RECRUITING: Cougs eye the next Gesser?

THE LAST TIME the Cougars went to The Islands for a quarterback, Jason Gesser and Washington State went to the Rose Bowl. And while no one is predicting at this early stage that a 2011 prospect could be the next Gesser, Washington State is the first to offer this quarterback out of Hawaii, and he does make plays with both arm and legs..

Trent McKinney (6-0, 190) out of Mililani, Hawaii called up Rich Rasmussen this week and was thrilled by what the Cougs' recruiting coordinator had to tell him.

"I was excited, in shock really... They offered me Tuesday night. Coach Razz said they liked my style of play and how I was explosive when running with the football. He told me I had good feet," said McKinney. "With the offense that they run, and the shotgun, one back, two back or empty... it's similar to our offense."

McKINNEY SAID the Cougs offered shortly after seeing his tape. His junior season, he led Mililani to a 7-3 mark with the season ending in the playoffs against top ranked Kahuku. In the 35-27 loss, against one of the top defenses in the state, McKinney threw for 348 passing yards.

Named honorable mention all-state in 2009, McKinney's complete stats weren't available at press time but he passed for appx. 1,900 yards, with 20 TD passes against six interceptions. He rushed for around 500 yards, with seven rushing scores.

"I plan to call them on a weekly basis and also to talk to the head coach over there," said McKinney of Washington State.

He's also hearing from Oregon, USC, Colorado, Nebraska, Texas A&M, SMU, Columbia and others.

McKinney also stars on the basketball court for Mililani -- he averages double-double in points and, despite standing 6-feet tall, rebounding.

He's also an honor roll student, drawing recruiting interest from Ivy League schools.

Trent McKinney profile

Gesser is not the only Hawaiian QB to lace 'em up for the Cougs. Swinton "Bunny" Aldrich was one of pass-happy Jim Sutherland's first quarterback at WSU in the 1950s.

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