Trend lines aplenty in WSU hunt for RBs

JAMAL MORROW

JAMAL MORROW this week became the tenth known high school running back to receive a scholarship offer from Washington State, thus putting an exclamation mark on three different trend lines Mike Leach and his staff have established this recruiting cycle when it comes to prospects in the backfield.

Trend One: The hands. Cougar RB targets can't just be runners. They have to be able catch the ball. Morrow has good hands. Last season he caught 15 passes for 139 yards (a 9.27 yard average) while collecting 1,777 hashes on the ground.

Trend Two: The geography. Morrow is from Heritage High in Menifee, Calif., which sits roughly an hour from both Los Angeles and San Diego. Eight of the 10 known scholarship offers WSU has made to running backs this spring have been to Californians, with the remaining two from Arizona.

Trend Three: The height. Morrow is 5-8, 180 pounds. Of the 10 RB offers WSU has made so far, eight of them have gone to players listed at 5-11 or shorter.

Literally and figuratively, the two biggest backs WSU has offered are 4-star Chans Cox (6-3, 230, Lakeside, Ariz.) and 5-star Justin Davis (6-1, 195, Stockton, Calif.) Davis has verballed to USC and Cox, listed by Scout.com as a fullback but also potentially a linebacker, has narrowed his list to USC, Notre Dame, Nebraska and five others that don't include WSU.

Most of the early RB offers on WSU's list appear to be strong leans elsewhere. But three that look to be well into the Cougar orbit are ...

  • Morrow, who is rated by Scout.com as the No. 106 RB prospect in the nation and has been clocked at 11.4 in the 100. He also has offers from Utah and Northern Arizona and is planning to camp at BYU this summer.

  • Olito Thompson (5-10, 205, Concord, Calif.), the No. 65-rated back by Scout.com. He rushed for a record 3,488 yards and 34 TDs last season. Besides WSU, he has been offered by Arizona.

  • Gerard Wicks (5-10, 195, Long Beach Poly), the No. 127-rated Scout.com running back. WSU is his only offer so far, which could sway him from his early stated aim of staying home with UCLA or USC.
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