FINAL: WSU class pretty much wrapped up!

IT LOOKS TO have all gone about as expected. Paul Wulff unveiled a recruiting class today that features two nationally ranked running backs from California, a 4-star JC All-American end, six of the top 10 prospects in the state of Washington, a top 25 middle 'backer, a QB whose prep coach forecasts NFL potential, and a receiver who could be the most intriguing sleeper pick up in the country. has been bringing you wall-to-wall recruiting coverage throughout the day, including a continuously updated list of players whose LOIs have been received by WSU coaches; a late lunch-hour Chat Room visit for CF.C subscribers with WSU recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen, coverage of Paul Wulff's afternoon press conference, plus we'll have exclusive feature stories here on CF.C and much, much more. We'll also be on the airwaves -- on KIRO-AM 710 during Bill Swartz' morning updates between 5AM-9AM, with Ian Furness on KJR-AM 950 at 2 PM, and with Sean Widmer on Sports Radio 1510 KGA in Spokane during drive time.

February 4, 2009


LB Terrel Thompson (6-2, 215)  
Aurora, Col., Eaglecrest High
A big, explosive fullback in high school, Terrel Thompson punished defenses to the tune of 1,368 ground yards with 18 touchdowns. But as a rusher who sought out contact in Eaglecrest's modified wing-t offense, he'll come to Washington State on the defensive side of the ball -- at linebacker. He was named first team all-league at running back his senior campaign. In one game this season, he rushed for 399 yards and six touchdowns. Chose WSU over Boise State, Cal and others.

DT Justin Clayton (6-4, 245)   
Napa, Calif., Justin Siena High
Rated the No. 65 DT prospect nationally and a 3-star prospect. The Lineman of the Year in the Marin County Athletic League in 2008, was the County Defensive Player of the Year and was also named second team All-Metro defensive team by the San Francisco Chronicle. The paper also says he dominated the line of scrimmage his senior season, was one of the North Bay's top recruited d-linemen and stood out too for his run and pass blocking on offense. The high motor Clayton was also a bruising fullback in short-yard situations, scoring three rushing touchdowns. Chose WSU over Fresno State and others.

QB Jeff Tuel (6-3, 205, 4.67)   
Fresno, Calif., Clovis West High
Rated the No. 55 QB nationally and a 3-star prospect. The strong armed quarterback also made plays with his feet his senior season. Tuel posted 2,177 all-purpose yards in 2008, his first year as a starter after backing up touted Cal-bound senior Beau Sweeney. Tuel had 1,573 passing yards on 126-of-247 passing with 12 TD passes plus 584 rushing hashes. He has a high release point and threw one pass 69 yards in the air this season. Chose WSU over Nevada, Arizona and others.

S Casey Locker, (5-10, 170)  
Two-way star who led Ferndale to an 11-1 mark in 2008. Was named league MVP for the second straight season. Named all-classifications All-State at defensive back by the Seattle Times and first-team Class 3A All-State by the Associated Press at quarterback. Was a member of a 7-on-7 team from Washington that won an NFL national high school competition in summer ‘08. Also stars in baseball. Projects as a safety in college. First cousin is UW quarterback Jake Locker. Chose WSU over Washington.

LB Andre Barrington (6-2, 207, 4.5)  
Federal Way, Federal Way High
Rated the No. 59 safety prospect in the nation and a 3-star prospect, he'll come to Washington State as a linebacker. Barrington had 50-plus tackles and a pair of defensive touchdowns this season. One of the top athletes in the SPSL, he rushed for 1,169 yards -- the third-straight season he topped the 1,000 yard mark -- despite missing two games. Barrington had 15 touchdowns total, 11 of them rushing. A first-team, All-SPSL North choice for the second year in a row, he was also named News Tribune all-state. He is also a returning starter on Federal Way's 4A state runner-up basketball team this season on the hardcourt. Chose WSU over Boise State, Oregon State and others.

DB Asi Hosea (5-10, 175, 4.5)  
Moved from Hawaii to Utah prior to his junior year took up football at that time. Posted 58 tackles and 4 INTs in 2008 en route to All-Region honors. No. 79 on's Northwest Hot 100. Chose WSU over SMU, Kansas State, Hawaii and Arizona.

MLB Darren Markle (6-1, 232, 4.59)   
Meridian, Idaho; Mountain View High
Rated the No. 24 MLB in the nation and a 3-star prospect. A first team all-state selection in 2008, Markle posted 101 tackles with 13 for loss, four forced fumbles, two sacks an interception and two blocked extra points. He's a three-year All-Conference selection, a three-year starter and a three-year All-Academic team selection. Following 2008 season, he was named to the Idaho Tribune all-area team, consisting of players from all state divisions. The 2007 US High School Powerlifting Champion, Markle's personal bests include a 615 pound squat and 400 pound bench press. Chose WSU over interest from Utah, Oregon State, Boise State and others.

DE/LB Sekope Kaufusi, (6-4, 230, 4.7)  
Rated No. 11 on the Bay Area Cream of the Crop list. Named Bay Division Player of the Year and Co-Football Player of the Year by the San Mateo Daily Journal. Extremely hard hitter. Played linebacker, tight end -- as well as punter and kick returner after playing his junior season with his hand down as a defensive end. Returned one kickoff 85 yards for a score. Chose WSU over San Jose State.

OL Sebastian Valenzuela, (6-2, 315)  
First-team all-league and all-area two years in a row. Tough and agile, he's rated one of the top 100 offensive guards prospects in the nation. His 285 pound power clean is a record at Burroughs High. "Sea Bass" chose WSU over Nevada.

DE/LB Chris Mastin (6-1.5, 205)   
Spokane, Lewis & Clark High
Rated the No. 55 DE prospect in the country and a 3-star prospect. An uber-quick, high motor defensive end, he was named all-classifications All-State by the Seattle Times and earned first team Associated Press honors. The first team All-Greater Spokane League selection for the second straight year, Mastin was also named the co-defensive player of the year in the GSL, sharing the honor with future Cougar Travis Long. Mastin could play either linebacker or defensive end and more than one opposing coach this year marveled at his ability to chase down ballcarriers from behind. Chose WSU over interest from Oregon, Boise State, Washington and others.

OL Anthony Carpenter, (6-1, 185)  
Rated one of the top 60 safety prospects in the nation. First-team all-area and all-league in 2008 after racking up 60 tackles (30 solo). Had 74 tackles and a sack during his 2007 junior season and also rushed for 268 yards on 21 carries. Chose WSU over Nebraska, Oregon State, Arizona.

CB Nolan Washington   
Burien, Kennedy High
A lockdown corner at Kennedy, Washington rarely saw a pass thrown to his side this past season. He also got his work in on offense as the starting quarterback, and also played some wide receiver and running back. Despite being tested on very few occasions this season on Friday nights, Washington was voted the defensive back of the year in the Seamount League. He also captured first team honors on the Seattle Times Star Times defensive team and was named honorable mention Northwest Nugget. He is rated the No. 51 cornerback in the nation and a 3-star prospect. Chose WSU over Arizona State, Minnesota, Boise State and others.

S Jamal Atofau (5-10, 185, 4.55)   
Bellevue, Bellevue High
Rated the No. 57 safety in the country and a 3-star prospect. The KingCo 3A defensive player of the year in 2008, Atofau was a hard hitting safety who also played linebacker, returned kicks and rushed the ball on offense. Atofau was first team all-state, all-area and was also named a first team member of the Seattle Times Star Times defensive team. He helped lead Bellevue to the state 3A title in '08 and was also named News Tribune all-state and honorable mention Northwest Nugget. He is related to Cougar legend Jack Thompson. Chose WSU over Oregon, Arizona, Boise State, Washington and others.

RB Carl Winston, (5-9, 205, 4.49)  
Rushed for nearly 5,000 yards in his prep career, including 1,630 yards this past season. Also a solid receiver out of the backfield. A two-time All-CIF pick. Rated among the top 120 prep running back prospects in the nation. Chose WSU over Colorado and Arizona State.

OL William Prescott, (6-5, 277, 5.2)  
Rated one of the top 100 offensive tackle prospects in the nation. First-team all-league. Selected for the Inland Empire All-Star Classic and the Gridiron War. All-Inland Empire as a junior. Chose WSU over interest from Cal and others.

RB Arthur Burns (5-11, 212, 4.46)  
Corona, Calif., Centennial High
Ranked the No. 68 RB in the nation and a 3-star prospect. Burns, a bruising running back with 4.46 speed, racked up 1,760 yards his senior season with 29 touchdowns including two scores in a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division I state championship bowl game victory. After backing up ASU-bound senior Ryan Bass his junior year, he was also named first team Big VIII League in 2008. Chose WSU over UNLV, San Diego State and others.

WR Gino Simone (6-0, 175, 4.6)   
Issaquah, Skyline High
The No. 1 overall rated recruit in the state, Simone is a two-time all-classifications All-State pick and was named the Tacoma News Tribune's Player of the Year and Northwest Nugget. Playing both ways for the state champion Spartans, he caught 54 passes for 862 yards and 13 touchdowns. He rushed for more than 150 yards with a TD, returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and returned two punts for scores with more than 300 total return yards. He was also a standout defensive back. He was named all-KingCo 3A first-team at receiver, safety and kick returner, and was the King-Co co-Offensive Player of the Year. Simone is rated the No. 39 receiver prospect nationally and is a 4-star prospect. Chose WSU over Washington, Oregon State, Boise State and others.

OG/DT Quayshawne Buckley, (6-4, 270)   
Ontario, Calif., Colony High
The No. 54 rated offensive guard prospect and a 3-star prospect. Buckley has been named a first team All-Southern Section lineman for two consecutive years -- and on both sides of the ball. He has huge hands and is also a standout hoops player for Colony. Buckley, says the L.A. Times, played a critical role in helping Colony capture two consecutive Central Division titles. "He's a man among boys out there," says prep coach Anthony Rice. Signed with WSU over Oregon State, Colorado State and others.

DE/TE Travis Long (6-3, 244)   
Spokane, Gonzaga Prep
Ranked the No. 42 tight end nationally and a 3-star prospect, Long will come to Washington State as a defensive end. With speed that belies his size, Long captured co-defensive MVP award for the GSL as a senior in 2008 after a position change to defensive end. The uber-athlete was named all-classifications All-State by the Seattle Times and Class 4A All-State by the Associated Press. Despite playing in Spokane, Long also received critical acclaim on the Westside, capturing first team all-state honors from the News Tribune. Also named a Seattle Times red-chip, Long is projected by CF.C to have the ability to be a 3- or even 4-year starter on the Cougars' defensive line. Chose WSU over Oregon State, Boise State and others.

DE Jordan Pu'u-Robinson, (6-4, 248, 4.9)  
A four-year high school starter who played TE, DE and a little QB. An athletic, versatile player who doesn't appear to be done growing, he is rated one of the top 60 prep tight ends in the nation, but projects as a defensive end in Pullman. After transferring to Baldwin for his senior year, he earned all-state and first-team All-Maui Interscholastic League honors. Chose WSU over Utah State, Wyoming and Idaho.


WR Johnny Forzani (6-1, 204, 4.37)  
Calgary Colts, Calgary, Alberta
Forzani played last season for the Calgary Colts, the junior team of the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL. With three-to-play-three, he has been clocked in the 40 in the 4.37-4.45 range by the Stamps. Forzani never played football in high school, instead concentrating on hoops and in his senior season, he averaged a startling 40 ppg for Dr. E.P. Scarlett High before helping Douglas College to the national Canadian college title. His father, Tom Forzani, is a CFL legend and roomed with WSU receivers coach Mike Levenseller when both played for Calgary in the 80's. Including the playoffs with the Colts, Forzani grabbed 37 catches for 702 yards with 9 touchdowns this past season. He led the league in yards per catch (20.6). Chose WSU over Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and others.

DE Brandon Rankin (6-5, 260)   
Rankin is quite simply a sack machine blasting off the edge. He turned in a junior college All-America season for the books this past fall -- piling up a ridiculous 27 sacks on his way to being named 2008 NorCal Conference Defensive MVP, 2008 All Region, 2008 All State -- along with the aforementioned CCCFCA and JC Gridwire All American honors. Plus, he was the State Championship game MVP. A 4-star prospect, Rankin chose WSU over LSU, North Carolina State and others.

WASHINGTON STATE'S coaching staff looks to have done themselves proud. The class -- which is expected to number around 23 to 25 prep and JC players, plus three grayshirts from last year's class -- doesn't figure to rank among the best in the nation – it had jumped up to No. 42 early Wednesday morning – or even among the best in the Pac-10 – it had jumped three spots early Wednesday morning to No. 6 from a day earlier. But it's a competitive class that will go far in bolstering the talent pool in Pullman.

"I think this is one of the strongest classes Washington State has gotten in a while, and they were able to get solid players at just about every spot," says Brandon Huffman,'s West Coast recruiting analyst. " So many of the players committed before the season, too, really buying into Wulff and his vision for the WSU program. And even though the Cougs struggled on the field, he was able to keep those recruits in the mix, even with other schools calling, and then added some quality players.

"What I like about what Wulff did, which he did last year, is continue to go after players from the best programs. Getting Gino Simone, who was a part of two state title teams at Skyline, Arthur Burns, who carried the load for California's state title squad, Jeff Tuel, who in one year as a starter won a section title, and Bellevue's Jamal Atofau, who also won a state title this year.

Huffman added, "This class stacks up very well with the others in the Pac-10, especially considering the season WSU just finished having. Players are seeing the opportunity to play early and make a big contribution and want to help build on that. They recruited the Northwest better than any team in the Pac-10 this year, getting Washington's top player in Simone, who had a lot of Pac-10 attention, getting Darren Markle out of Boise and so on."

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