BREAKING: Cougs land 21st verbal

WASHINGTON STATE's new coaching staff continues to make haste on the recruiting trail. WSU has landed its 21st known verbal commitment -- a Pasadena-area offensive lineman who hails from the same high school as Cougar lineman Andrew Roxas. The college-town feel of Pullman was a big draw, says the 6-foot-5 tackle.

Alex Reitnouer tripped to Washington State this past weekend with his parents. He arrived in Pullman without a WSU offer but that changed quickly.

"They did offer me a full ride and I verbally accepted it," said Reitnouer. "The Pac-10 has always been close to my heart -- I grew up watching the Pac-10 so that helped but when I went up there, I just liked the campus.

"I like (the location) because people won't all be traveling out to go home on the weekends -- all the students that are there make it a good college campus. The people were all really nice, the coaches were all really cool and the facilities, they were awesome. I just really liked it.

REITNOUER SAID said he felt a strong connection with Harold Etheridge, the Cougs' offensive line coach.

"I really do like him, he seems like he cares about the players a lot and he's going to teach us well," said Reitnouer.

REITNOUER CHECKS IN at 6-5, 235 pounds, so he has some weight and muscle to put on before getting in the Pac-10 trenches on Saturdays.

But weight is something that can be gained in a college strength program -- athleticism and a quick pair of feet are not so easily developed.

"They (WSU coaches) said they liked my quickness," said Reitnouer. "They're looking at building me up, getting me a little bit bigger, having me play tackle and still be athletic."

Reitnouer, from La Canada's St. Francis High, was hosted on his official visit by Roxas, whom the Cougs landed out of the same high school a year ago. Roxas started at center as a true freshman in the win over UCLA this past season, and he and Reitnouer talked about the possibility of lining up together on the Wazzu line in the coming years.

"We were pretty excited about that," said Reitnouer.

HIS SENIOR SEASON, Reitnouer played offensive tackle and defensive end (38 tackles, two sacks) for St. Francis. He earned the Mission League's Most Valuable Lineman Award, was named first-team all-league and captured all-area honors.

Reitnouer also was named first team All-CIF, the only such selection from the Pasadena area this season. In so doing he followed in the footsteps of Roxas, who in his senior season at St. Francis was also named the Mission League's Most Valuable Lineman and was named All-CIF first team.

"He never left the field from either side of the ball," St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds told the Glendale News Press.

"He was just dominant as a defensive end and I can't recall him giving up any sacks individually as an offensive tackle...The best quality about Alex Reitnouer is his motor - it never turns off. He is in unbelievable shape for a big man, for the positions that he plays, and he can run sideline to sideline every play. He never takes a play off."

Reitnouer said he's cancelled a remaining trip to Northern Arizona.

"I'm looking forward to coming up there next season. Go Cougs!" said Reitnouer.

National letter of intent signing day is next Wednesday. The maximum number of prospects a school can sign in one year is 25. If all the verbals WSU has secured so far stay true, that would leave four slots to fill between now and next week. WSU coach Paul Wulff has said that he may consider oversigning by one or two depending on the academic outlook of his verbals.

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