PULLMAN – It’s not difficult to understand why Washington State University coach Paul Wulff is happy the Pac-12 Conference’s North Division will include Stanford and California.
He has at least 20 reasons to smile.
There are 20 players on his 2010 roster that either grew up or attended school within four hours of the Bay Area.
“I think it’s a perfect fit for Washington State,” Wulff said. “It’s a huge part of this program. The players from there just indentify with this place a lot.
“I felt all along the best situation would be for the Northwest schools and the Northern California schools to be together. I felt that was best for Washington State.”
The conference announced Thursday the makeup of the Pac-12 next season and WSU will continue to visit the Bay Area each year as part of the North Division with those schools and Washington, Oregon and Oregon State.
This year’s visit is Saturday at Stanford. It’s a big deal to many of those 20 players, including senior defensive tackle Bernard Wolfgramm, from nearby San Mateo.
“I have 17 tickets right now, but my mom and sister are asking for more,” Wolfgramm said. “I think that’s the limit right now.”
Maybe Wolfgramm’s mom and sister can contact Wade Jacobson’s dad, who has purchased more than 50 tickets for Saturday’s game, according to his son.
Jacobson is from just down U.S. 101 in the farming community of Hollister, an area excited by Wade’s success.
“I think I’m the only one coming out of there to get a scholarship, so it’s big,” the junior offensive guard said. “I know of maybe one or two to go to a school this big in the last 50 years. It’s a big thing. I have a lot of friends and family that want to visit.
“I think the best part is the town showing the support. Holister is a little country town. To see that kind of support, it just makes me want to play even harder.”
With the number of players from Northern or Central California, including running back James Montgomery, quarterback Jeff Tuel and linebacker Sekope Kaufusi, the WSU section of Stanford Stadium should be packed, despite the 60 percent chance of rain in the forecast.
“If you’ve paid attention to Cougar football for a number of years and you go back and you look at all the quality players that have been in this program, they’ve predominately been from Northern California and the state of Washington,” said Wulff, who came to WSU as a player from the Sacramento area.
“We now are just going back into Northern California with the vigor that we should be.”