Recruiting: Cougs looking for another Ghost

TWO COUG TARGETS from Utah with WSU offers will be in Pullman this weekend. One is Isi (EE-see) Sofele, a running back who calls to mind CougGreat Jerome Harrison. He gets lost between the tackles, proves elusive out in space and in close quarters, courtesy of his ability to stop on a dime and hand off nine cents change. His impression of Wazzu and the Cougar coaches recruiting him? Read on.

WSU recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen noted earlier this year on CF.C that the state of Utah would be one that saw an increased recruiting emphasis from the Wazzu staff.


Running back Isi Sofele (5-7, 175) will be out on the Palouse this weekend for the USC game and says that good friend and defensive tackle Latu Heimuli (6-4, 305) out of Salt Lake's Highland High will be coming on an official as well.

Sofele, out of Salt Lake's Cottonwood High, has no favorites, is interested in taking all his visits and plans on making a decision after his season. But he has found a kindred spirit in WSU assistant and area recruiting coach Jody Sears.

"He's a great guy, he's in touch with me every week," said Sofele. "He really cares about me is what I've noticed so far -- he likes to follow up on me and my family. He's a really caring guy.

"The (coach) that's stood out to me is Jody Sears. And also the UCLA coach, (Norm Chow)."

THE WASHINGTON STATE and UNLV staffs, says Sofele, are recruiting the hardest.

"All the coaches I've talked to are talking about playing running back. UNLV called me the other day and was talking about utilizing me over the whole field, playing slot back, running back, wideout," said Sofele.

Sofele said college coaches offering him have ticked off a list of attributes they like about him. Step back to the 2005 WSU season, and it sounds an apt description of "The Ghost", otherwise known as Cougar All-American Jerome Harrison, who led the Pac-10 in rushing yards with 1,900 hashes (2nd in nation) in '05.

"They've told him I have good, fast footwork and they like the way I change directions. And then my feet and the vision that I have. And they've talked about my strength that I have when I run the ball," said Sofele.

IN ADDITION TO the offer from Washington State, Sofele holds ones from Hawaii, Utah, UNLV, Washington, SMU, Kansas State and Connecticut. Other schools who are recruiting strongly include Cal and Oregon State.

"Oregon State, they're just calling and say they want to keep in touch with me, and that I remind them of the running back (Jacquizz Rodgers) they have right now," said Sofele, who plans on tripping to Hawaii on Dec. 2.

SOFELE SAID he's particularly interested in finding out more about a schools' offensive style and balance. He also wants to stretch his wings, saying his preference is to attend college and play ball away from home and outside of Utah for the adventure of it.

"I'm into that, the "hurry-up" offense," said Sofele.

Sofele, who is Mormon, said he's undecided on when he would take his mission right out of high school or if he'll wait until after college.

"I'm trying to go on my LDS mission and it just depends too on whoever will let me go. I'm not positive if I'm going (right out of high school), I'm still in my mind thinking if I want to or if I'm going to (wait until after college)."

Sofele rushed for 1,600 yards as a junior.

Isi Sofele profile and video

Another Cottonwood player will be in Pullman but on an unofficial visit, said Sofele, his cousin, Asi Hosea, a 5-10, 170-pound defensive back.

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