Cree enjoys crimson experience

CONNOR CREE IS well familiar with Washington State. His sister, Chelsea, is a Cougar, as is his former Skyline teammate, Gino Simone. He spent time with both, as well as visiting with the Washington State staff, this past weekend while out on the Palouse. The 6-4.5, 220-pounder holds offers from both in-state schools and he talks Wazzu, UW and where things stand for him recruiting-wise..

Connor Cree and his parents went over early to Pullman for the unofficial visit, spending Friday and part of Saturday at Wazzu. A comprehensive campus tour by linebackers coach Travis Niekamp was interspersed by conversations with other members of the WSU staff, including head man Paul Wulff.

"We did that for about four hours or so. And once that was done we met up with my sister and hung out," said Cree. "My dad liked coach Niekamp a lot. He liked Wulff a ton, too.

"My parents were with me and they were mostly asking questions about the program, facilities, campus and the schedule. I liked it a lot. The coaches were nice and the facilities were cool."

Cree this weekend also hung out with Gino Simone and his brother, Jordan Simone, a good friend of Cree's who was also at WSU for the junior day event.

"We had a good time. And Gino was telling me about the advantages of being in Pullman and I met some of the players there, like Travis Long and a few other guys... Me and Jordan are captains on this year's (Skyline) team," said Cree.

THE COUGS WERE the first to offer Cree, followed shortly thereafter by the Huskies. Cree's height, at 6-4.5, would seem to suggest putting his hand down on the defensive line at the next level but his skills set might make for some play back in the box.

"WSU is thinking about mostly d-end, maybe a little bit of outside 'backer," said Cree, who earlier this month told the UW, after they offered, had talked to him about "d-end or move me back out to a strong side middle linebacker."

Does he have a preference?

"I'll play wherever a school needs me to play. But if it was my choice, I would rather play d-end. But linebacker would be fine with me too, I used to play linebacker before I played d-end," said Cree.

NOW THAT HE's taken unofficial trips to both offering schools, asked for his thoughts on the two, Cree said it's a dead heat.

"I like both schools a lot. It's a tough decision. I couldn't pick right now if I had to choose, I like them both...My dad is the same as me, he liked WSU a lot but he went to the UW with me also and he likes the UW a lot, too," said Cree.

That's not to say his final decision will ultimately come down to WSU and UW. Cree said he wants to go through the recruiting process and see what other options may emerge. He doesn't anticipate making a decision until midway through his senior season, some 8-9 months away. After WSU and UW, he's been hearing the most from Oregon and Cal.

Still, the Cougs and Huskies have made a strong impression.

"I still want to see what opens up. I don't want to commit too early but I don't want to commit too late and look like I'm not interested in those schools, because I am," said Cree.

Connor Cree profile

Washington State has offered three players from Skyline already -- Cree, Kasen Williams and Evan Zeger.

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