Bruiser makes impression on potential protégé

STEVE BROUSSARD WAS a one of a kind running back at Washington State, finishing seventh on the Pac-10 career list for all-purpose yards before embarking on a nine year NFL career. The shorter, quick backs with power have made an impact in the Pac-10 -- and one '09 class RB with a Cougar offer hopes to emulate the guy from Wazzu who is recruiting him. And he's eyeing his WSU official visit date.

Washington State was the first from the Pac-10 to offer Arby Fields (5-8.5, 190, 4.45), who also holds offers from Northwestern, Duke, UNLV, Colorado State and Nevada. He's also seeing varying shades of recruiting love coming from Stanford, ASU, Cal and USC.

Loquacious and called a "fiery leader" in the local press, the Rancho Cucamonga standout said the area coach recruiting him for Wazzu, Steve Broussard, has struck a chord with him.

"Great guy," said Fields. "I feel like I have a really good personal relationship with him... We're not the tallest of guys but he was a guy who rushed for 1,000 yards a year in the Pac-10 and has been to "The League". He's done everything that I want to do.

"I really feel like that's a big plus (potentially) learning from that guy -- it can't get any better."

AN OFFICIAL VISIT date to WSU has not been set in stone but is tentatively planned for next month when the Cougs play USC. Also tentatively in the works, a November official to Northwestern. And Fields plans on taking an unofficial to ASU this weekend.

"As far as Washington State goes I have not been there yet but I'm looking forward to taking my official trip...Them being 0-3 right now really doesn't affect me as far as wanting to play at Washington State," said Fields. "The Washington State program speaks for itself and the coaches have told me they are (building) and playing a lot of young guys.

"I believe Washington State is a program that is going to be on the rise, a program that maybe in a year or two can compete for the Pac-10 championship...Going to Washington State with all their (upperclassmen) running backs, I can possibly step in there as a true freshman and earn the job there. And you can't ask for more being a true freshman to compete at such a high level in the Pac-10 conference."

FIELDS SAID WSU, all the offering schools plus Stanford, ASU and Cal had been in touch since coaches were allowed to place a call to prospects on Sep. 1.

Despite the glowing review of Washington State and Broussard, Fields said he has no frontrunner and he has timetable for his decision. He's also a standout baseball prospect who a) may try to play both sports in college and b) some have said could be selected in the Major League Baseball Draft.

If the majors do come calling, Fields certainly didn't close the door, but he's leaning towards college.

"Every kid's dream is to play a major league or professional sport but the major leagues and the draft aren't going anywhere..but baseball and football aren't going to last forever and education is a major factor in my family. But I can't tell you for sure right now what would happen there," said Fields.

FIELDS SAID THE schools that have offered him have said they liked that he's elusive, has great vision, runs hard with good speed and that he isn't afraid to run between the tackles. There's also the fact he has emphasized both the student and athlete in the term, "student-athlete".

"That's another reason schools say they've have offered me, because I'm a good student," said Fields, who holds a 3.5 GPA and has achieved a qualifying score on the ACT.

Distance won't play a factor in his decision, he said, but a warmer climate might.

"As far as being close to home, it would be nice to stay in California but I also think it would be cool to live somewhere else. Distance doesn't really concern me...Being born and raised in California you get used to great weather all the time and I'd rather be in the heat than the cold...but if I'm going someplace to play football, it's not going to matter too much to me," said Fields.

THROUGH TWO GAMES in his senior season, he doesn't have a lot of rushing yards to show for it. Opponents have geared their defenses to stopping the run, Fields said.

"My coaches are doing a really good job of moving me around because it seems like every game, they're putting eight in the box and sending the house. But we're 2-0 and as long as we're winning football games, that's what matters so I'm not upset that I'm not rushing for 200 yards a game. That's going to come eventually," said Fields.


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