4-star's verbal not surprising considering...

A SURPRISING VERBAL this weekend is not so surprising, not when you consider the three key points that were reinforced when 4-star defensive end Bernard Wolfgramm pledged to Washington State. One is about recruiting in general, another about Cougar recruiting under new head man Paul Wulff. The last is simply a recruiting bromide, one that history has shown you can pretty much hang your hat on.

Bernard Wolfgramm (6-3, 270, 4.8) tripped to Washington State on Jan. 11. The Palouse visit went as well as it could, and he had a great time. Still, there also appeared little doubt back then he would ultimately wind up at K-State when all was said and done. Indeed, it seemed awfully close to a slam dunk.

But in recruiting, there is no such thing as a slam dunk. Things can and do change quickly. What is true on Monday isn't necessarily the case on Tuesday, and the case of Wolfgramm is yet another textbook example.

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Among the reasons Wolfgramm is Palouse-bound is because after his visit to Washington State, when it was looking like for all the world it would be K-State, the Washington State staff didn't concede the recruiting battle.

In talking to Wolfgramm, it became clear that Jody Sears, Malik Roberson, Rich Rasmussen and Wulff all had a hand in it during the final stretch.

Recruiting battles will continue to be won and lost, but there is no substitute for hard work. And the payoff in this case -- a 6-3, 270-pounder who can, according to his coach at the College of San Mateo, really fly for his size -- is worth cheering about about if you're a college coach.

"They were really excited when I told them," said Wolfgramm. "I at first told the d-line coach (Roberson) and then he put coach Wulff on the phone and he was telling me how excited they were to have me there. I told him that I was proud to join the family," said Wolfgramm.

WOLFGRAMM SAID ROBERSON, his future d-line coach at Wazzu and the guy who will be working with him the closest, reminds him of someone he holds in high regard.

"This is a real good guy," said Wolfgramm, originally out of San Mateo High. "He knows my head coach from high school, T.J. Ewing -- and he reminds me a lot of him."

Wolfgramm figures to challenge immediately for playing time on a d-line that lost both starting defensive ends to graduation and returns but one starter overall in DT Fevaea'i Ahmu.

"I just want to put in my work and help this team get to where it needs to be, and I'm proud to take and earn that spot. I'm ready for anything. ...I'm ready to help them out up there, with the new head coach and coaching staff," he said.

IN READING THE tea leaves and watching the recruiting wars over the years, CF.C long ago came to one inescapable conclusion and it's relevant here -- the influence that moms have over a prospect's decision generally supercedes the opinions of anyone else.

If mom is leaning a particular direction, you can bet the kid is being pulled that way as well.

And with Wolfgramm, mom was in the corner of Washington State.

"I went over it all with my mom in making my final decision. It was based on being closer to home, and she can watch all my games at that school, at Washington State," said Wolfgramm.

Bernard Wolfgramm profile

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • CSM d-coordinator Tim Tulloch: "He's a phenomenal athlete and player...He can play either side at defensive end. He's 6-3, 270 and can just fly for a man his size."

  • Wolfgramm logged 9.5 tackles for loss and four sacks this past season among his 45 sticks over 10 games, including CSM's victory in the Bulldog Bowl. The fourth leading tackler on the San Mateo team, he also forced two fumbles and helped lead the Bulldogs to an 8-3 mark on the season.

  • On pace to graduate in May, Wolfgramm has 2-to-play-2 at Washington State.


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