Wulff's state ties result in big CB gain

BACK IN THE summer of 2005, Paul Wulff and his EWU staff turned the head of a Seattle-area standout at their camp. Eastern didn't have much of a shot at the CB, what with Pac-10 schools Washington, Oregon and California all extending scholarship offers. But the player never forgot the impression that Wulff and crew had made on him and now, three years later, they've been reunited in Pullman.

Brandon Jones (5-9.5, 178), formerly of Cal and O'Dea High, has joined the Washington State football program. Jones is already taking classes at WSU and participating in the Cougars' voluntary summer workouts.

"I wish I had come here from the jump-start," said Jones.

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Jones joins James Montgomery in Pullman, another former Cal player who has enrolled at WSU, started taking summer classes and is participating in the Cougs' voluntary workouts. Both Jones and Montgomery will sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules. Each will have 2-to-play-2 starting with the 2009 season.

Jones said the coaching staff at Washington State, whom he got to know when O'Dea camped at Eastern, was the main reason he decided to come to Pullman. And an additional benefit he's discovered at Wazzu is working under the summer tutelage of the school's director of physical development, Rob Oviatt, the point man for the Cougs' voluntary summer workout program.

"I love this workout," said Jones. "Me and James have been talking about that, it's like every day we get done with the workout and say, 'We are about to get real good messing around with this coach and this weightlifting they've got going on here.'

"And we're learning a lot being with the team -- this whole team is together, they're all about the same thing and on the same page."

THE CRIMSON CONTACT with Jones didn't really get going until March-April, he said, by which time the Cougs were full up on scholies. Jones, being from Seattle, also reached out to Washington around the same time.

"At the U-dub, it seemed like they really wanted me but then they kind of shied off. So I figured I want to go with someone who wants me there and is really excited about me. And with Washington State, the coaches were really excited. That made me excited and to want to come here even more. I'm really glad I'm up here, more glad than if I were at the U-dub," said Jones.


Jones said it deciding to walk on at Washington State and look to earn a scholarship was not a difficult decision after talking with Wulff and Jody Sears. He's also good friends with the Cougs' Myron Beck, who graduated from Ingraham High the same time Jones graduated from O'Dea, and came to WSU as a walk-on from Glendale JC back in January.

After getting the skinny on the WSU program from Beck, he called Sears and then set out about getting enrolled at Washington State.

"I knew Myron and he told coach (Jody Sears) I was going to be calling him. And Coach said he really wanted to see if I could get up here..He really wanted me to come up here, so I got into school and everything has been good from there," said Jones.

JONES WAS A three star prospect coming out of O'Dea in the 2006 class, eventually signing with Cal over offers from UW, Oregon and others. The Oakland Tribune earlier this year said Jones was believed to be the fastest player on the Cal team, and was one of the Bears' top special-teams players in '07. He will have 2-to-play-2 at WSU after sitting out the '08 season per NCAA rules regarding transfers.

The recent decision to leave the Bay Area was partly about wanting to be closer to family.

"I kind of wanted to get back home just because my mom, it was kind of hard on her that I was that far away," said Jones. "And I wasn't really comfortable down there..it wasn't my type of environment. I really like this area at Washington State, it's laid back and I'm a laid back type of person."

Jones said he's spent the early part of his first summer out on the Palouse forming solid bonds with some of his fellow corners, like Tyrone Justin and Romeo Pellum, and also with senior Brandon Gibson.

He added that he's looking forward to working all summer long against the Cougs' leading wide receiver the past two years.

"We were just talking about that. I told him I need to get my work in because if I can guard you, I can guard anybody," laughed Jones.

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