Staring up at WSU cornerback recruiting

MARKELL SANDERS

WHEN IT COMES to cornerbacks, Washington State defensive coordinator and secondary coach Mike Breske clearly is looking for something very specific. Indeed, of the 16 known WSU offers made to corners in the 2013 class, 11 of them have one particular characteristic. The latest to earn a full ride to Wazzu, also a burner on the track, has it as well.

Breske likes tall corners. Of the 16 known corners who have been offered full rides by Washington State in this recruiting cycle, a dozen of them are listed at 6-foot or taller.

The latest known CB offer came recently when the Cougs put a full ride on the table to Walter Jones, a 6-1, 173-pounder out of Redlands, Calif. Jones is also a burner, with personal bests of 10.67 in the 100 meters, 21.56 in the 200 metters and 24-feet-5.5 inches in the long jump.

Taller corners generally have larger wingspans, and the length on the island fits what Breske wants to do on defense, particularly when running cover-4. But most important, it's about matching up.

Receivers are getting bigger and bigger, and that generally means corners need to follow suit. And when you have that tall corner who can lock down the opponent's top receiver, you can do more defensively on the backside – something else Breske loves.

Washington State signed no true cornerbacks in the 2012 class, with greater numbers and needs elsewhere. But for 2013, the Cougs are decidedly in the market.

WSU will lose Daniel Simmons to graduation after this year but he's the only scholarship senior corner on the roster. Behind Simmons, the Cougs have two juniors-to-be in Damante Horton and Nolan Washington, with Tracy Clark, Brandon Golden and Spencer Waseem all third year sophomores.

The Cougs seem likely to take 2-3 corners given the numbers. It's not completely out of the realm of possibility, after taking none in 2012, they could even sign a total of four corners -- if the overall situation dictates and the right players are there.

THREE OF THE corners WSU has offered have since verballed with other schools, Chirs Hawkins (USC); Dashon Hunt (UCLA) and Steven Nelson (Georgia). Another, 5-star rated Priest Willis out of Tempe, has 32 offers and looks to be leaning towards schools other than WSU.

Markell Sanders, however, is looking hard at Washington State. Sanders (6-0 ½ , 185) out of Eastside Catholic, preps under the tutelage of former Cougar RB/TE Jeremy Thielbahr and was tempted to pull the trigger while on an unofficial visit to WSU last month before deciding to take more time with his decision.

Los Angeles cornerback Daquawn Brown (6-0, 170) could be another strong possibility for a WSU commitment when it's all said and done. Brown told Scout.com's Inna Lazarev, "Washington State is up there at the top. People always say that your best offer is the first school that offered you, and that's true, because it's the first school that took a chance on you." In addition to WSU, he holds offers from ASU, Cal, UCLA, BSU and others.

Mikey Dorcely (5-10, 170) out of Orlando has offers from Washington State, Memphis, FAU and Indiana but listed Miami and four other schools who haven't offered as his early favorites.

Washington State was one of four schools who recently offered Oakland cornerback Kevin King after the Oakland NFTC. He's 6-3, 170 and says he's in no hurry to make a decision.

Chidobe Awuzie (6-0, 180) of San Jose holds offers from Washington State, Nevada and San Jose State but although he's listed as a CB, WSU likes him at WR. (He told Scout.com he likes the Cougs' Air Raid offense.)

Corner Derek Babiash (6-1, 170) out of Poway, Calif. verballed to the Huskies in late April and then decommitted from UW a couple weeks later, saying he made an emotional decision and did so too soon. The 4-star corner has an offer from WSU and six other Pac-12 schools.

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