Cougs first to offer Spokane athlete

ADD IT TO your Cougar recruiting lexicon if you haven't already -- the TE/DE body type. Those are the guys Paul Wulff likes. The latest known Cougar offer in the 2010 class hails from Spokane and could be a d-end or tight end. But he could also be a left tackle or move inside on the d-line. He's already pushing the clouds at 6-foot-7. And WSU is the first to offer.

He's athletic and rangy -- and Spokane's Jake Rodgers found out last week that's the type of guy Wulff targets often when his prep coach at Shadle Park High told him to call Cougar assistant Chris Ball.

"He offered me over the phone...they had started recruiting me even before (this past) football season has started," said Rodgers.

It's become clear that Washington State under Wulff has made Spokane a recruiting focus -- this past class the Cougars pulled two gems out of the Lilac City in G-Prep's Travis Long and Lewis & Clark's Chris Mastin, the Co-Defensive Players of the Year in the Greater Spokane League.

Rodgers (6-7, 245) hadn't played varsity before his junior year and didn't attend the Cougs' summer camp last July. But Wazzu came by Shadle Park last year during the May evaluation period and met with Rodgers' prep coach. And then WSU saw Rodgers live during his junior season this past fall.

Projecting him at just one position in college looks to be a little iffy at this stage, tight end or defensive end is just the beginning.

"Coach Ball said he could see me playing either one of those two, or left tackle, or defensive tackle as a three-technique," said Rodgers.

What Washington State is doing on offers like Rodgers' is projecting three years from now -- what he'll do his senior season in high school, and where he would be after a year in the Wazzu program and weight room.

THE RECRUITING PROCESS is just getting cranked up for Rodgers but he's already familiar with the Washington State campus.

"I went to all of their home games last year. I met all the coaches when I was there but I didn't really (talk at length) with them then," said Rodgers.

That figures to change between now and next February's Signing Day.

RODGERS, ALTHOUGH IT was his first year playing football at the varsity level, was named first team all-GSL this past season at tight end, one of only three juniors on the 17-man first team offense.

He's also a key reserve in hoops this season, manning the paint and swatting shots on the same Shadle Park squad as WSU-bound Anthony Brown (16.4 ppg).

In addition to Washington State, Rodgers said the other main school he's been hearing from is the UW and he may attend a junior day event in Montlake down the road.

Washington State has made 10 known offers for the 2010 class -- Rodgers, Jake Heaps, Jamaal Kearse, Gary Winston, Michael Hartvigson, Darius Waters, Sione Potoae, John Goldwire, Dee Maggitt and Aaron Dunn, who is the earliest verbal in Wazzu history.

A "three-technique" is a defensive tackle who lines up in the gap between the offensive guard and tackle -- known as the "B" or "three" gap.

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