BREAKING: Cougs land a 'cobra strike'

PAUL WULFF HAS landed known verbal commitment No. 7. His prep coach says the future Cougar linebacker's play can best be characterized this way -- he's a cobra strike. In a scrimmage a few days ago, the 'backer went full speed against one of his team's better and more athletic offensive linemen -- and one who weighed 310 pounds. The result? The future Cougar knocked the hoss flat on his wallet.

Federal Way's Andre Barrington is a Coug.

"I made my commitment to Washington State University, to the school and to the football team," said Barrington.

When extending the crimson offer back just before fall camp opened, Wulff had told the Evergreen State 'backer he was looking for a tough guy. And Federal Way head coach John Meagher says the Cougs are indeed getting all of that and then some in Barrington.

"In terms of a defensive player, there's no question," said Meagher. "He's got what we call a cobra strike. He's a quick hit. We have a pretty talented group of linemen this year. And in our scrimmage this past Saturday, he took a 310 pound athletic lineman -- who is pretty darned good -- and dropped him right on his can."

Barrington (6-1, 205, 4.5) had been waiting to make his verbal commitment until he and his parents discussed it further but after seeing the Cougar defense live at Qwest on Saturday, he talked things over with his parents. With his folks in full agreement, Barrington said he spoke with Wulff and area recruiting coach Mike Levenseller to give them the good news.

"Both my parents felt like it was the best decision for me to make," said Barrington.

"He's able to explode, and he just puts all of his weight and all of his strength into these hits -- one of my coaches said it's almost like he doesn't have any feeling in his face," laughed Meagher. "He absolutely just slams into guys."

THE COUGS lost their opener against Okie State but the defense had a strong showing. And Barrington was paying attention.

"It was a fun game to watch, the Cougars didn't do too well but it's a building year and they're getting better. And it's the first game of the year. I enjoyed being there," said Barrington.

Of particular importance to Barrington was the play of the linebackers and how coach Travis Niekamp has his group playing.

"I liked what I saw there. I thought they played really good. It made me pretty excited actually," said Barrington.

After the game, Barrington talked with Wulff, Levenseller and more of the WSU staff, and said it's clear to him the direction the WSU program is heading.

"They just talked about how they were building this year, and that they have a little bit of work to do. Everything is going to be alright there," said Barrington.

In addition to WSU, Barrington was seeing varying shades of interest coming from Cal, Oregon, Washington, Boise State, Idaho and UNLV. Washington State was recruiting the hardest.

BARRINGTON WILL LINE up at defensive back and running back for Federal Way in their season opener on Friday but the he'll be a hard hitting outside linebacker out on the Palouse.

Wulff has emphasized since arriving at Washington State that the Cougs will be recruiting hard working, athletic types who make their teammates around them better. That description fits Barrington well, said Meagher.

"What separates Andre from the rest is I think he is a terrific teammate -- I think that's one of his best qualities that may not always come through on film. He is a great on-the field teammate.

As a junior, Barrington was named first team All-SPSL 4A North as a running back, second team at defensive back.

He rushed for 1,028 yards and 13 scores in '07, with another eight receptions for 188 yards and two touchdowns via the air. Barrington and Federal Way play their opener on Thursday.

"He's just a great kid," said Meagher. "I'm happy that he's figured out where he wants to go and it will be exciting for him and WSU.

"And I'm glad that he's staying here in the state of Washington."

Andre Barrington profile

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