BREAKING: Cougs win recruiting battle for CB

THE COUGARS CONTINUE to score big out on the recruiting trail. Today, the Defensive back of the year in the Seamount League, a Kennedy High standout who was deciding between offers from Washington State, Arizona State, Minnesota, Boise State, Northwestern, UNLV and others, talked to his parents and came to a final decision. The top rated cornerback in the state of Washington, he went crimson.

Rated in the nation's Top 50 at his position, 3-star Burien cornerback Nolan Washington (5.11, 170, 4.4) is a Cougar.

"I chose to stay home, that's the quote right there," said Washington.

With Washington, a guy with some swagger, now in the fold, Paul Wulff and the Cougars have 12 known verbal commitments who average a 3.0 star rating on It is the highest rating a Cougar class has had this late in a recruiting season since recruiting sites like came into being.

What kind of player are the Cougs getting in Washington? The answer is two-fold. From a skills standpoint, he's an uber-athlete described by the Seattle Times as having "outstanding speed and great instincts," and a guy who can play corner and return kicks --or he could also end up, he said, playing receiver at Washington State if that gets him on the field sooner.

But just as importantly, he's an ultra competitive, mentally tough football player -- one who shrugged off a painful MCL strain to lace it up and lead Kennedy to a win. Despite being at considerably less than full health and in pain, Washington grabbed two INTs and rushed for 184 yards on 15 carries.

"There was no way I was missing that game...(Rasmussen) said he loved my competitiveness," said Washington.

WASHINGTON HAD SAID recently that he was pretty well set on taking all five of his trips. But today's conversation with WSU recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen, he said, was key in his final decision.

"Me and coach Raz had a good conversation today. We talked for about an hour and he broke it all down. He was being up front with me and he was real with it," said Washington.

WASHINGTON'S OFFER SHEET INCLUDED full rides from Arizona State, Northwestern, Minnesota and Boise State among others and he was seeing heavy interest from Oregon and Oregon State.

He was supposed to trip to UNLV this weekend but that's been cancelled. So too, are any other trips or interest. Washington had also recently said that after the UW named a new head coach, they too could also become an instant player for his services.

Not any longer, said Washington, who said he is rock solid on Wazzu and won't be changing his mind.

"I'm sticking with my choice. I'm a man of my word and I'm not going to commit and then go do all that -- nah. I'm staying with Washington State...And I'm excited about it!" said Washington.

WASHINGTON IS VERY tight with both Gino Simone and cousin Brandon Jones. He said both have been hard after him to come to WSU throughout the recruiting process. And that includes recent events.

Simone, who verballed to WSU this summer, decided two weeks ago that he would take official visits to other schools, thereby becoming a soft verbal in Scout's system. But over that two week period, including at an All-Star photo shoot a few days ago, Washington said Simone has continued to work on him hard to join him at Wazzu.

"Oh man, they have been on me," said Washington. "This last week, when they were trying to get me they were saying, 'Come on! We need you to solidify this!'

"Gino's been trying to get me since I don't know when."

  • Washington hails from Burien's Kennedy High, the same program that's produced Cougars' Kevin Freitag and Chris Prummer, as well as Mike Utley. The Seattle Times this fall called him "a touchdown waiting to happen."

  • Washington starred at defensive back, quarterback and receiver this year for Kennedy. He is is also a star in the classroom, carrying a 3.5 GPA and having already achieved a qualifying test score.

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