Cougs jump into tie for DT after Wazzu trip

HE VERBALLED TO UCLA two weeks ago after becoming one of the fastest-rising JC prospects in the land. But defensive tackle Branden Warner still wanted to take his official trip to Washington State. Now, he says, following his Apple Cup visit on the Palouse, the Cougs and Bruins are deadlocked in the quest for his services.

DT Branden Warner, (6-1.5, 280, 4.78)   
Compton College; Compton, Calif.; 2-to-play-2

Where do Cougs stand in relation to UCLA post Wazzu visit:
"I would say they are equal now. I've got to go back to the drawing board and think it over now. It was nice, I didn't think it was going to be that much fun but I really liked it," said Warner.

Decision timetable:
"After I visit UCLA -- I've been up there two times to talk to the coaches but after my official visit...and compare the two. It's scheduled for the second weekend in December but I might change that to the first weekend in December," said Warner.

On rushing out onto the field to celebrate the Wazzu win; his first Apple Cup experience having prepped in Georgia and played his JUCO ball in California:
"It was very intense. The WSU fans were all into it, the Washington fans were all into it. That was a great game. It was a big game and I didn't really know much about (the Apple Cup) coming in," said Warner.

Thoughts on Pullman:
"It was nice scenery -- fresh air and everything!" said Warner.

The book on Warner:
Southwest L.A. College defensive coordinator Keith Miller was quoted in the Daily Breeze as saying Warner is; "Very polite, good student. He's ultra-explosive for his position. He's like a linebacker trapped in a defensive tackle's body." According to JCFootball.com's Scott Eklund, Warner is "about as athletic as it gets when you talk about defensive tackles...Warner has freakish athleticism for a young man his size. He benches 420 pounds, he squats 530 pounds and he claims a 4.78 forty time."

Stats and honors:
According to the official league site, Warner played in seven games this season, with 21 tackles, 6.5 for loss, three sacks, two pass breakups, four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles fumbles. Warner was named a SCFA first team selection. His freshman season, Warner posted 50-plus tackles.

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Warner's offers include Washington State, UCLA, Oregon, Arizona, Louisville and others. A California newspaper reported that Florida recently offered.

  • Warner said he's planning to graduate in December with his AA degree and become eligible to enroll in January and to participate in Spring Ball.

  • After an impressive prep career at Ben E. Mays High in Atlanta, he had offers from Louisville and Southern Miss but didn't qualify academically and so signed with Tuscalum, a D-II school in Tennessee. After redshirting in '06, he moved on to Compton.


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