WSU co-leads for uber-athlete, official set

HE HAS A WSU offer and an official visit date set for the Palouse. He stands 6-foot-3 and is rated among the Top 100 prospects in the land at his position. Washington State is his co-leader along with another Pac-10 school and among the two frontrunners, a pair of head Wazzu coaches, one present and one past, are battling it out for his services. And talk about athleticism, his is off the charts.

WR Marquess Wilson (6-3, 170, 4.6) hails from Tulare, Calif., about 45 minutes south of Fresno. And Pullman, he said, reminds him of home. It's one reason he has Washington State as his co-leader.

"It's a small town like Tulare, so I'll get used to it faster," said Wilson.

Talk about athletic..
WILSON, WHO IS being recruited by Washington State as a potential "X" receiver in the Cougars' offense, is an uber-athlete. A three-sport star at Tulare Union High, "star" is the operative word.

He was named the 2008-09 all-Tulare County high school athlete of the year by the Visalia Times-Delta after being named a first-team selection in three sports -- football (for both offense and defense), basketball and track and field.

On the gridiron, Wilson hauled in a team-high 37 receptions for 836 yards (22.6 ypc) and led Tulare county with 17 touchdowns for the Central Section Division II champion (13-0) Redskins. Midway through this his junior year, Wilson also started lining up at corner and locked it down, with two interceptions and numerous pass break-ups.

Voted the East Yosemite League's most valuable player on the hardcourt, he led Tulare Union with 18 ppg, and was among the league leaders in both rebounding (7.1) and steals (2.8).

In track and field, Wilson ranked among Central Section leaders in the high, long and triple jumps and won league individual titles in all three.

His prep football coach has called him "probably the most talented athlete we've had in our program since I've been here." Not bad considering that Tulare Union under Darren Bennett since 1995 has sent over a dozen players to D-I programs.

Wilson said his other co-leader, Dennis Erickson's Sun Devils, have caught his eye because "they're in the Pac-10, they're an explosive team and they pass the ball."

WASHINGTON STATE, said Wilson, is recruiting the hardest. Offensive coordinator Todd Sturdy is running the point for Wazzu but with the Cougars using a group recruiting approach under Wulff, Wilson said he's hearing from more than one coach of the Cougs.

"It's a lot of coaches," said Wilson. "(Sturdy) is very easy to get along with, we joke around a lot."

And it's Sturdy whom Wilson has been dialing up most this offseason.

"We talk probably twice a week," said Wilson. "He's talked to me about (the WSU offense) a lot, and I could possibly start when I get up there.

WILSON HOLDS OFFERS from Washington State, Arizona State, Fresno State, UNLV, Nevada and San Diego State. Cal and Washington are also lurking. Wilson said he favors WSU and ASU solidly over the rest of the field.

"They all like my ability to get off the ball and my quickness on the field," he said.

Wilson said he doesn't plan on making a decision until after his football season.

He won't have time to take any unofficial visits before school starts the rest of this summer but he does have his first official trip scheduled -- he'll be at Washington State on Sep. 5 when the Cougs' play host against Stanford in the season opener for both teams.

Wilson is the second known official visitor scheduled for opening weekend at WSU -- Bethel High DE Happy Iona out of Spanaway is also slated to be on the Palouse that weekend.

Marquess Wilson profile

  • Wilson was listed among the West Coast's Cream of the Crop receiving prospects by earlier this year.

  • Washington State has also offered another Tulare Union teammate of Wilson's, Edward Dillihunt, a versatile, first team All-Valley specialist who excelled at multiple positions his junior year. Dillihunt logged 42 receptions for 607 yards with seven touchdowns as a junior in '08. On defense, he recorded 29 tackles -- including six sacks from his outside 'backer position. He also posted a 22.5 yard average on punt returns and took two back for touchdowns. Wilson and Dillihunt helped lead the Redskins to a perfect 13-0 record and CIF Central Section D-II title in 2008.

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