UW rebuffed on end-run of Cougar verbal

GEOFF MEINKEN MADE PUBLIC his verbal commitment to Washington State late on a Wednesday evening. Early the next morning, the Meinken household was awakened by the telephone. It was a Washington Husky coach on the line, looking to get in on the Lynnwood High standout who weighs 250-pounds but runs so well that he plays tailback on offense.

UW assistant coach Chris Tormey, considered a golden-tongued recruiter, was on the horn to the Meinken's before the cyber-ink had even dried on CF.C's late-evening story about Meinken verbaling with WSU.

"He woke up my mom," said Meinken.

Earlybird Tormey didn't connect with the 6-4, 250-pounder with the 4.62 forty time until later that evening.

"He called my coach, and then he lectured me for 30 minutes that night why I shouldn't have committed that early. Well, he gave me a bunch of reasons why I shouldn't have done it so maybe 'lectured' isn't the right word. But it felt like it, so I didn't really talk I just listened," said Meinken.

Ironically, Washington had five early verbal commitments by this time last year. So "early" is apparently a term defined best by your relative status with a prospect.

FOLLOWING THE phone conversation, Tormey and the UW have since mailed Meinken a few letters. Meinken, however, said he's sticking with the crimson and gray.

"I'm solid. I went out last weekend and bought some Coug gear, a couple shirts and a couple pairs of shorts. There was even a really nice sale on a pair of (crimson and gray) shoes, so I got a nice pair of those also. The more and more I think about it, the happier I am with my decision," said Meinken.

It's a busy time for Meinken right now. His offseason workouts in two sports overlap so he has football from 2-5:30 p.m., and then basketball runs from 6-8 in the evening.

Lynnwood is implementing some new schemes on offense this year and Meinken, who will play defensive end or defensive tackle at WSU, will be adding some new duties on offense.

Meinken plays both tailback and defensive end for Lynnwood. He rushed for 693 yards on 150 carries, scoring seven touchdowns as a junior. A three sport athlete in football, basketball and track, he is also a star in the classroom with a 3.4 GPA in a curriculum that includes AP and honors classes.

Meinken will head to Washington State as a d-end but depending on how he develops, could possibly grow into a defensive tackle under WSU line coach Malik Roberson.

"I'm really happy with my decision. The WSU coaches are great," said Meinken.

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