Nationally rated QB knows his Cougar history

MOST HIGH SCHOOL football prospects these days can't cite chapter and verse on Ryan Leaf and the 1998 Rose Bowl. And most don't talk about Jack Thompson -- who starred at WSU 30 years ago -- in reverent tones. California's Tate Forcier is different, however. He's also one of the top-rated quarterbacks in this year's class and holds an offer from WSU.

It's a vivid memory for Tate Forcier, the 1998 Rose Bowl.

"I went to that game and I thought it was so exciting. We knew all about Ryan Leaf and Charles Woodson.

"And the background of the Washington State quarterbacks -- I know about Jack Thompson, Ryan Leaf, Drew Bledsoe. Those are three legit quarterbacks. That's something I do look at and it's something that Washington State has done, producing quarterbacks to the next level," said Forcier, who is rated as the No. 10 QB prospect in the nation by

Forcier has also done his homework on the present day Cougs, particulary head coach Paul Wulff.

"Something else I've noticed is that coach Wulff is alumni. I think that's really interesting and it shows what a great place Washington State is, that someone is going to come back and coach there," said Forcier.

That doesn't mean Washington State fans should think WSU is in the driver's seat. Forcier has 30 offers, says about 15-20 of those are recruiting hardest, and says he does not have anything approaching a top five.

"It's hard to eliminate any schools right now, and I have no negatives about any of the (offering) schools right now," said Forcier.

TODAY, HE'LL BE at Oregon and will possibly also visit Oregon State. Forcier, whose two brothers are quarterbacks at UCLA (Chris) and Stanford (Jason), had originally thought he too wanted to stay in the Golden State for his college career but that looks to have changed.

"I am visiting Oregon (today)...and I'll try to hit Oregon State at the same time...Earlier, I was (thinking in-state) but now that I've thought about it, I want to go experience something new. I want to be different and I'm looking forward to getting out of California," said Forcier.

THE QB POSITION is generally the first to verbal in recruiting -- everyone looks to get their quarterback early. Forcier had planned on making a decision at the end of the spring but found himself too busy with school -- he's looking to graduate early in December -- to visit as many schools as he wanted to. The earliest a verbal commitment will come is likely in the summer.

"I'm just going to take in the process and take my time with it," said Forcier.

Between then and now, he plans on visiting schools conference by conference. He's been to Florida, Penn State and Michigan already and holds high opinions of all three and their respective coaching staffs. Because he's home schooled, (he holds a 3.3 GPA but wants to bring it up to a 3.5) his travel flexibility is greater than most recruits.

"I'm still going to try and get up (to WSU) but if not, I hope they'll come down during my spring practices," said Forcier.

ACADEMICS AND BEING comfortable with his position coach, offensive coordinator and the rest of the staff will be important but neither distance nor a particular style of offense will be much of a factor, said Forcier, who plays in mostly a spread offense but who also runs some pro sets at Scripps Ranch High.

"Several coaches have told me, Oregon, Michigan, Penn State, Iowa, Iowa State, others, they've all told me I have a chance to come in and play right away," said Forcier.

Forcier passed for 2,387 yards and 21 touchdowns against six interceptions as a junior, and completed 164 of 213 attempts on the season. He also carried 66 times for for 733 yards (11.1 average) and six touchdowns. It is his mechanics, he explained, that have made him a hot commodity.

"Every coach has mentioned my mechanics...Wisconsin, the Notre Dame coach, Florida, they've all told me they've never seen mechanics at this level that were that flawless. I had a 77 percent completion percentage this year and I know a lot of it was (due to) my mechanics. I have a very quick release and I have really fast feet. It takes a lot of work but it's worth it," said Forcier.

Tate Forcier profile and video

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