Lots of recruiting news

There is a lot of recruiting stuff coming out, almost too much right now. I will try to update the site every few days from now through signing day.

First, the new commits:

The Cougs have landed another verbal commitment, and this time it’s for sure — Texas running back DeMaundray Woolridge told CF.C tonight that he gave his “re-commitment” to Washington State and coach Leon Burtnett earlier this week.

“I’m recommitted to Washington State University and that’s where I’m going,” DeMaundray Woolridge told CF.C earlier tonight.

Woolridge, who hails from Keller, Texas, and runs a 4.3 forty called coach Leon Burtnett on Monday and gave him his verbal commitment to play football at Washington State. “Oh, he was glad,” laughed Woolridge. “He said he was just thrilled.”

Woolridge had previously committed to the Cougs the first weekend in December, but at the urging of his high school coach, decided it best to keep his options open.

“I talked to him and my whole deal is I think Washington State might be the place for him…but I just want him to (keep his options open) and that way he knows for sure what is the right place for him,” Keller coach Kevin Atkinson told CF.C back on December 7.

Woolridge said looking at options such as Iowa, North Carolina and Missouri just helped solidify in his mind that the Cougs were the best choice for him. He said he will not be taking his planned trip to Iowa nor any more official visits.

“Now I know it’s really the place I want to be,” said the newest member of the WSU family.

THE COUGARS have long planned to take three top high school running backs this class — with the hope of filling the final spot with the nations’ No. 1 rated running back prospect, Jonathan Stewart of Olympia, Washington.

They now have two of the three with Woolridge and fellow WSU verbal Dwight Tardy.

The freshman running backs in this Washington State class will step into a prime opportunity in 2005. With Allen Thompson hanging up his cleats, senior Jerome Harrison is the lone returnee with any appreciable experience. Redshirt sophomore Kevin McCall had 40 yards on 8 carries against Idaho in his only action in the Cougar backfield in ’04.

“I see myself as a back that can play early because of my size and speed,” said Woolridge. “I’ve been told I have a rare talent, a rare combination of size and speed. I’m 5-9 and 215 and I run a 4.3 flat forty. So they’re pretty excited about that and think I can make some things happen real early.”

ON AN OFFENSE that featured the pass and had a number of offensive weapons (Keller’s QB threw for nearly 3000 yards), Woolridge rushed for more than 900 yards on the season.

Coach Atkinson told CF.C that Woolridge is a player who runs the inside and outside zone as well as he’s ever coached.

“He’s got some junk in his trunk,” noted coach Atkinson.

Woolridge, who also stars in track and field for Keller, is very excited about the prospects of making his mark in the Pac-10, going up against the caliber or competition in the conference of champions.

“Oh yes I am,” he said. “I like the competition, because you just don’t want to do it against just anybody. I’d love to do it against USC and Cal and UCLA.”

Next, the Cougs are leaders for a big, 6-3 linebacker Lamar Brumfield out of Cali. He’s considered a sleeper at this point but could be that “slugger” MLB. Check it:

IT LOOKS LIKE its down to two Pac-10 schools for a hard hitting linebacker out of California. At 6-foot-3, Lamar Brumfield has some size to him and could end up being that big middle ‘backer from the HS ranks that schools love to land. Then again, he also has plenty of the attributes you look for in an outside linebacker.

Lamar Brumfield, a 6-3, 215-pound linebacker out of Carson, Calif., has a Top 2 — Washington State and Oregon. Does he have a current favorite out of the two Pac-10 schools?

“Washington State,” said Brumfield.

Both the Cougs and the Ducks have offered. Brumfield has official visits scheduled to both Oregon and WSU.

“I’ll be going to Oregon on the 21st, and I’m going to Washington State on the 15th.” Brumfield said.

On those visits, the Carson High standout will be looking for several things, including a family atmosphere and information top to bottom on the school’s academics. He also wants to gauge if a younger player, through his performance, would earn playing time over an upperclassman.

“I want to see how close the team is. Academically, how they’re doing and what they have in place. And then just to see about (early playing time)…And I want to see what the coaches are like.”

Washington State was by for an in-home on Wednesday of this week to visit with Brumfield and his family. Coach Kelly Skipper has clearly made an impression.

“Coach Skipper is really cool, he’s come down before. He talked with me and my mom and he’s just always told me straight – you’ll play if you’re good enough. And that’s what I need to hear.”

“I don’t want anyone to sugarcoat it and say ‘Oh yeah, you’re our guy’. He just was real cool — real honest. He told me everything that I need to do.”

IN CARSON’S 4-3 defense, Brumfield told CF.C he racked up 103 tackles for the Colts his senior season.

“I like to hit,” he said with a laugh.

The ‘backer also had two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a TD, to go along with his two sacks in 2004. Over the last two years, Brumfield has recorded nearly 200 stops for Carson.

Besides being a sure-tackler, Brumfield has some quicks off the snap and has displayed a real ability to play sideline to sideline.

“I’m an exciting guy, I make big plays at big times in the game,” said Brumfield.

Academically, Brumfield is in fine shape. He carries a GPA of 3.2 and has achieved a qualifying score on the SAT.

Finally, DeWayne Patterson (no, not THAT Dewayne Patterson!):

WHAT LOOKED TO be a potential position of weakness for the 2005 Cougs is now shaping up as a team strength — Cougfan.com has learned Washington State has secured another key verbal commitment on the defensive side of the ball. The oral pledge brings to 12 (15 total including three holdovers) the number of known verbals secured by the Cougs in their 2005 class. CF.C talked to the latest member of the WSU family moments ago. And get this, he’s name is already in the Cougar record books.

“I have committed to Washington State,” DeWayne Patterson told Cougfan.com Tuesday afternoon. Patterson is the first junior college verbal for the Cougs this recruiting season.

While he may be unknown to most Cougars, he’s name definitely is not. One of the greatest defensive ends in Cougar history — a Palouse Posse mainstay in the early 90s — had the identical handle.

This Patterson bolsters what had previously looked to be one of the few thin spots — safety — on next year’s team.

Patterson is the third safety in this class, joining 2004 holdover Michael Willis enrolling in January and prepster Xavier Hicks. They will become part of a returning corps that includes Husain Abdullah, Omowale Dada, Eric Frampton, and Christian Bass. From this group the Cougars must find two new starting safeties with the graduation of Hamza Abdullah and Jeremy Bohannon.

Patterson, a 6-2, 195-pounder out of Chaffey College in Oakland, delivered the good news to WSU defensive coordinator Robb Akey.

“I told coach Akey,” said the soft-spoken Patterson. “He seemed a little excited.”

Patterson chose Washington State over Arizona, BYU, UTEP and New Mexico, among others.

“It was just my comfort level. I wanted to find someplace where I will feel comfortable and where I’d be able to play.”

Patterson was reluctant to pat himself on the back but did offer some insight on his strengths in the secondary.

“I feel I’m a good run support safety and I have good cover skills. And I’m a pretty good hitter.”

“Pretty good” might be an understatement according to his junior college coach.

Chaffey coach Carl Beach told CF.C. that Patterson is a quiet player who leads by example, going on to say they’re really going to miss Patterson’s presence this coming year at Chaffey. It’s not hard to figure out why.

“I think his biggest strength is his intensity,” said Beach. “He plays with real intensity. He’s fearless when it comes to hitting people and going out to make a play. He’s going to be sorely missed by us.”

Patterson projects at safety for Washington State. He has three years to play two at WSU, having grayshirted at Chaffey.

It’s no secret Washington State likes to attack on defense and to dictate the flow of the game. That looks to be right up Patterson’s alley.

“I know with how Washington State plays — we’ve had some other kids go there — he plays the way they like to play there. It will be a good fit for him,” said coach Beach.

NOTHING new on Jonathan Stewart, other than the fact that he dropped USC. We are in his “final 4”, with his visit to the Ducks coming this weekend. He still has a slot left for a visit to UW, but he strangely has not made the trip official – at least not yet. However he has unofficially visited and met with TW. There is also a rumor that Stewart’s paster met for over an hour with Willingham this week in a closed-door meeting, making some speculate he’s headed for Muttlake and the paster was the last one to give him the thumbs-up. God will tell the young man where to go when the time comes, so all we can do is hope like heck that Doba and company have done enough to be THE place for the #1 running back in America! Boy, a Maurice Clarett or Adrian Peterson-type would sure be a nice presence next year in the WSU backfield. Think of the all deep balls Swogger could air out to Hill, Bumpus and Jordan when teams have to put 8 in the box to slow down Stewart. Earlier I was thinking 7-4 or 8-3, but I’m starting to feel more like Lawson on this and think we have a legit shot at 9-2 next year, ESPECIALLY if SNOOP lands in Pullman and gets on the field regularly next year.

Sonics are starting to peter out a little bit, but it’s natural. Never in their history have they done extremely well on these eastern seaboard trips. Even though Orlando and Washington aren’t very good, it’s easy to see them let down especially after the intensity of beating Shaq and Miami. Plus, don’t overlook that PURE ENERGY Reggie Evans was out the last two games with a stomach ailment! He’s a role player, of course, but he sure does bring a lot of intensity. That kind of bounce is needed on the road during a LONG-ASS NBA season!