Rodgers wanted to join 'program on the rise'

JAKE RODGERS out of Shadle Park had something of an epiphany the last time he visited Washington State. The unofficial Palouse trip, about 10 days ago on a junior day event, solidified the Cougs in his mind and Thursday night he pledged crimson. Rodgers becomes the third verbal commitment for Paul Wulff in the 2009 class and also the third from Washington State. All three are 6-foot-6 or taller.

Jake Rodgers (6-7, 245) has that TE/DE type body Wulff likes -- and he has very long arms.

His mom accompanied him on his most recent trip to Pullman, one of several over this year and last, and following that visit, something clicked.

"It was shortly thereafter when I decided that that's where I wanted to go," said Rodgers.

Rodgers held one offer, from WSU, but said it was the only one he needed.

"They're a program on the rise and I want to be a part of that," said Rodgers. "It's also close to home but far enough away that I can be my own person.

"I like the coaches a lot -- and I know that they know what they're doing," said Rodgers.

Rodgers said he also witnessed first hand the family atmosphere at Washington State this spring and that was one of the things that spoke to him most.

"I also wanted to make a decision because I wanted to focus on school and my senior season -- I just felt like it was the best place for me and based on a lot of things," he said.

IN THE '10 CLASS, Washington State has gone big early. Rodgers becomes the third verbal commitment for the Cougs in the 2009 class who stands 6-foot-6 or greater, joining Blefair OT John Fullington and Spokane TE Aaron Dunn as Cougar pledges.

Rodgers, in his first season playing varsity ball this past season, was named first team all-GSL at tight end, one of only three juniors on the 17-man first team offense.

He also was a key reserve on the Shadle Parks hoops team as a junior, playing alongside incoming Cougar hoopster Anthony Brown.

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