Cougs first to offer Gem State 'backer

WASHINGTON STATE WILL lose three starting linebackers to graduation after the upcoming season in Greg Trent, Kendrick Dunn and Cory Evans. That figures to cast 'backer among the priorities for the '09 class. One Cougar target resides in Idaho where he's already putting up some eye-opening strength numbers as a senior-to-be. Washington State is the first school to offer him a full ride.

Darren Markle (6-1, 230, 4.59) out of Meridian racked up over 100 tackles last season for Mountain View High and he's a nationally recognized powerlifter. He was offered by WSU head man Paul Wulff on Tuesday evening.

Part of what makes Markle unique is that from a physical maturity standpoint, he's ahead of the curve.

"When I was talking to coach Wulff, he said my film was impressive and a big part of it was the strength that I have right now... and my abilities," said Markle. "He said I'd have a really good chance to fill in quickly and play early because of my weightlifting experience."

MARKLE SAID he plans to be in Pullman to spend some one-on-one time with the WSU staff in March.

"We're going to keep in contact and try to plan an unofficial visit (to WSU) in the next couple weeks," said Markle. "We're just trying to work out when I can go up there.

"The offer definitely puts them pretty high up. And I've been expecting a couple others too but this puts them high up there for sure...I've been working my whole life for football and it's starting to pay off so you get pretty excited about it."

Markle, who is Mormon, said BYU, Boise State and Northwestern are ones who have given some indication they could soon follow Washington State's lead.

He will unofficially trip Boise State next week, while other plans down the road include taking in junior days at Oregon and Washington. He's already taken preliminary trips to Notre Dame, Northwestern and BYU.

HIS EXPERIENCE WITH powerlifting is one that looks to be in the genes.

"My dad was a powerlifter in college at BYU and he ended up being the national collegiate powerlifting champion for his weight class. He started me lifting when I was pretty young...last year I was the national powerlifting champion for the United State for my age class," said Markle.

MARKLE'S STRENGTH NUMBERS include a power clean of 285, a squat of 550 and a bench press of 375. He said his goal in the next two months is to get his clean over 300. The clean is a number that many longtime followers of recruiting point to when assessing explosion and core strength as it relates to football.

Other personal bests include 24 reps with 225 pounds on the bar, 34 reps with 185.

Washington State likes Markle as an inside 'backer. At that spot last season, Markle racked up 107 tackles, six sacks, and another five tackles for loss his junior campaign.

"As far as (verbally) committing, I'm pretty open to a lot of colleges right now just because I haven't been able to go to all the colleges I want to and talk to all the it probably won't be too soon. But if I really fell I want to go to a particular school, I will," said Markle.

There is a ton of video on Markle available for CF.C subscribers by clicking on the link below.

Darren Markle profile and video

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