Burn baby burn: Cougs to torch load of shirts

PULLMAN — Paul Wulff is a Kool-Aid drinker when it comes to the long-term value of redshirting true freshmen. He redshirted a bunch the past two seasons but out of necessity had to burn more shirts than he wanted. And this season he's going to burn even more – perhaps as many as nine. One reason is because he's still filling gaps. But the main driver is one that puts a smile on Wulff's face ...

These young kids are ready for prime time.

"We have seven to nine true freshmen who will play this year," Wulff told Cougfan.com this week. "That's not something you want to do every year but the best guys are going to be in our two-deep."

His words bolster the claim of WSU assistant coach Mike Levenseller, who as a player and coach has seen 23 Cougar recruiting classes up close. In February he said the 2010 collection of Cougar signees was the finest in school history.

In terms of who will, or likely could, see the field this season, here's how Wulff's list breaks down:

Rickey Galvin, RB
He's small (5-8, 162) but has moves galore. The Cougs are deep at RB this season but Galvin is too good to keep off the field. Rated one of top 75 running backs in the nation in the 2010 recruiting cycle. Racked up 3,100 ground yards over junior and senior seasons. Has 4.5 speed. Bench presses 335 pounds and squats 500.

John Fullington, OT
He has 268 pounds on his 6-6 frame, making him about 30 pounds lighter than the ideal. No matter. He has a motor that doesn't quit, tremendous athleticism and the technique and smarts to go now. Paul Sorensen calls him the second-coming of Allen Kennedy, the big Cougar OT from the early Walden years who later won two Super Bowls with the 49ers. This past recruiting cycle he was rated the No. 54 offensive tackle prospect in the nation by Scout.com.

Marquess Wilson, WR
The unquestioned rookie star of WSU's fall camp, he will be counted on early on and often this season. Rated the No. 90 wide receiver prospect in the nation in the 2010 recruiting cycle. As a high school junior and a senior he was named the Tulare County high school athlete of the year after earning first-team all-league honors in football (for both offense and defense), basketball (also named league MVP) and track and field.

Kristoff Williams, WR
Has turned heads in Pullman since camp opened but slowed of late with injury. A multi-dimensional prepster who racked 2,000 all-purpose yards in 2009 as a quarterback, receiver and return man. Also punted and played defensive back. Unanimously picked MVP of his league. Has a black belt in Kaji Kempo.

Andrew Furney, K
This walk on from Burlington-Edison High is locked in a heated battle with veteran starter Nico Grasu that could go right down to the wire. He is the all-time leader in career field goals in the state of Washington with 33. He also tied the state record for most makes in a season in 2009, with 14. Had 17 touchbacks on 59 kickoffs last season.

Deone Bucannon, S
He was a two-way high school standout who earned all-league, all-city, all-region and Cal-Hi All-State honors last season. Named his league's defensive player of the year in 2008 and 2009. He posted 260 tackles over his junior and senior seasons. Also a standout in the classroom.

Damante Horton, CB He racked up more than 100 tackles last season and was ranked the No. 81 cornerback prospect in the nation by Scout.com. One of the best athletes to come out of all of the East Bay, he was named first-team All-Oakland Athletic League and first-team All-East Bay. Local beat writers called him "a true lockdown corner," and he hasn't disappointed in Pullman this summer.

C.J. Mizell, LB
The former Florida State signee has wowed this summer with his speed. Once he can start reacting instead of thinking, he will be a major force. Rated the No. 5 strongside linebacker in the nation in the 2009 recruiting class. Took last season off to concentrate on academics.

Kalafitoni Pole, DT
At 6-1 and 291 he has the size to see the field immediately. Coupled with outstanding feet and limited depth in the crimson trenches, he may be tossed in early. Rated among the top 100 prep defensive tackle prospects in the nation. Was his league's Defensive Player of the Year. Was all-league and all-metro last season at both DT and TE.

Were it not for season-ending wrist injury sustained last week, tight end Aaron Dunn would have been another true freshman that potentially could have seen the field this season.

Cougfan Top Stories