Cougs' Canadian holdover makes his plan

TYSON PENCER had been hoping to hear back from the NCAA -- that he had been cleared in time to enroll at Washington State for the spring term, go through spring ball and then summer classes prior to the fall camp that begins in August. With still no word from the NCAA and classes now well into their third week in Pullman, the 6-6, 270 pounder has his new college plan set.

That plan remains to come to Washington State.

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"I'm just going to go back to school and upgrade that mark...At this point, it's too late. I'm hoping that they come back and say that I'm accepted so I don't have to go to school but if that's they way it goes...then I'm just going to go back to school and upgrade that mark," said Pencer, who remains in good spirits.

Pencer would then enroll at WSU for summer classes prior to fall camp, or come down for fall camp and enroll for the fall semester along with the majority of WSU's incoming 2008 class.

PENCER LOOKED SET to start his Washington State career last fall. Out of Delta, B.C., he was pre-cleared by the NCAA's academic clearinghouse and good to go in the eyes of WSU itself. He was actually in Pullman for August workouts when the NCAA switched gears and said he wasn't eligible.

The hangup? One class, in which Pencer said he received a high enough mark in Canada but that the NCAA, in apparently looking at the differences between the educational systems in Canada and the U.S., adjusted his mark downward so that he now falls 0.07 below the cut-off line. Pencer is upbeat when talking about his situation.

"I'm like (0.07) percent away in one course and that's from their standards. From my (Canadian) standards, I've already passed everything. So not very much (left to do)," said Pencer. "The best I can hope for now is I'm good. If not, then I'll have to just upgrade the mark to the standards they left my GPA at."

Pencer could either take the one course online or physically go to class, and said he'll make that decision once he does actually hear back from the NCAA.

IF THE NCAA does not grant the current appeal, Pencer re-takes the class, and then still fails to qualify in the eyes of NCAA by August, then he may look to enroll at Western Washington. But the goal simply remains to play Pac-10 ball at Washington State. Mike Levenseller has been the contact point for Pencer at WSU.

"My parents have been talking to him and he's been doing as much as he can to help me out...and it shows they want me down there. There's only so much he can do himself when it comes down to the NCAA and all that. But I know he got a good word in with the new head coach," said Pencer.

For his part, Pencer has spent this past fall and winter lifting weights, and also played in the Vancouver Mainland Football League.

"I just started a new (workout) program that goes (M, T, Th, F) and will hopefully be doing that for a couple months. The powerlifting (part) I just started, and then I'm going to work part-time," he said.

IN THE VMFL and currently, Pencer's physique no longer resembles what is was when he committed to Washington State. Back then, he was 6-5.5, 230. He now stands a little over 6-6 and checks in at a rock-solid 270 pounds.

The additional muscle apparently hasn't had an adverse affected on his quickness and speed.

"I started out as d-end and they moved me back to middle linebacker. Because other teams would just run to the opposite side...I'd get 'em, but at d-end it would take me a couple yards more," said Pencer with a laugh.

Where Pencer might line up at Washington State -- defensive end? defensive tackle? tight end? -- will be determined by what happens when he gets to Washington State and out on the practice field.

"I think it will just be wherever they think I'm going to do the best," said Pencer.

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