February 3, 2010

Cougars announce recruiting class

The Spokesman-Review
 
Christopher Anderson photo

Friends, family and teammates brought cake and decorations as they watched Jake Rodgers of Shadle Park High School sign his letter of intent to play football at Washington State University on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010. His teammate Ryan Flores also signed a letter of intent to play at Montana Tech.
(Full-size photo)

Just about everyone on Washington State’s commitment list signed National Letter of Intent on Wednesday.

A couple notable exceptions were California tight end Asante Cleveland, who decided to go with Miami, and defensive lineman Maxx Forde, who picked Idaho instead.

There were a couple of late additions, including running back Devontae Butler-Booker from Sacramento and linebacker C.J. Mizell from Tallahassee, Florida. Mizell is a guy who graduated from high school in 2009 and had signed with Florida State.

DAVID GONZALES

6-6 / 270

Offensive Line

Fresno, Calif.

Central West High School / Fresno City College

JUNIOR COLLEGE CAREER

SOPHOMORE (2009): Three-star junior college prospect (Scout.com) started every game at left tackle for head coach Tony Caviglia…named all-conference and played in the State Center Bowl…team went 7-4.

FRESHMAN (2008): Played in the Silicon Valley Bowl…team went 6-5.

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

Began his football career during his JUNIOR season…played defensive line on the junior varsity team…SENIOR year started every game, playing both offensive and defensive line for head coach Wayne Koligian…was also team captain for the Grizzlies…named second-team All-Tri-River Athletic Conference on the offensive side of the ball…played in the City-County All-Star Game…invited to North-South Rotary Game.

Coach Wulff…

“David is a big, athletic kid. He’s a late bloomer and will have every opportunity to contribute right away. He is a big, athletic guy who has the ability to pass protect. And we really went after some kids who had the athleticism, length and range to be able to move and use their body to protect the quarterback.”

Coach Sturdy…

“David has a huge upside with his best football ahead of him. Once he is in our strength program he is going to really grow. David is flexible and has the ability to be a very good pass and run blocker.”

WADE JACOBSON

6-6 / 310

Offensive Line

Hollister, Calif.

San Benito High School

GAVILAN JUNIOR COLLEGE CAREER

SOPHOMORE (2009): Three-star junior college prospect (Scout.com and Rivals.com) was a team captain and garnered offensive player of the year, all-state, all-region and all-league accolades for head coach John Lango…voted the No. 1 lineman in the league and was a third-team All-American…registered 75 pancake blocks on the season.

FRESHMAN (2008): Started every game for the fans, playing primarily at right tackle…voted the team’s most improved player.

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

Two-year letterwinner at left tackle for head coach Mike Luna…also lettered once in baseball and once in track…four-year all-academic honoree in football, three-year all-academic honoree in baseball and one-year all-academic honoree in track…JUNIOR year helped lead San Benito to the first round of the state playoffs…SENIOR year squad finished in the top three of the T-Cal…also finished in the top 25 at the CCS Regional in the shot put.

Coach Wulff…

“We think Wade is an outstanding player. He’s very physical and still has a lot of room to develop in the weight room, but at the same time he has great strength already. We envision him giving us some toughness and aggressiveness right out of the gate and somebody who should compete for a starting job right away.”

Coach Sturdy…

“Wade is big and strong and just physically impressive. He needs to gain some experience but he has the ability to be a dominating player in the Pac-10.”

The following signees plan to enroll at WSU in August, 2010:

BLAIR BOMBER

5-9 / 170

Wide Receiver

Lynden, Wash.

Lynden High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

Four-year letterwinner for head coach Curt Kramme…also lettered four times each in basketball and track and field…member of five state championship teams, including three in football and one each in basketball and track and field…FRESHMAN year started at both wide receiver and defensive back…helped lead the Lions to a 13-1 record and the state football title (2A)…also played varsity basketball, winning the state basketball championship (2A)…SOPHOMORE year named All-Whatcom County at defensive back…team went 10-3 and made the state semifinals…started every game on the hardwood, leading the Lions to a fourth-place finish at state…qualified for the state track championships in the 100-meter, and finished second at the state meet in the 4x400 relay…JUNIOR year named all-state honorable mention on the gridiron…also garnered first-team All-Northwest Conference and All-Whatcom County honors…led the Lions to a second state championship in three seasons…led the Northwest Conference with 92 receptions for 998 yards, and rushed for 253 yards on 37 carries…combined to score 17 touchdowns, including 13 through the air…named honorable mention All-NWC in basketball…track team won the state championship (2A)…individually finished second at state in the 100m (11.07) and 200m (22.05), and his 4x400 relay team won the state title…claimed the 100m title at districts…SENIOR year football team won a second-straight state title, the Lions’ third in four years…named first-team all-state at wide receiver and honorable mention all-state at defensive back by the Associated Press (2A)…also named all-state at defensive back by the Seattle Times (all classifications), Tacoma News-Tribune (all classifications) and EvergreenStatePreps.com (3A-and-under)…named first-team All-NWC at both wide receiver and defensive back…also garnered All-Whatcom County honors…caught 57 passes for 884 yards and 12 touchdowns…named Seattle Times Red Chip prospect…three-star prospect according to Scout.com was rated the No. 20 prospect in the state of Washington.

Coach Wulff…

“Blair will give us another playmaker with speed and quickness. He also gives us a great level of competitiveness at the wide receiver position. He is going to fit well with our team and will be a guy that makes an impact fairly quickly in his career.”

Coach Sturdy…

“Blair is a very explosive player, very passionate. He loves the game of football and is going to be a player that can do some great things in our system.”

DEONE BUCANNON

6-1 / 180

Safety

Fairfield, Calif.

Vanden High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

Two-year letterwinner in football for head coach LeVon Haynes…also lettered four times in golf…JUNIOR year racked up 140 tackles, three sacks, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries en route to his first Solano County Athletic Conference Player of the Year award…named All-CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and City Defensive Player of the Year…also garnered all-region, all-city and all-league accolades…SENIOR year named first-team all-state (medium schools) by CalHiSports.com……also named first-team All-Northern California by GoldenStatePreps.com…garnered his second-straight SCAC Defensive Player of the Year honor, in addition to all-league and all-city honors…recorded 107 tackles (44 solo), including four sacks, and had two interceptions and two fumble recoveries…caught 20 passes for 264 yards and a touchdown on offense…led Vanden to the second round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs…three-star prospect according to Scout.com was rated No. 78 overall in the state of California and No. 102 at his position nationally…three-star prospect according to Rivals.com was rated No. 45 at his position nationally and No. 85 overall in the state of California…rated No. 77 in the Contra Costa Times’ Cream of the Crop (California Top 100).

Coach Wulff…

“We have been following Deone for over a year. He is a very physical, strong tackler. He runs well and will give us a physical presence on the perimeter and be an excellent player for Washington State for a number of years.”

Coach Ball…

“Deone is very physical and extremely fast. He is pretty rangy, about 6-2, and a very, very physical football player.”

DEVONTAE BUTLER

5-11 / 180

Running Back

Sacramento, Calif.

Grant High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

JUNIOR year ran for nearly 2,000 yards and 37 touchdowns on 197 carries…helped lead Grant to the CIF State Open Division title…rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown in the title game…first-team All-Metro…SENIOR year carried the ball 263 times for 2,884 yards and 45 touchdowns…led Northern California and finished in the top 10 in the state in rushing…sat out the second half of five games due to blowouts…caught nine passes for 152 yards on the season…had six rushing touchdowns in a single game, five touchdowns twice and four scores five times…two games with more than 300 yards…had 10 200-plus yard games on the season, including a string of nine-straight…named Sacramento Bee Player of the Week following his 221-yard, four-touchdown effort against Rosemont in barely a half of action…first-team MaxPreps All-State Division I… NorCalPreps.com Division I Player of the Year…named second-team CalHiSports.com All-State…SacBee All-Metro…three-star recruit according to Rivals.com also ranks No. 74 at his position nationally.

Coach Wulff…

“Devontae is a physical running back that runs down hill well. He gives us a good dimension between he and Rickey Galvin. He is a multi-talented athlete with size and strength.”

Coach Sturdy…

“Devontae was a very productive running back in high school. I like his size, he’s explosive and a real elusive runner. He brings an element of toughness and has a chance to be a real good player for us.”

TRACY CLARK

5-10 / 175

Cornerback

Pittsburg, Calif.

Pittsburg High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

Played cornerback, wide receiver, running back and returned kickoffs for head coach Victor Galli…also participated in track and field…JUNIOR year recorded 40 tackles and three interceptions en route to all-league honorable mention honors…helped lead Pittsburg to the CIF North Coast Section Finals…SENIOR year was named first-team All-Bay Valley Athletic League, first-team All-East Bay and first-team all-state…also named second-team All-Northern California by GoldenStatePreps.com…recorded 31 tackles and recovered a fumble in nine regular-season games…offensively, carried the ball 32 times for 237 yards and three touchdowns, and caught 11 passes for 139 yards and a score…once again helped lead Pittsburg to CIF North Section Finals…three-star prospect according to Scout.com was also rated No. 91 at his position nationally and No. 96 overall in the state of California…member of the Contra Costa Times’ Cream of the Crop (Bay Area Top 20)…rated No. 95 in the Contra Costa Times’ Cream of the Crop (California Top 100).

Coach Wulff…

“Tracy is highly competitive. He is a young man who will grow in the program and will contribute early provided he continues to work hard. He is a gym-rat as a football player, loves the game, and has the ability someday to be a coach on the field.”

Coach Ball…

“Tracy has extremely quick feet, great cover skills and a passion for the game. He is a very smart player, and gives you another coach out on the field. He brings a lot of positive qualities to the table – he is savvy, a good leader and very tough. He is a good returner, too.”

TYRONE DUCKETT

6-0 / 205

Safety

Alameda, Calif.

Encinal High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

Three-sport athlete played both offense and defense for head coach Joe Tenorio… also played basketball and baseball for the Jets…FRESHMAN year played quarterback and was named junior varsity squad’s most valuable player…SOPHOMORE year started at safety for the varsity squad…JUNIOR year added running back to his resume, rushing 90 times for 595 yards and eight touchdowns…also caught 10 passes for 126 yards and four touchdowns…named first-team All-Bay Shore Athletic League at running back…defensively, recorded 69 tackles and eight pass break-ups as a part-time starter…led squad to the North Coast Section Division III title with a perfect 13-0 record…SENIOR year named first-team all-state (medium schools) at defensive back by CalHiSports.com…also garnered first-team All-East Bay (Contra Costa Times), San Francisco Chronicle All-Bay Area and first-team All-Bay Shore accolades in addition to second-team All-Northern California by GoldenStatePreps.com…recorded 67 tackles, five sacks, two interceptions, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery on defense…rushed 97 times for 938 yards and 13 touchdowns on offense…team’s captain and most valuable player led Encinal to the CIF North Coast Section Division III Finals…also participated in the Eastbay vs. Sacramento All-Star Game as a safety…member of the Contra Costa Times’ Cream of the Crop (Bay Area Top 20)…three-star prospect according to Rivals.com…rated No. 110 at his position nationally by Scout.com.

Coach Wulff…

“Tyrone is a great leader who played quarterback and safety in high school. He is going to be a defensive player for us, be it at outside linebacker or safety. He brings great maturity in a lot of ways and a lot of want-to. He is a young man with great leadership skills.”

Coach Ball…

“Tyrone is anathletic, versatile player. He played quarterback and safety, and comes from a program with only 22 guys on the team. They had to play both ways most of the time, and they played for a Southern Section title two years in a row. He is a very physical player.”

AARON DUNN

6-6 / 235

Tight End

Spokane, Wash.

Mead High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

Played tight end and defensive end for head coach Sean Carty…team captain as a senior…four-year letterwinner in backetball…team captain as a senior…FRESHMAN and SOPHOMORE years played both football and basketball for Shadle Park…named honorable mention all-league as a sophomore in football…was the only non-senior on the All-Greater Spokane League First Team in basketball…JUNIOR season transferred to Mead, but a knee injury shortened his season…SENIOR year named EvergreenStatePreps.com All-State (4A)…first-team All-Greater Spokane League…caught 12 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown in a run-first offense…four-star prospect according to Scout.com was also rated No. 4 overall in the state of Washington, No. 9 at his position nationally and No. 200 overall nationally…three-star prospect according to Rivals.com was rated No. 11 overall in the state of Washington…Tacoma News-Tribune Northwest Nugget honorable mention…member of TNT’s Western 100…Seattle Times Red Chip prospect.

Coach Wulff…

“I’ve known Aaron for a long time. He is going to bring us a high level of maturity down the road. He needs to get in the weight room fulltime. He’s an athlete that plays year-round with basketball and football, but as he focuses on football he should become the physical presence we need at the tight end position.”

Coach Sturdy…

“Aaron has the ability to be a great player at this level. Physically he has all the things we look for: size, athleticism and work ethic. Aaron gives us the opportunity to have a true tight end matching up with defensive ends and he will be huge in the passing game.”

JOHN FULLINGTON

6-6 / 270

Offensive Line

Belfair, Wash.

North Mason Options High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

Four-year letterwinner played tight end, offensive line and defensive line for head coach Phil Pugh…also lettered four times in basketball and three times in track and field…team captain for football and two-time team captain in basketball…FRESHMAN year named second-team All-Nisqually Olympic League at tight end…led Bulldogs to a 7-3 mark…basketball team’s most valuable player…qualified to state in the javelin…SOPHOMORE year named first-team all-league at both tight end and defensive line…named team’s most valuable player…honorable mention all-league on the hardwood…finished eighth at state in javelin…JUNIOR year named first-team All-Nisqually Olympic League at both tight end and defensive end…also named Kitsap Sun All-West (Puget) Sound First Team…caught 21 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns offensively…defensively, recorded 52 tackles, four sacks and a blocked field goal…team’s most valuable player on the hard wood was also named second-team all-league…squad finished fifth in state…qualified for state in both the shot put and discus…SENIOR year named first-team all-state (2A) on both the offensive and defensive lines by the Associated Press…EvergreenStatePreps.com All-State (3A-and-under)…voted league’s defensive most valuable player…defensively, registered 58 tackles (45 solo), one sack, one fumble recovery, a blocked punt and two blocked field goals…three-star prospect according to Scout.com was rated No. 16 in the state of Washington and No. 54 at his position nationally…three-star prospect according to Rivals.com was rated No. 16 overall in the state of Washington and No. 70 at his position nationally…Tacoma News-Tribune Northwest Nugget honorable mention… Seattle Times Red Chip prospect.

Coach Wulff…

“John is one of the finer offensive line talents I have seen coming out of high school in a long time. He did play at a smaller high school but he has a great work ethic. John is a high-end character kid and has all the natural physical ability in the world. I expect him to have a great career at Washington State.”

Coach Sturdy…

“John is exactly what we are looking for in an offensive lineman. We think he has unbelievable potential, is athletic, good strength and a passion for the game. We think he can be a great player in the Pac-10.”

RICKEY GALVIN

5-8 / 172

Running Back

Berkeley, Calif.

Berkeley High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

JUNIOR season rushed for nearly 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns…SENIOR year led the East Bay with 2,264 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns…led the Yellowjackets to a share of their third-straight Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League title…Alameda Contra Costa League Offensive Most Valuable Player…San Francisco Chronicle Regional Player of the Year (East Bay)…SF Chronicle All-Metro Second Team…CalHiSports.com All-State Third Team (large schools)…led Berkeley to a 10-2 record and an appearance in the second round of the CIF North Coast Section Division I playoffs…named Athlete of the Week by the Contra Costa Times following his performance against Pittsburg…carried the ball 33 times for 233 yards and three touchdowns…also named the ESPN RISE CalHiSports.com Athlete of the Week following his game against Hercules…rushed for 234 yards and four touchdowns on 14 carries in less than three quarters…selected to the Holiday Classic All-Star Game (East Bay vs. Sacramento)…member of the Contra Costa Times’ Cream of the Crop (Bay Area Top 20)…three-star prospect according to Scout.com was rated No. 74 at his position nationally…three-star prospect according to Rivals.com was rated No. 18 nationally at his position.

Coach Wulff…

“Rickey is a highly competitive athlete. He has great quickness and good strength already. He’s not big in stature but will give us some explosiveness on offense which we have lacked. He has a chance to contribute right away and I’m looking forward to see if he can come in and be a player that makes a difference for us on offense in his first year.”

Coach Sturdy…

“Rickey is a dynamic player, explosive, with the ability to make people miss in the running game and catching ball out of backfield. He plays the game hard and is very tough. He has a great future at Washington State.”

BRANDON GOLDEN

6-0 / 190

Cornerback

Covina, Calif.

Charter Oak High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

JUNIOR year garnered first-team All-Miramonte League honors at running back and second-team all-league honors at defensive back…rushed for 555 yards offensively, and recorded 37 tackles and six interceptions defensively…led squad to the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division title…SENIOR year was named first-team all-league, first-team all-area and first-team All-CIF at defensive back…led Charter Oak to its second-straight CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division Championship…registered 18 tackles (12 solo), six interceptions and 10 pass break-ups…offensively, carried the ball 45 times for 319 yards and four touchdowns…also returned kickoffs for the Chargers.

Coach Wulff…

“We really liked Brandon’s athleticism and what he can give us in the return game and at the corner position. He is a guy that has excellent speed, which is one a focus of ours the last two recruiting classes.”

Coach Ball…

“Brandon can run…fast. He has good cover skills, and he has played a lot of corner. He really brings a lot of speed to that position.”

CONNOR HALLIDAY

6-5 / 186

Quarterback

Spokane, Wash.

Ferris High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

JUNIOR year completed 170-of-286 passes for 2,404 yards and 21 touchdowns…also a standout on the hardwood, garnering second-team All-Greater Spokane League honors…SENIOR year led Saxons to the state championship game…completed 310-of-477 passes for 4,198 yards and 43 touchdowns en route to GSL Offensive Most Valuable Player honors…his 2,260 yards passing in eight GSL games broke the league record of 1,975 (previously held by former Cougar Mark Rypien)…named Tacoma News-Tribune All-State (all classifications) and EvergreenStatePreps.com All-State (4A)…also named honorable mention all-state (4A) by the Associated Press…three-star prospect according to Scout.com was rated No. 11 overall in the state of Washington and No. 25 at his position nationally…three-star prospect according to Rivals.com was rated No. 15 overall in the state of Washington and the No. 37 pro-style quarterback nationally…Tacoma News-Tribune Northwest Nugget honorable mention…member of TNT’s Western 100…Seattle Times Red Chip prospect.

Coach Wulff…

“Connor has a big upside. The weight room is going to be very important to him. As he focuses solely on football and lifts he will bypass a lot of players at that position throughout the Pac-10. Connor has the intangibles in the passing game, he is very competitive, and he has a bright future at Washington State and could play early in his career.”

Coach Sturdy…

“Connor is a big time talent. Accuracy as good as I’ve seen. He has a knack for the game and is a fierce competitor. He can make all the throws and what really stands out to me is his accuracy, which is as good as I’ve seen. His toughness and competitiveness are outstanding.”

DAMANTE HORTON

5-10 / 175

Cornerback

Oakland, Calif.

Oakland High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

JUNIOR year named first-team all-league on both offense and defense…returned five interceptions for touchdowns…offensively, caught 39 passes for 570 yards and rushed 60 times for 578 yards…SENIOR year named first-team All-Oakland Athletic League and first-team All-East Bay after registering more than 100 tackles…member of the Contra Costa Times’ Cream of the Crop (Bay Area Top 20)…three-star prospect according to Scout.com was rated No. 81 at his position nationally…three-star prospect according to Rivals.com.

Coach Wulff…

“Damante gives us a great physical presence at the cornerback position. He can be physical with receivers off the line of scrimmage and plays that style real well. We need that with the size of receivers in this conference. We need corners that can tackle well, number one, and two play physical. His speed is very good and his future is very bright.”

Coach Ball…

“Damante might be the quickest out of the whole bunch. He’s got a tremendous amount of cover skills and he is a tough, strong player. He brings a lot of passion, and he is really quick and really athletic.”

ROBERT JILES

6-0 / 185

Wide Receiver

Pittsburg, Calif.

Pittsburg High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

Played both wide receiver and cornerback and returned punts for head coach Victor Galli…also played basketball…team captain in football…JUNIOR year garnered second-team All-Bay Valley Athletic League honors after catching 29 passes for 457 yards and six touchdowns…caught five passes for 125 yards and three touchdowns against Antioch…helped lead Pittsburg to the CIF North Coast Section Finals…SENIOR campaign named All-BVAL First Team on both offense (wide receiver) and defense (defensive back)…caught 54 passes for 846 yards and 14 touchdowns during the regular season…..racked up 36 tackles and five interceptions on defense…had four more scores via defense and special teams…once again helped lead Pittsburg to CIF North Section Finals…member of the Contra Costa Times’ Cream of the Crop (Bay Area Top 20)…three-star prospect according to Scout.com was rated No. 125 at his position nationally…three-star prospect according to Rivals.com.

Coach Wulff…

“Robert is a very good athlete, plays both sides of the ball. He has excellent ball skills as a receiver and our plan is to use him on offense and give him every opportunity to make plays. He is more of a slot receiver than an outside guy but he has a chance to be a very fine player.”

Coach Sturdy…

“Robert is a real playmaker, quick, explosive, athletic in how he plays the game. When you get him the ball in space he can make people miss and do some great things.”

C.J. MIZELL

6-3 / 210

Linebacker

Tallahassee, Fla.

Leon High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

FRESHMAN and SOPHOMORE seasons played at Coffee County High School in Georgia at defensive end…JUNIOR year transferred to Leon and sat out the season…SENIOR year registered 131 tackles (87 solo), including 26 tackles-for-loss and 12.5 sacks…also recorded 14 forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries…named first-team all-state (4A) and was a finalist for the high school Butkus Award…came out of high school as a Prep Star All-American…four-star recruit according to Scout.com, and was rated No. 5 nationally at his position…was also a four-star recruit according to Rivals.com, and was rated No. 19 at his position nationally and No. 45 overall in the state of Florida…rated No. 25 at his position nationally by ESPN…ranked as the ninth-best player in Florida by FloridaVarsity.com, No. 33 in the Superprep Florida 110 and member of the Mobile Press Register’s Super Southeast 120.

Coach Wulf…

“We didn’t know a lot about CJ and came onto him late. We brought him in for a visit and he got to meet several people on campus. Everyone from our faculty athletic rep to compliance to academics were very impressed with him. He is talented and one of those players that makes everyone around him better.”

Coach Ball…

“CJ has a lot of range, plays with a bit of a mean streak. He has nature instincts and a good football IQ. He will bring a lot of athleticism and toughness to our team.”

ERIC OERTEL

6-1 / 185

Linebacker

Racine, Wisc.

Lutheran High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

Four-year letterwinner for head coach Scott Smith…also lettered three times in track and field…two-year captain in both sports…FRESHMAN year garnered honorable mention All-Midwest Classic Conference honors at outside linebacker…helped lead Crusaders to an 11-1 record and the third round of the state playoffs…SOPHOMORE year named first-team all-conference and first-team All-Racine County at defensive back…all-county honorable mention at running back after rushing for 960 yards and 12 touchdowns…team went 9-2 and reached the second round of the state playoffs…JUNIOR year named first-team all-conference, first-team all-county and first-team all-district at running back…rushed for 2,056 yards and 25 touchdowns…first-team all-conference and first-team all-county at linebacker…team went 9-3 and made the third round of the state playoffs…SENIOR year named Wisconsin’s Gatorade Player of the Year…unanimous selection as the conference’s Player of the Year, on both offense and defense…named first-team Associated Press All-State…garnered Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Offensive Player of the Year…first-team all-conference, first-team all-county, first-team all-area and first-team all-district…on defense, recorded 120 tackles (85 solo), including seven tackles-for-loss and three interceptions…on offense, led the state in rushing, setting the Racine County single-season (2,731) and career (5,695) rushing marks…had 33 rushing touchdowns…three-star prospect according to Scout.com was rated No. 54 at his position nationally.

Coach Wulff…

“Eric is just a great team football player. He will do anything for anybody at anytime. We are going to start him out on offense at running back and give him an opportunity to play there. He has good size, great intelligence and good strength. He has a lot of growth that is going to happen in the weight room, but he is a high character guy that brings a lot of intangibles to the football team. He will be a very valuable member of this program while he is here.”

Coach Sturdy…

“Production doesn’t lie. Eric’s a big back, has great ball skills, runs well for his size and rushed for over 2,000 yards last year. His toughness, work ethic and character all go into making him a special player.”

KALAFITONI POLE

6-2 / 275

Defensive Tackle

Union City, Calif.

James Logan High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

Three-year letterwinner in football for head coach George Zuber…team captain played defensive end and tackle, and offensive tackle and tight end…also lettered four times in wrestling and three times in track and field…FRESHMAN year finished third in the league in wrestling (215)…SOPHOMORE year finished second in the league on the mat (heavyweight)…also finished eighth in the North Coast Section…JUNIOR year named first-team All-Mission Valley Athletic League at offensive tackle…also named first-team all-league on the defensive line…honored with the outstanding lineman award…SENIOR year was named the Mission Valley Athletic League’s Defensive Player of the Year…named first-team all-league on both offense (tight end) and defense (defensive end)…caught 18 passes for 529 yards and six touchdowns…also named All-East Bay on both offense (first team) and defense (second team), and garnered All-Metro Second Team honors on offense…helped lead James Logan to the first round of the CIF-North Coast Section playoffs…member of the Contra Costa Times’ Cream of the Crop (Bay Area Top 20)…three-star prospect according to Rivals.com was rated No. 83 at his position nationally.

Coach Wulff…

“Toni is a raw athlete that is an athlete. He has good speed, good toughness and he is going to be a defensive lineman for us. He’s got some work to do and develop more strength but he does have some natural quickness. He has a chance to play early in his career.”

Coach Ball…

“Toni is an absolutely explosive player and has a huge upside.”

BOBBY RATLIFF

6-1 / 180

Wide Receiver

Etiwanda, Calif.

Etiwanda High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

Three-year letterwinner for head coach Stephen Bryce…SOPHOMORE year helped lead Eagles to the first round of the CIF…JUNIOR year caught 45 passes for 617 yards and five touchdowns…also ran and threw for a touchdown on offense, and had 18 tackles and two interceptions on defense…SENIOR year was named first-team All-Baseline League, first-team All-Inland Valley and first-team All-CIF Southern Section Central Division…caught 61 passes for 909 yards and five touchdowns…also rushed five times for 99 yards and two scores and completed his only pass of the season for a 59-yard touchdown…led Eagles to the CIF quarterfinals…three-star prospect according to Scout.com was rated No. 68 overall in the state of California and No. 89 at his position nationally…three-star prospect according to Rivals.com was rated No. 95 at his position nationally…rated No. 68 in the Contra Costa Times’ Cream of the Crop (California Top 100).

Coach Wulff…

“Bobby is a very mature, polished receiver in a lot of ways. He’s going to be a very good player and as we continue to build the program he is going to be a big part of our success. We envision him being an early contributor in either his first or second year but he will have an impact.”

Coach Sturdy…

“Bobby is very explosive. He has good size for a receiver, great ball skills and is a superb route runner. He is a great effort player, has a great passion for game and with his size can match up with anyone in the Pac-10.”

JAKE RODGERS

6-7 / 245

Tight End

Spokane, Wash.

Shadle Park High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

Three-year letterwinner played offense (tight end), defense (defensive end) and special teams (kicker and punter) for head coach Mark Hester…also lettered three times in basketball and participated in baseball…SOPHOMORE year helped lead Highlanders to the state tournament on the hardwood…JUNIOR year named first-team All-Greater Spokane League on the gridiron, one of just three juniors on the 17-man offensive team…SENIOR year served as team captain and was named EvergreenStatePreps.com All-State (3A-and-under)…three-star prospect according to Scout.com was rated No. 20 overall in the state of Washington and No. 37 at his position nationally…Seattle Times Red Chip prospect.

Coach Wulff…

“He is a big athlete who was injured for much of his senior year. He is somebody who really wants to be a good player and will do everything he can to develop here at Washington State. He’s a versatile player and we will give him every opportunity to start at tight end but he could be a defensive end or even an offensive tackle. We will have to see what happens after he gets in the weight room and how it develops from there.”

Coach Sturdy…

“With Jake you start with what first strikes you, his physical size. He’s a big kid and only going to get bigger and stronger when he focuses on football full time. He is athletic enough to make a huge impact and can be an impressive football player.”

MATTHEW SIMMONS

6-0 / 180

Cornerback

Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

Bishop Montgomery High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

Four-year letterwinner for head coach Arnold Ale…two-year team captain…also lettered four times in track and field…SOPHOMORE year garnered second-team All-Del Rey League honors…JUNIOR year racked up 41 tackles, one sack, 10 pass break-ups, one interception and one fumble recovery en route to second-team All-Del Rey League honors…SENIOR year named All-Del Rey League Second Team…three-star prospect according to Scout.com was rated No. 95 overall in the state of California and No. 106 nationally at his position…three-star prospect according to Rivals.com…rated No. 94 in the Contra Costa Times’ Cream of the Crop (California Top 100)… father Randal played football at Washington State

Coach Wulff…

“His dad was a great player here at Washington State. Matt is a very fine player, a good combination of speed, strength and quickness. He’s going to be a physical football player who could play some corner, some safety. He could end up at either one of those spots, we are not sure but his flexibility we feel is a bonus for us.”

Coach Ball…

“Matt is extremely physical. He is a tough player with a really good feel for the game. He will raise the toughness and physicality at both his position and the team.”

KRISTOFF WILLIAMS

6-2 / 205

Wide Receiver

Antioch, Calif.

Deer Valley High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

Two-year letterwinner for head coach Rich Woods…team captain and four-year scholar athlete…also a National Football League Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete…JUNIOR year combined for nearly 600 yards rushing and receiving, scoring seven touchdowns…defensively, recorded 25 tackles (12 solo), two interceptions and five pass break-ups…garnered second-team All-Bay Valley Athletic League and third-team All-East Bay…named team’s rookie of the year…SENIOR year named second-team All-Northern California at all-purpose by GoldenStatePreps.com…voted unanimously as the Bay Valley Athletic League’s Most Valuable Player…also named first-team all-league on defense (utility) and second-team all-league at quarterback…second-team All-East Bay…completed 29-of-54 passes for 610 yards and four touchdowns during the regular season…also rushed 80 times for 710 yards and 11 touchdowns…caught three passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns against Pittsburg…defensively, registered 20 tackles (14 solo) and notched two pass break-ups…also served as the team’s punter and returned punts…led Deer Valley to an undefeated regular season and the league title…team made the second round of the CIF-North Coast Section playoffs…had nearly 2,000 all-purpose yards and 17 touchdowns…played quarterback, wide receiver, punter and defensive back… member of the Contra Costa Times’ Cream of the Crop (Bay Area Top 20).

Coach Wulff…

“Kristoff was a late find for us; I don’t think a lot of people know much about Kristoff. He is somebody we couldn’t pass up. He’s got too much size, too much athleticism and he’s such a high-end character guy. He’s got so many good traits; he’s very good from the neck up. He has a lot of potential and an opportunity to have a great career. His physical abilities are off the chart and we are hoping he matches those with his work ethic.”

Coach Sturdy…

“Kristoff is another receiver with good height and explosiveness. Athletically he is very impressive for frame and body and will be able to match up with anyone in the Pac-10.”

MARQUESS WILSON

6-3 / 170

Wide Receiver

Tulare, Calif.

Tulare Union High School

HIGH SCHOOL CAREER

Three-year letterwinner in football for head coach Darren Bennett…two-year team captain…also lettered four times in track and field and three times in basketball…two-year captain in basketball and one-time team captain in track and field…JUNIOR year named the Visalia Times-Delta All-Tulare County High School Athlete of the Year after garnering first-team all-league accolades in three different sports…named first-team all-league in football on both offense and defense…hauled in 37 receptions for 836 yards and a county-leading 17 touchdowns…also played cornerback for the Central Section Division II Championship team…voted the East Yosemite League’s Most Valuable Player in basketball…won league titles in track and field in the high, long and triple jumps…SENIOR year named first-team All-East Yosemite League, Fresno Bee All-Area and Visalia Times-Delta All-County after hauling in 50 catches for 1,083 yards and 22 touchdowns…also a standout defensively for the Redskins, garnering MaxPreps Division II All-State at defensive back…led Tulare Union to the semifinals of the CIF-Central Section Division II playoffs…three-star prospect according to Scout.com was rated No. 77 overall in the state of California and No. 96 at his position nationally…three-star prospect according to Rivals.com…rated No. 76 in the Contra Costa Times’ Cream of the Crop (California Top 100).

Coach Wulff…

“Marquess is one of those kids that the sky is the limit. His potential is way, way out there. He’s an excellent athlete right now and as he gets in the weight room and continues to develop he could be as good as he wants to be. I couldn’t be happier with him coming on board and I know he was a receiver a lot of people coveted because they see the big-time potential in Marquess and we see the same thing and are fortunate to have him on board.”

Coach Sturdy…

“Marquess is impressive as an athlete. His turnover and speed as a big, tall receiver is tremendous, as is his ability to go up and get the ball. He is another player whose best football is ahead of him. Marquess has a chance to have an unbelievable career at Washington State.”  


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