2006 recruiting targets

Already there are a couple of big-time prospects showing interest in WSU for next year. I’ll post the actual articles later, but it sure sounds as though we have a tremendous shot at both guys. They hail from Eastern WA, so that’s good, but one of them has family ties to WSU.

The first one is Cameron Elisara. He’s a big, active, dominant D-lineman from Ferris. At 6-3, 275 and quick as hell, everyone loves him. However he ALREADY has offer in-hand from the Ducks, and UW has been circling already. There is talk that he’ll get a Coug offer very soon, maybe in a couple of weeks. The catch in our favor?? His dad happens to be a former Coug DT who played for the Cougs back in the late 70’s-early 80’s! The downside? He’s first cousins with the Tuiasosopo family and they are very close, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of pull that has with him going to UW.

Here’s the article:

THOUGH THE CROP of Division IA prospects in the state of Washington was smaller than usual in the just-concluded recruiting season, 2006 is shaping up to be a bountiful year. And one of the headliners figures to be Spokane’s Cameron Elisara, a bull of a defensive tackle whose crimson ties run deep.

Cameron Elisara, a 6-3, 275-pounder from Ferris High, is the son of Matt Elisara, a first-team All-Pac-10 nose guard on Washington State’s 1981 Holiday Bowl team. Pappy, who scored one of the most memorable defensive TDs in Cougar history on 42-yard interception return against UCLA, went on to play professionally in the USFL.

The family ties to Ol’ Wazzu don’t end their, however. Mom Cheryl is a WSU grad and older brother Travis was the scout team QB for the Cougars this past fall.

Elisara already holds an offer from Oregon with Washington State and Washington both very interested in keeping the defensive tackle within the state borders. Offers from both are expected any day.

Ferris head man Clarence Hough told Cougfan.com that Elisara spent last summer down at Oregon’s camp and the Ducks have been high on him ever since, culminating in the scholarship offer this past month. A coach from Washington was at Ferris before LOI Day last week looking at tape on Elisara.

A BROKEN ANKLE cut short Cameron’s junior season at Ferris in Week 5, but that didn’t stop him from being named unanimous first team all-league.

“Everybody understood his talent level,” said Hough.

Like many dominant defensive tackles in high school, Elisara is moved around up front to keep teams off balance. Unlike many DTs, he was also versatile enough to play out wide.

“We moved him around, he even played a little end,” said Hough. “He has a great first step, extremely quick. We measured him (a couple days ago) and he’s 6-3, 275 right now. He’s a powerful guy — a powerful guy.”

Before the injury, Elisara was well on his way to a stellar season, collapsing the middle and racking up sacks.

“He was good for about three sacks a game,” said Hough. “Honest to Pete, it seemed like every game he opened with a sack on the first series.”

With Elisara sidelined for the year, Hough said Ferris had to change virtually everything they did on defense and offense without him in the lineup — he was that much a force.

“You lose a Division I football player, and it’s hard to bounce back from that,” said Hough. “He needs to be out on the field for us as much as we can get him out there.”

Elisara is also a standout shot-putter, heaving the orb 56 feet as a sophomore.

THERE’S MUCH TO like with Elisara, an already naturally strong specimen who also holds a real passion for time spent lifting the iron.

“He is a wrecking ball on defense, he’s just a bull,” said Hough. “He’s a great weight room guy too. And he uses his hands really well.”

An assistant coach at another GSL school who asked not to be identified said Elisara figures to rank among the top defensive linemen to have ever come out of eastern Washington.

“He’s an absolute horse ,” said the coach. ” He dominates the line of scrimmage and his pass rushing technique is as good as it gets at this level. Coming out of high school you’d have to rank him up there with Jeremey Williams, George Yarno and Steve Emtman as far as prep linemen from this part of the state are concerned.”

Interestingly, Williams and Yarno are both Ferris and Washington State alums. Yarno, whom many people remember as an offensive lineman because he played that position so long in the NFL, was actually an All-Coast defensive lineman for the Cougars in the late 1970s.

Elisara was in Washington State’s camp this past year and Hough thinks the Cougs, and the Huskies, will be charging hard after the defensive tackle this year.

“I think they’re going to be really aggressive,” said Hough.

The other is a kid named Ryan Tolar from Pasco. The rumors are he already loves Yarno, and WSU in general and will be camping there this year. But he’s FAR from a sure thing. Everyone in the Pac-10 plus many national schools are after him. Check it out:

THE OFFENSIVE LINE is shaping up to be one of the deepest positions in the state of Washington for Division IA football prospects in 2006, with Pasco’s towering Ryan Tolar getting the early nod as the most coveted hoss of them all. Both literally and figuratively, he’s been a driving force behind Pasco’s offensive juggernaut over the last two seasons.

The entire Pac-10 is recruiting Ryan Tolar, and they’re not the only ones who have taken notice of the 6-6, 320 pounder. The offensive lineman is also getting serious interest from Notre Dame, Northwestern and Michigan State.

He isn’t leaning toward anyone at the moment. “Every school that is recruiting me, I’d put in a high spot,” Tolar told Cougfan.com.

Tolar will be at Washington State in April to take in the Crimson and Gray game for the second straight year.

Before heading to Pullman for some spring ball, he’ll travel to the UW for the Huskies’ junior day later this month and then down to Oregon the first week in March. He’ll also be attending a NIKE camp but is undecided on if it will be the camp at Stanford or the one in Eugene.

TOLAR BLASTED LANES for Pasco running backs last year, with Leon Jackson and Tony Coburn combing for more than 3,300 yards. Pasco was the state 4A champion in 2003. Last season, the Bulldogs were 12-0 and ranked No. 1 before being upset in the semifinals by Skyline, 28-23.

“He is very large,” laughed Pasco head man Steve Graff. “He’s just very tenacious. He’s one of the best offensive linemen we’ve ever had here. He was very important to our success last year and he was very important to our success as a sophomore.”

Tolar also suited up — and played — on the varsity as a freshhman. He is the only freshman to ever to have started for Graff in his eight seasons as head coach at Pasco.

There aren’t many stats kept for offensive linemen. Graff did however offer a glimpse of the dominating force that Tolar is — the pancake blocks he doled out on the competition last year were both numerous and memorable.

“I’d say he averaged 5 to 10 a game,” said Graff. “He finishes really well — that would be one of his best characteristics. He finishes better than anyone we’ve ever had.”

Tolar has very good lateral movement at 320 pounds and is busy this offseason working on improving his speed and quickness. Graff said Tolar’s athleticism is fast coming along to match his strength.

“He’s gotten better and better, his athleticism has improved leaps and bounds,” said Graff. “He works very hard in the weight room, very hard at watching film — just all of those ‘little things'”.

Indeed, on Monday afternoon Tolar hit a personal best with a bench press of 335. He also has a squat of 565 pounds.

AS A JUNIOR, Tolar received a slew of honors and accolades. He was a consensus All-State pick and Lineman of the Year in the Big 9.

Academically, Tolar has already achieved a qualifying test score on the SAT.

Graff said unlike Nebraska-bound Jackson, who only made one official visit last year, Tolar will take a few trips before making a decision. He also said he might line up on defense a bit for Pasco this coming season.

We did great with the speed and skill positions this year, and a couple of “headline” lineman in Ahmu and Alfred, but now it’s time to land some hosses up front.