BREAKING: Cougs land midyear 6-foot-6 OT

HE HAD ANOTHER trip scheduled for tomorrow but that's been canceled -- this past weekend out on the Palouse he saw everything he wanted to see and more. Wazzu's 18th known verbal pledge is a hulking o-lineman, one expected to immediately compete for playing time. And it gets better -- the JC transfer will sign with Wazzu on Wednesday, start classes at WSU in January and take part in spring ball.

Offensive tackle David Gonzales. (6-6, 275, 5.0), a unanimous all-conference pick and midyear transfer out of Fresno City College this year with 3-to-play-2, is headed to WSU to play for Paul Wulff.

"I committed to Washington State," said Gonzales. "...Coach Wulff was excited, he was really fired up."

GONZALES SAID HE will sign with Washington State this Wednesday, (Dec. 16), the first day of the signing period for mid-year junior college transfers.

He'll then enroll at WSU, start classes in Pullman the second week of January, jump into the offseason workout program and later have the benefit of going through the Cougs' 15-practice spring session.

"Coach Wulff said I can do great things out there," said Gonzales. "I'm really excited to be going there and be part of an up and coming program. Hopefully in the next two years or so, we're going to be smelling roses."

Gonzales becomes the 18th known verbal commitment in the Cougs' 2009 class, joining RB Rickey Galvin, LB Eric Oertel, WR Marquess Wilson, WR Robert Jiles, CB Tracy Clark, WR Bobby Ratliff, DB Tyrone Duckett, ATH Deone Bucannon, TE Asante Cleveland, WR Blair Bomber, ATH Brandon Golden, QB Connor Halliday, TE Aaron Dunn, OL/DE Jake Rodgers, OT John Fullington, CB Matt Simmons and DB Damante Horton. Also expected to arrive in January at Waashington State are DE Brandon Rankin and DT Quayshawne Buckley.

GONZALES HAD ORIGINALLY planned on taking an official visit to Tennessee this weekend, with the Vol coaches having told him earlier he had "a great chance of getting an offer while I'm there," but he won't be tripping anywhere else, saying tonight that his recruitment was over and that he's a Coug.

Gonzales was a unanimous All-Valley Conference selection this past season at Fresno City for his work at offensive tackle. He's also been nominated for additional postseason honors and accolades that have yet to be awarded.

GONZALES SAID THE combination of WSU coaches, college town and Cougar players made his decision a lock.

"It was definitely about the town and the school itself -- it's a great environment, an awesome place to live," said Gonzales. "And then especially important were the coaches, too. I just felt they were genuine and cared about the players.

"It's a family out there. You've got a bunch of brothers on the team at WSU."

David Gonzales profile

Gonzales is the third offensive lineman in the '10 class. Washington State, speaking to their youth, has an unusually high number of scholarship o-linemen returning in 2010 -- 12 of them. The Cougs carried 15 o-linemen on scholarship this past year, plus five walk-ons, for a total of 20. (For comparison purposes, Oregon and Oregon State had virtually identical o-line numbers as the Cougs, while Washington had 13 total o-linemen listed on their roster.) CF.C is projecting the Cougars will take one more o-lineman, at least, this recruiting class.

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