prospect Marcus McGraw took his official to Washington State on Oct. 27 and watched the Cougs win over UCLA. Much like Mohammed Usman, (the story is available here), McGraw, too, looks to be a strong crimson lean.

"I talked to him earlier and he was waiting to see how Usman liked it -- I wouldn't be surprised if they (go to WSU). Marcus went three weeks ago and he really liked it. He was waiting to see what Usman thought because they're pretty close. They're on the wrestling team together, too," said Bowie coach Kenny Perry.

McGraw, exceedingly polite and soft-spoken, agreed with his coach's assessment.

"Oh he said it," agreed McGraw. "I really did like the trip out there. It's a good school...I liked the atmosphere. It was, overall, a very good visit. I liked the surroundings."

The college town feel appealed to McGraw, he said, as did how the town revolves around the school.

High school recruits sometimes have a concern about traveling away from home for college, and McGraw told CF.C back in September distance could indeed be a factor. But having now seen the school, and met the Washington State players and coaches face to face, that is no longer the case, he said.

Tulsa, Buffalo, Utah and UNLV have offered and SMU has been increasing their contact of late. It is Tulsa, McGraw said, who is showing him the most recruiting love behind Washington State. McGraw said official visit plans to Tulsa are a "maybe, I'm not sure yet."

ON THE FIELD this season, McGraw (5-11.5, 210, 4.62) has been his customary, omnipresent tackling machine self.

For the season, he has 113 tackles (60 solo) 4 sacks, and an interception and forced fumble. The running three year tally for McGraw sits at 364 tackles headed into Bowie's opening round playoff game on Friday.

Last year as a junior, he logged a ridiculous 156 tackles in 11 games. As a sophomore, McGraw logged 95 tackles.

He's also a leader -- something WSU prizes in recruits -- despite a naturally quiet nature. It is McGraw who relays the defensive signals in from the sideline and calls out the pre-snap adjustments. His teammates respect him, says one Dallas-area newspaper, because of his talent and leadership skills.

That sounds a lot like another Texas run stuffer McGraw could follow in the footsteps of -- Washington State junior Greg Trent.

The Cougars' starting middle linebacker since midway through his freshman season, Trent was quiet as could be during the recruiting process. The junior is now a team captain, and was a noticeably vocal presence in fall camp this year in Pullman. There are other similarities in the way the two play as well.

"I love playing linebacker, the hitting, the tackling," McGraw told the Star Telegram. "I'm not the loudest guy on our team, but if I have to step up and say something I will."

Marcus McGraw profile

  • Washington State has shown recent interest in football players who also have success as grapplers. Promising DE Kevin Kooyman, OL Steven Ayers and LB Marshall Pirtz all won state wrestling titles during their prep careers.

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