MORE BREAKING NEWS: CC pipeline flows crimson

MICHAEL BUMPUS IS graduating, but he continues to be a force for Washington State. Over the weekend, he helped Paul Wulff land a verbal commitment from a good friend, and fellow Culver City product. The newest Cougar -- a 6-3, 260-pound junior college defensive end known for his physical play -- said Bumpus and the new coaching staff were the guiding forces behind his decision to go crimson.

Bumpus was a recruiting juggernaut during his time at Washington State. Among those from the '07 class who cited his influence as a factor in their coming to Washington State were Tyrone Justin, (also from Culver City), Daniel Blackledge and Logwone Mitz.

Joining Justin and Greg Walker on the WSU roster in '08 will be another former Culver City High standout -- Jesse Sanchez out of West LA College.

"I committed to Washington State," said Sanchez. "I had a bunch of schools talking to me but once I committed to Washington State, I stopped my recruitment. They lost a lot of defensive ends to graduation and it's the Pac-10. Plus the coaches are all great.

"But what really did it for me was my guy Michael Bumpus. And that a lot of guys from Culver City have gone through Washington State and have built a relationship with the school -- Greg Walker is up there and (Justin) is also up there. So Culver City and Washington State have always had a real good connection. And then while I was out there, I got along great with everyone."

SANCHEZ SAID he actually made his decision to pledge Washington State back in December, shortly after Wulff and his staff came on board and extended a scholarship offer. The Cougar staff, however, kept on him in the time between then and this weekend when he tripped in on his official to the Palouse.

"They kept on calling me and I just kept on assuring them that I was going to go there," said Sanchez. "And I cut off all contact with all the other schools...Washington State was where I wanted to be."

Sanchez said among the other schools that were coming on strong included Oregon State, Tulsa, Tulane, Nevada, Ohio and Marshall. His trip to the Palouse this weekend, he said, could not have gone better.

"My host was Andy Mattingly, outside linebacker, and they're about to convert him to defensive end and he did a good job in showing me around. He's a real nice guy, I got along real well with him and we just chilled at his place for a long time," he said.

IN SANCHEZ, THE Cougs look to be getting a physical DE out on the edge -- one who is big enough to stop the run, and who also has the speed to get upfield after the passer and to close off the corner.

"They like how physical I am," said Sanchez of Washington State. "They needed somebody physical at the defensive end spot so we can handle a bit more out there, someone who can handle the run and also be a pass rusher. And I can do both. I am physical against the run, and I can get after it on the pass rush.

"I had (this past season) somewhere around 65 tackles, about 5.5 sacks, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries."

Having never redshirted at West LA College, Sanchez has three to play two at Washington State.

"I'm excited to get the season going. I want to compete and help out right away," said Sanchez.

He becomes the ninth known verbal commitment to Washington State for the '08 class.

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