Prepsters head to WSU for football schooling

IN THE DAYS FOLLOWING Washington State's summer youth football camp last year, Paul Wulff secured verbal commitments from three campers. This year, more than 500 kids -- some from as far away as New Jersey -- will converge on Pullman for four days of instruction. It all starts tomorrow. Whether there are future WSU gridders in the bunch is uncertain, but if the past is prologue, the odds are good.

Last year, Justin Clayton, Chris Mastin and Aaron Dunn earned scholarship offers after impressive sessions in Pullman and/or verbally committed to the Cougs.

Mastin and Clayton are part of WSU's incoming class of freshman and Dunn, a senior-to-be at Spokane's Mead High, will be in the 2010 class.

Other notables over the years who attended the WSU camp and then went on to suit up for the Cougs include Marcus Trufant, Erik Coleman, Brandon Gibson, Mkristo Bruce, Rien Long and Will Derting.

Washington State recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen recently told Cougfan.com that WSU was expecting around 525 campers this year.

Original estimates had the number cresting 600, similar to last year, but the economy looks to have had a significant impact on many prospects' summer travel plans. Those that do attend, however, says Rasmussen, are in for a unique experience.

"The guys on this staff just really enjoy teaching and we're looking forward to having the opportunity to work with every single kid," said Rasmussen. "Every single one of us will be coaching individual position drills -- coach Todd Sturdy will work with every quarterback here, coach Chris Ball will be working with guys on defense, etc. We're going to coach every kid up."

RASMUSSEN ALSO EMPHASIZED that the staff's approach won't change based on ability.

"Every single camper deserves to be coached by us and we're looking forward to giving them a great experience here at Washington State," said Rasmussen. "Whether they're a potential D-I player or not, every single one of them is a potential WSU student.

"Everyone on Paul Wulff's staff truly enjoys the camp atmosphere and the opportunity to teach, whether they're going to be a freshman or entering their senior year. And it's really, really fun to see the development -- even as it occurs over just a four day span."

AMONG THE HIGH SCHOOLS traveling en masse to Washington State for team camp work this week are Eastside Catholic, Interlake, Davis, Juanita High and North Mason.

While highlight film is a great tool for college coaches, there is simply no substitute for seeing a player crackin' pads live when it comes to evaluation and extension of scholarship offers. That's what camps such as Washington State's are so valuable for potential D-I athletes.

Unlike other single day or elite skills camps offered by other schools, Washington State's four-day camp is full pads, full contact.


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