Cougs harvesting tall timber in this class

PAUL WULFF, LIKE Mike Price before him, has an affinity for going after "feet and frames" on the recruiting trail. However, in the talent crusade that will conclude Wednesday when 2010 National Letters of Intent are signed, Wulff will have taken matters to dramatically new heights. Literally. We're talkin' serious inches here, folks.

Seven members of the recruiting class WSU is expected to unveil this week in its newest crop of athletes stand between 6-foot-5 and 6-7. And five of them are listed at 6-6 or taller.

By comparison, consider that in WSU's 2007, '08 and '09 recruiting classes there were collectively only two players 6-foot-5 or taller.

In fact, WSU has as much tall timber in its 2010 class as Washington and Oregon State put together.

The list of incoming crimson skyscrapers is made up of the following ...

Tight ends Aaron Dunn (6-6 ½, 235) and, presuming he doesn't sign with Miami instead, Asante Cleveland (6-5, 235); linemen Jake Rodgers (6-7, 245) and John Fullington (6-6, 270); quarterback Connor Halliday (6-5,186); and JC offensive tackles Wade Jacobson (6-6, 310) and David Gonzales (6-6, 275).

In addition, the Cougs have lineman Maxx Forde of Woodinville in the fold. He just missed making the Tall Timber Club. He's a 6-4, 240-pound DE/OT type. Forde, who is the son of 1980s WSU linebacking star Brian Forde, was featured in a story in the Seattle Times the other day. The piece focused on his skills in football and basketball, as well as on his younger sister Ali's rocketing profile in hoops and volleyball. CLICK HERE for the complete story.


IN CASE YOU'RE WONDERING, the tallest player ever to wear a Cougar football uniform is believed to be Sam Lightbody, the standout offensive tackle from Huntington Beach, Calif., who played in Pullman from 2001-04. He was 6-foot-9 and an oxymoronic 328 pounds his senior season. Three players are tied for second-tallest crimson soldier of all-time at 6-foot-8: tight end Cody Boyd (2003-06); defensive tackle Ropati Pitoitua (2004-07); and offensive lineman Reed Raymond (1997-00).

For Cougar fans who came of age in the late 70s and early 80s, you may be wondering if we forgot about offensive lineman Allan Kennedy of the early Jim Walden years. Kennedy, who would go on to win a Super Bowl ring or two with the San Francisco 49ers, was widely viewed in those days as the largest human ever to set foot in Whitman County. His legend was nearly Paul Bunyon-esque. But a check of the records shows him at only 6-7, 275 pounds.

JASON GESSER, AT 6-1, was one of the shortest Cougar quarterbacks in the last two decades. But get this -- the corps of linemen protecting him from 2000-2002 variously included four of the biggest bodies in school history: Lightbody, Josh Parrish (6-6, 322), Calvin Armstrong (6-7, 321) and Billy Knotts (6-7, 283).

At 6-foot-5, Connor Halliday -- the rocket-armed Pride of Ferris High -- will be among the tallest quarterbacks in Cougar history when he arrives on campus in the summer. But he'll need to grow a bit to surpass the tallest-ever WSU QB: 6-7 Gary Rogers, who just edged out Ryan Leaf for (tree) top honors.

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