Interest grows in Northwest DB; WSU trip set

A FREE SAFETY PROSPECT out of Lake Oswego, Oregon, has seen interest pick up this month from, among others, a trio of Pac-10 schools, including Washington State. The 6-1, 198-pounder is headed to the Palouse this weekend for an official visit. He had a face-to-face with one WSU coach yesterday, and has been talking to another Cougar coach a lot lately.

Jay Matthews does not yet hold a Cougar offer but he will be in Pullman this weekend on an official visit. WSU recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen was at Lake Oswego High Wednesday for some one-on-one time.

"I talked with coach Rasmussen at Washington State, he came in to see me...we just kind of finalized things on the visit," said Matthews, who will trip to Pullman on Jan. 19.

Matthews earlier this week had also talked to both Rasmussen and WSU assistant Mike Levenseller on the phone, saying both conversations went very well.

"I like them a lot. They talked a lot about signing guys that are high character people and that's something that's important to me. I want to be surrounded by a bunch of good guys and that's what I think they are up there in Pullman," said Matthews.

MEANWHILE, OTHERS LIKE Oregon State, UCLA, Boise State, Stanford, Portland State and Northern Arizona are all showing varying shades of interest, with the latter two having extended offers.

Much of the recruiting contact has gone through Lake Oswego coach Steve Coury, said Matthews, but mentioned that WSU, Oregon State, UCLA under new coach Rick Neuheisel and Boise State are among those who have been ramping up their efforts.

"Oregon State is coming to town sometime this week to meet and they've just come on pretty strong the past few weeks," said Matthews. "I don't know how it will all go but I know (Boise State is) meeting with coach Coury...he said they're coming into town...Stanford is coming in this week.

"UCLA, ever since Neuheisel came on, they've jumped in a little bit the last two weeks. My family is friends with the former strength coach down there so ever since Neuheisel has been there, they've been watching my tape and said they liked what they've seen."

Matthews also tripped to Portland State earlier this year and said he holds a high opinion of both Jerry Glanville and Mouse Davis and the PSU staff. Northern Arizona was by for an in-home Tuesday and to offer Matthews a scholie, and Boise State came by the school this week.

ARE ANY OF the school talking about a possible grayshirt option with him?

"I haven't had any in-depth conversations with any of them on that. I know there was some mention of one at Oregon State but I'm not 100 percent sure (if that's the case). And nothing is for sure until you sign a piece of paper," said Matthews.

On the Beavs, Jay Locey and Nigel Burton have been in contact, as has head man Mike Riley.

"They were on me from the beginning, then we kind of lost contact during the season, and just since the end of the dead period I know Riley has been talking to coach Coury quite a bit. Coach Coury has been handling talking to them for the most part," said Matthews. "They've finished Top-25 the past couple and that's the sign of a really good program."

ALL SCHOOLS ARE recruiting Matthews at free safety -- he earned second team all-state honors on defense this past season. Whom he ultimately signs with will rely on a number of factors.

"It's not going to be one thing, it's going to be to be the total package. Strong academics, strong football program...I'm just going to take all my visits first and see how everything shakes out in the next couple weeks," said Matthews.

Jay Matthews profile

In addition WSU, Northern Arizona also came by yesterday, offering a scholarship, making an in-home visit and presentation on the defense. "Both visits went really well," said Matthews of WSU and NAU. He is scheduled to trip to Northern Arizona next weekend, on Jan. 25.

Cougfan Top Stories