Cougars targeting Lakes? Miller a Wulff fan

THE PERCEPTION seems to be that a Pac-10 prospect from Lakes High outside of Tacoma will go to the UW. That perception, says Lakes coach Dave Miller, is erroneous. And this recruiting cycle, Washington State is reported to have offered more players from the Lakewood, Wash. school than anyone else, including their rival in Seattle.

And Miller says there are still more at Lakes who may earn a WSU scholie. Ask Miller his thoughts on Washington State, Paul Wulff and his staff, and he can't say enough good things about the guys in Pullman.

"I just feel really good about what the Cougars are doing," said Miller. "I'm going to be excited to see some of our kids end up playing over there and being part of the rebuilding process."

Miller goes "way back" with WSU recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen and area recruiter Mike Levenseller, both Tacoma area products. Wulff for years has been stopping by Lakewood to talk with Miller and watch tape.

And every year that Wulff was at Eastern, and then some, Miller brought players over to the Eagles' summer camp. Indeed, Miller has been taking guys to Eastern's summer camp for the past 24 years.

"I can see us producing quite a few Cougars down the line -- I'm excited about that. I think Paul is doing a great job of building the thing right. It's going to get rolling for him, I expect it to be a lot better next year," said Miller, who added he expects the Huskies to also be better on the field next year.

WHAT ABOUT THE the notion some think a Lakes High player, worthy of a Pac-10 offer, will automatically end up at the UW?

"I think a lot of times people just assume since we've had quite a few kids go to Washington, that Washington State isn't doing something right or not recruiting as hard -- and that's definitely not true. I have great relationships with those guys at Washington State. I feel like it's definitely an equal battle," said Miller.

MILLER SAID WULFF and the Cougars this year are recruiting Lakes like never before. Wulff and Levenseller were in Lakewood earlier this month.

"It's the earliest we've ever had Washington State come out and get after guys. Paul's being very aggressive and it's going to pay off for him... Bill (Doba) and Mike (Price) always did a good job. But it just seems a little more aggressive, a little earlier this year," said Miller.

From Lakes, Wulff has, according to already offered LB John Goldwire, WR Jamaal Kearse, CB Dee Maggitt and CB Willis Wilson.

"I've already told Levy I'm planning on taking a school van with about eight guys and bring them over for (a junior day event). I want to help out any way I can. I'd love for our kids to go to Washington State. They have a lot of good things going on there," said Miller.

WSU also offered DT Sione Potoae who has verbally committed to Washington. Miller said the UW held a junior day event earlier this month where Potoae was one of about eight select prospects invited to attend. Sione went with one of his parents and committed that night.

"He just felt like it was where he wanted to be, and close to home. His dad is going to Iraq this spring and I think they just kind of wanted to get everything out of the way. And they're the type of family that likes things planned out and solidified..I would normally like a kid to take 2-3 trips, compare things and think it through but I sat him down and he assured me that was what he wanted to do, so you've gotta support him on it," said Miller.

WITH THE offers to Lakes' prospects, Wulff didn't quite match Price (who once offered seven Long Beach Poly players in a single day). The UW just yesterday offered Waters to bring to three their total offers to Lakes players.

"I think we've legitimately got eight guys who can play at the Pac-10 level," said Miller.

For these three, the offseason plus first two games or so of their senior seasons might well tell the tale on their recruitment -- MLB Jordan Patterson, 6-2, 228; RB Teddy Cotton, 5-11, 190; and QB Dalton Gervais, 6-2, 185.

  • Some of the Lakes notables who have played for the crimson and gray over the years include Hayward "Spud'' Harris, Michel James and Mike Washington. Those who signed with the UW include Reggie Williams, Anthony Russo, Jermaine Kearse and Kavario Middleton.

  • Lakes has made the post season 13 consecutive seasons (1996-2008), the last nine with Miller at the helm. Former Lakes coach Dick Zatkovich, highly respected in state of Washington coaching circles and for whom Miller was offensive coordinator, once said of him: "Dave Miller is one of the most intelligent minds in the passing game that I've ever met, better than most college guys."

  • Lakes will be seeing plenty of outside attention this year with so many college prospects on their roster. "Sometimes it's a real challenge when you have a lot of these distractions. But it's a good problem to have, I guess. It's one thing to put together a high school team with good chemistry, it's another thing to have a bunch of talented kids. These kids seem to have pretty good chemistry," said Miller.

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