No. 3: Post-camp, Cougs land California DL

IN TALKING TO high school coaches, it was apparent Washington State's first summer camp under Paul Wulff was already an unqualified success. And it just got a whole lot better. Wazzu has landed a California DL who tore it up in Pullman. The 6-4, 245 pounder had a gut feeling about WSU in the spring and on Saturday night, he pledged crimson and gray and became Wazzu's third known verbal commit.

Justin Clayton (6-4, 245), along with his mom and sister, visited WSU for the first time this past week while at the Cougars' camp -- but he had been thinking about Washington State for some time.

"I verbally (committed) to Washington State football," said Clayton. "When my dad and I got their first questionnaire back in the early spring, both of us had this weird gut feeling that it would be the right fit."

Clayton said the coaches told him they may put weight on him and move him inside to d-tackle, or he might play defensive end at WSU. Either way, his motor while playing the defensive line at the Cougs' camp is what resulted in the offer and him going crimson and gray.

"It was great to put on pads and go and hit people...Originally, I was just going to be there for the morning. But after they saw me they asked if I could stay for the afternoon. They said (later) they liked my work ethic and how I just went at it and didn't fall back with contact. They said I have good skills, strength and just that they liked me a lot," said Clayton.

The feeling was mutual.

CLAYTON SAID he was struck by how welcoming Wulff, Jody Sears (area recruiter and co-defensive coordinator) and d-line coach Malik Roberson were during the camp.

"Throughout the day, they kept talking to me more and more... So I was kind of expecting something was up but going up there, I wasn't expecting (an offer) at all," said Clayton.

After he had received the Cougar offer and after he had returned home to Napa, Calif., it wasn't long before Clayton called up Sears.

"We got back, my dad and I and we all talked about it. And of course we were really, really excited about the offer. It's Pac-10 and it's a great school -- I like WSU a lot," said Clayton. "So I first called coach Sears after we got back to thank him for inviting us to camp. Then my dad talked to him, and then after that we talked about it as a family.

"It was just where I could see myself graduating from. And that's where I want to play football. So I called him and told him. He (said he) was really excited, really happy to hear that and he called coach Wulff and let him know."

CLAYTON IS THE definition of a sleeper.

He plays at a small Catholic school, Justin-Siena High, out in wine country -- not exactly one of the busiest stop on the recruiting trail. But he had a great junior season, and Washington State stopped by the school during the May Evaluation period. Cal and Fresno State had been in varying degrees of contact but WSU was the one showing the most serious interest.

Clayton earned first team all-league honors on both defensive and offensive lines as a junior, and also first team all-county honors on defense. He said he plans on having a similar impact at Washington State.

"I'm just really glad to be going there. Go Cougs!" said Clayton.

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