Wulff has a new recruiter in Markle

DESPITE OVERTURES FROM a school ranked in the Top 10 in the polls, plus a Pac-10 school and others, Darren Markle not only remains fully committed to Wazzu, the 6-1, 232 pound future Cougar rated the No. 25 MLB prospect in the nation is going to do all he can this weekend to convince others out on their official visits to join him out on the Palouse.

Oregon State, Utah and others have been calling, trying to get Meridian, Idaho standout Markle to come out on an official visit. Utah, ranked No. 7 in the nation with a perfect 12-0 record and a Sugar Bowl date with Alabama, has been recruiting particularly hard of late. Cougar fans, however, don't have anything to worry about, Markle says. He's not going anywhere.

"I turned those down," said Markle. "And I'm a man of my word. And I'm going to stick with it -- Washington State is the place for me," said Markle.

And Markle said he'll be doing some recruiting of his own this weekend. He said he's met most of WSU's 11 known commits over the course of the past year, with WR Gino Simone and OLB Andre Barrington the two he knows best.

"I'm still a solid Cougar and I'm hoping I can get some of those other guys that come up on an official visit there this weekend to be Cougars, too," said Markle.

MARKLE'S MESSAGE MIGHT have more heft behind it than your average recruit's. He traveled far and wide before pledging crimson back in June, making unofficial visits to, among others, Boise State, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Notre Dame, Northwestern and BYU.

"I've been around to all the other schools and I know this is the place I want to go," said Markle of WSU.

HE'S ALSO BEEN to Washington State quite a bit, estimating he's taken 5-6 unofficial visits to Pullman, including attendance at three home games. Sandwiched around those six-hour game day drives to Pullman, he was racking up 101 tackles his senior season -- with 13 for loss, four forced fumbles, two sacks an interception and two blocked extra points.

It was the second straight year Markle went over the century mark in tackles -- and this year, he did it in just nine games having missed two contests due to a knee strain. He was recently named to the Idaho Tribune all-area team, consisting of players from all state divisions. He was also named to the 5A SIC All-Academic team.

The all-state team will be selected later this month but already, Markle's prep football resume at Mountain View High lists a three-year All-Conference selection, a three-year starter and a three-year All-Academic team selection.

MARKLE IS ALSO a nationally recognized powerlifter.

There's sometimes a concern at a position like linebacker a guy can overdo it in a weight room and can get "stiff" -- they can't run as well and/or don't have the same lateral quickness. Markle, however, weighs within two pounds of what he did a year ago and while his personal bets have gone up, he says he's retained his quicks and his speed, he has a 40 time of 4.59.

In September, Markle hoisted two new personal maxes -- a 400-pound bench press and a 605-pound squat. Both are ridiculous numbers for a high school linebacker who weighs 230 pounds. But the things is, he's hoping to shatter those marks.

"Get ready to see the first 700-pound squat and the first 500-pound bench... Those are my two goals, to get a 700 and a 500 -- and to retain all my speed stuff. I'm trying to get that before summer," said Markle.

One of the things Markle said he's looking forward to this weekend is meeting with Washington State's new strength coach in charge of the football program, Darin Lovat, and the new Director of Strength and Conditioning, David Lang.

Go figure.

Darren Markle profile and video

  • Markle said Washington State has stayed in close contact throughout the recruiting process and that he's either called or talked to the Cougar coaches at least once a week this season. Linebackers coach Travis Niekamp came out last week for an in-home visit and had dinner with the Markle family. "I was happy he was able to come down, it shows that they care about me -- someone flying down that day just to visit me for an hour or so shows that he cares. I got to work with him at the (WSU) summer camp and in that (short time) he was able to help me, so it's going to be good working with him...Him and coach (Chris) Ball and coach (Jody) Sears, the defensive coordinators, it clicked when I was camp with them," said Markle.

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