Hard hitting DB eyes official visit to WSU

HE HAS A Cougar offer in his pocket and an official visit set for the Palouse in less than 10 days. The City Defensive Player of the Year as a junior in Fairfield, Calif., this big- hitting safety prospect was at WSU earlier this summer on an unofficial trip. And he can't wait to see what it's like on opening football weekend.

Deone Bucannon (6-2, 180, 4.7) out of Vanden High, about 45 minutes equidistant between San Francisco and Sacramento, holds offers from Washington State, SDSU, Nevada, Cal-Poly and Army, with Arizona State and Oregon also lurking.

Bucannon said he's not in a hurry to make a verbal commitment and that he has no specific leader. He did, however, have glowing things to say about Washington State and the Cougars' coaching staff.

Chris Ball is running the recruiting point for the Cougs, who use a group recruiting approach under Paul Wulff. Bucannon likes all the college coaches he's talked to, with Ball one of two he's built a particularly strong bond with over the past several months.

"Coach Ball from Washington State and coach (Nick) Allioti, because hey remind me a lot of my high school (position coach Matsu Matsokado), said Bucannon. Even just talking to them, they can teach you so much.

"The one that's recruiting me the hardest is Washington State...And San Diego State."

BUCANNON WAS IN PULLMAN for an unofficial visit a couple months back. Although it was summer break, Wazzu left an impression.

"I really like them -- their school is really nice, the whole picture. I went there on an unofficial visit and everyone there, all of their fans, are all about Washington State. That really impressed me," said Bucannon.

Bucannon said he has also gotten a feel for the WSU staff.

"The whole coaching staff is about getting better. They didn't have their best season last year, but they're just really focused on rising up. And I really think that they're going to be a team on the rise," he said.

ON HIS OFFICIAL visit to Wazzu, the lone trip he's scheduled to date, Bucannon said he's especially curious to see what it feels like at WSU now that fall classes have started.

"I'm looking to see what it will be like on campus..get a feel for it all, because I'm going to be (possibly) spending 4-5 years down there. I want to get a feel for the whole college environment," said Bucannon.

BUCANNON HAD A season for the books in 2008. He was named all-CIF Sac-Joaquin Section, all-league, all-city, all-region and was the City Defensive Player of the Year.

He racked up an eye popping 140 tackles, with three interceptions, three sacks and two fumble recoveries for Vanden. Schools like WSU have noticed.

"All of them say they like how I hit, and how I get to the ball," said Bucannon.

Deone Bucannon profile and video

  • Deone is pronounced Day-own.

  • Also added this week on the CF.C visit list for the season opener on Sept. 5 against Stanford, Etiwanda, Calif. receiver Bobby Ratliff. As a junior, Ratliff caught 45 passes for 617 yards and five touchdowns, ran and threw for another and logged 18 tackles with two picks on defense.

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