More commits with signing day tomorrow

More and more speed is coming to Pullman!

First the bad news – Marlon Wood, a verbal commit to the Cougs as a JC DB from Pasadena College, same school that produced J-Smith, has de-committed from the Cougs and will to go UW. Turns out the biggest thing is we saw him as a DB, and he sees himself as a WR/KR. He also saw the writing on the wall with all our skill position players for the next 2-3 years, and realized if he wanted to play offense as a JC transfer, WSU wasn’t the place.

Now the good news – more commits have been coming in, and again, all things they have in common – SPEED. The news just gets better by the day, and the amount of speed is staggering. We’ve also done damage in the state of Texas, now up to 4 commits from that state. Makes you think that the Holiday bowl win, and especially the style of that win, made serious inroads in the lone star state.

Here’s a quick rundown of the recent verbals in the last day:

1) Greg Trent – LB – TX – 5-11, 220, 4.5 40(!)

Head coach says he’s the best linebacker he’s ever coached. Chose the Cougs over Wisconsin at the last minute. He is absolutely put together too. “Despite missing four games with an injury, the linebacker who is built like Zeus came on strong after his return and was named 1st team all district his senior season. Trent simply blew up opposing offenses the previous year during his junior campaign, racking up 181 tackles on his way to being named District 5-5A co-defensive MVP.”

2) Jason Stripling – LB/S – TX – 6-0, 215, 4.55 40 (!)

Projects as a linebacker, even though he’s blessed with 4.5 speed. Defensive MVP of his district, led his team to the 5A District I championship. “Stripling helped lead the Red Raiders to the school’s first-ever state football championship in the Class 5A, Division I Texas Bowl with a 69-yard interception return for a score. The previous week in the semis, he also returned a 64-yard pick to paydirt.

Taking back interceptions in playoff games became something of a habit for Stripling. His junior season, the Stripling racked up 122 tackles and four interceptions, one of which he returned to the house in a playoff victory.”

3) Courtney Williams – LB – CA – 6-2, 205, 4.54 40 (!)

“THE COUGS love linebackers who can really run, and the 6-2, 205-pound Williams can flat-out fly. Among the 80-plus tackles he racked up this season, 26 of them were sacks. The Los Angeles native is generally regarded among the top two 400-meter prep sprinters in all of California — he is expected to challenge Dorsey teammate David Gettis for the state 400-m title this year. In the event, Williams clocked a 47.7 in the quarterfinals last year.” WSU beat out Utah State, Baylor, Arizona, Oregon and Oregon State. USC, UCLA, Washington, Utah, Wyoming and Nevada have all showed either early or late interest. WILLIAMS WAS selected LA Defensive player of the year and Defensive Lineman of the year by The LA Times. He was also named to the Times All-star selections, which includes all of southern California, and was first team All-Region. And naturally, he was a first team selection in the rugged Coliseum league.

Dorsey is a football factory, sending countless players on to Division I and NFL rosters.

4) Bryan Tarkington – 6-5, 280 – CA JC – DT – In addition to WSU, the 6-5, 280-pound defensive tackle out of Moorpark College held offers from Michigan State, Colorado State, Kansas, Marshall and San Diego State. He had previously verbally committed to Colorado State but was blown away by his visit to Washington State this past weekend.

ON THE YEAR for Moorpark, Tarkington destroyed opposing offenses, racking up 16 sacks from his interior line position. In being named a first-team all-Northern Division selection in the Western States Conference, Tarkington forced 7 fumbles, recovered 7 fumbles and deflected 5 passes.

He totaled 78 tackles — a large number of which were from behind the line of scrimmage. Coming out of Taft High, Tarkington was all set to sign with Oklahoma but didn’t get the SAT score he needed and ended up going the junior college route. He is in fine shape to earn his AA degree and will participate in spring ball for the Cougs.

5) One last guy the Cougs are recruiting hard, and it could be another Bumpus situation, is a WR named Derrick Jones. He committed to USC last year but he failed to qualify initially and, like Bumpus, was asked to grey shirt. He declined, has now passed his SAT and is fully qualified, but has decided not to go to USC. He visited Oregon last weekend, and has a trip scheduled to Pullman strangely enough after signing day, this weekend, beginning 2/4. His final 4 list has Oregon, WSU, Miami, FL and Cal, with Oregon and WSU 1-2. He expects to make his decision after his visit this weekend. Maybe he’ll sign on the dotted line??

This guy is good-sized, 6-1, 185, but he’s SCARY fast, as in track sprint fast in the legit 4.4 range. So fast that he WON THE CALIFORNIA STATE 200 last year, running it in 21.10. He ran a 10.62 100 meters, getting 5th in the state, and ran on the relay teams that took state. He has run as fast as 10.5 in state competition in the past. He was at one time ranked the #27 player in the west a year ago, and yes, he would be A HUGE GET if we can land him. Stay tuned there.

One more interesting thing. The 4 Texas recruits is big enough, but, in the did-you-know category? We have more commits from Texas (4), than we do from Washington (3)! Can you believe that? I guess it more or less backs up what many have said about the state this year, and that is overall the quality is a “down” year. There are some headliners, like Stewart, Hasty, Savannah, Alfred, Danzy and Felder, but the quality overall just wasn’t as deep. When you have more recruits from TX than WA, that says a lot!

We’ll see what tomorrow brings as the LOI’s start rolling in. WSU will announce signees in stages, and any inside info I’ll post. Otherwise check Cougfan message board and the official WSU site as they announce the signees.

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