Cougs offer Bellingham TE, set official visit

THE CONTINUED EMERGENCE of the tight end in the Cougar offense was readily apparent in '07 as Jed Collins set the single-season record for Cougar TEs with 52 receptions. But Collins is graduating, and among the targets Paul Wulff is looking at to bring into the program is a 6-4, 220-pounder out of Bellingham. The lad now holds a crimson offer, as well as an official visit date to WSU.

Andrei Lintz (6-4, 220, 4.67) will trip out to the Palouse on Jan. 11. Wulff and assistant Travis Niekamp extended the Cougar offer to the Meridian High standout.

The Cougs like Lintz at the tight end spot. Wulff's no-huddle offense at Eastern employed multiple sets, and some of those were two-tights.

"It's close and far away, and I like the coaches," said Lintz of Washington State. "They're going to get things turned around. Plus, it's a Pac-10 school...I have a visit there on the 11th and a visit to Montana on the 25th."

FOR SOME prospects who have been trying to earn a Pac-10 offer all season, and particularly for one coming from a smaller school (1-A), the decision to jump on said scholie would be a no-brainer. For Lintz, however, it's not that cut and dried.

"I just want to take the visit, see the team and all that and then go from there. I want to see the campus and the atmosphere, and then see which one is the right fit for me," said Lintz.

Montana offered in June and has spent the past year cultivating a relationship with Lintz. Potentially in Montana's favor, a Big Sky school, is the chance to earn playing time sooner. For Lintz, who played against Class 1-A competition at Meridian, there is also a coaching connection.

Pete Kaligis, Montana's offensive line coach and Lintz' area recruiter, taught at Meridian Middle School from 1998-99 and was on the Western Washington staff prior to that from 1994-97. Kaligis is also close to Lintz' prep coach at Meridian High, Bob Ames.

"I like the coaches (at Montana) and Kaligis, he's definitely a good guy. He knows Ames really well, they're pretty good friends. They've got a good team there," said Lintz.

Montana is recruiting Lintz as an athlete, with an eye towards either tight end or defensive end.

LINTZ HAS ONLY been playing football a short time. Born in Russia, where his grandfather was a professional soccer player, Lintz came over to the States when he was six years old. A lifelong soccer player himself, he first stepped onto the gridiron as a freshman.

He began as a punter, earning first team all league honors his sophomore year. His junior year, however, he made his mark at tight end during Meridian's state championship season, with 49 catches for 718 yards and a school record 16 touchdowns. He earned all-district, all-Whatcom County and Class 1A all-state AP honors on offense.

This past season, Lintz caught 35 passes for 628 yards and five TDs. He also rushed 54 times for another 442 hashes. Additionally, he served as the team's return man, with nine kickoff returns for 251 yards and 1 TD, with 37 yards on seven punt returns. All told, he logged 1,358 all-purpose yards with 11 total TDs.

Among his honors and accolades in 2007, Lintz was again named first team all-district at tight end, as well as punter, and captured district Defensive MVP honors. He was named AP first team all-state on defense and as a punter.

Andrei Lintz profile

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