Kosub to go Pac-10?

It's a rare year when more than one player from the Reno area goes Pac-10, and this year just might be one of those rare ones. UCLA picked up a verbal commitment from Jerzy Siewierski of Reed High School in Sparks, and now another Pac-10 school is on the verge of landing another big lineman. Who is he?

'He' is Derek Kosub, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound OL/DL prospect from Proctor Hug High School in Reno. Scout.com spoke with Kosub's head coach, Rollins Stallworth, to get the skinny on the big man who calls northern Nevada his home.

"If you told me that at the begining of the season if he had the choice to go to any school in the nation, what school would that be? His answer would have been Washington," Stallworth said of Kosub. "His family is from Seattle years ago and he has relatives that live in Seattle. He has some roots there and he's excited about that opportunity."

Kosub is visiting Washington this weekend with scholarship offer in hand. "He'll make up his mind after that trip," Stallworth said of his eventual college choice. "Washington was high on his list initially and they came in with an offer late. He cancelled a trip to Boise State to go there."

To hear Stallworth talk about it, Kosub's verbal commitment to Washington is all but done. "I think it's all over but letting the ink dry on the contract on the first," he said with a chuckle.

Kosub played defensive end and offensive tackle in high school, playing a sport that wasn't his first love. "He started as a basketball player that grew out of basketball and into football," said Stallworth. Kosub earned first-team all-state honors on both sides of the ball, the only player in the state to do so.

"We won 28 games in three years with Derek as a starter," Stallworth said. "He is definitely one of the better football players we've ever had."

There are numerous questions that come to mind. What makes Kosub a special player? Stallworth points to Kosub being a true student of the game. "I don't think I've ever had a lineman watch more film than he did," said Stallworth. "He's a player that will probably be a coach when he's done playing. He loves the game and he really studies the game."

So with an impeccable football resume, why weren't more schools in the offing for Kosub? "I think a lot of that is just for the fact that we're Nevada," said Stallworth, matter-of-factly. "I think we're one of the more underrecruited regions in the west. I think a lot of people were surprised to see a gem like Kosub slip through."

"Coaches see a tape from a guy from Nevada and they shove those tapes in the back behind the guys from California and Texas. If Kosub had played in Southern California or Texas, he would have been offered 20 trips instead of 10."

But Stallworth wasn't going to let that happen, especially since he had his own ties to the Husky coaching staff. He built up a friendship with Washington Head Coach Tyrone Willingham through the NATS (National Athletic Testing Systems) board. "He's the D1 coaches representative," said Stallworth. "He also coached my younger brother (Herbie Berry) at Stanford when Denny Green was coach. So I've had a relationship with him for a number of years. And I know Chris Tormey because of his years at Nevada. And Coach (Bob) Simmons has recruited this area for years, so I had a casual relationship with him too."

Stallworth saw Willingham at the most recent coaches' convention in Dallas, and gave Willingham a CD, chock full of brand-new film on Kosub. "I told him that he needed to look at this guy," Stallworth said. "He watched the CD and called up Tormey, and the next thing I know Tormey is calling me back up. It worked out great for us."

Meanwhile, Kosub took trips to Nevada and San Diego State and cut loose UNLV and Fresno State from his list. "To be honest, he was going to San Diego State until Washington called," Stallworth said. "You can't turn down the Pac-10. With Washington and Tyrone Willingham and what he brings to the table and the potential they have, he's pretty excited about the opportunity to go to Washington.

"They contacted me on Monday after Derek had visited San Diego State. We talked about his character and his academics and he's a full qualifier. They spent a couple of days evaluating him and then Coach Simmons visited the family and talked to us on campus. The next day they offered."

Is the rest history? We'll know more after Kosub returns from his visit. From Stallworth's point of view, he's thrilled that schools other than Nevada, UNLV, Fresno State and Boise State are taking notice of the talent in Reno.

"It's nice to see the Pac-10 coming in and starting to grab a couple of kids," said Stallworth. "It's great for us and our kids."

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