Lots of Cougar connections at NW Elite Camp

MERCER ISLAND -- Friday's Northwest Elite Football Camp on Mercer Island was a reunion of past, present and future Washington State Cougars. Five WSU coaches were among the instructors -- as was incoming Cougar quarterback/safety/slot/linebacker Isaac Dotson. Marcus Griffin, a WSU verbal out of Bellevue, was on hand to observe. And the director of the camp is former WSU quarterback Cole Morgan.

While well represented, the Cougar contingent was far from alone. Coaches from colleges across the country -- including camp founder and current Wyoming quarterbacks coach Jason Gesser -- were there to put more than 700 young athletes through the paces.

One of those youngsters was record-breaking junior-to-be Brett Rypien, a quarterback out of Spokane's Shadle Park High, who already holds offers from WSU and Idaho. He also has serious crimson connections. His mom is a WSU graduate, one uncle is legendary Cougar QB Mark Rypien and another is former WSU assistant coach Chris Tormey.

Rypien was the top underclass quarterback at the camp and was one of the MVPs at quarterback. He has a busy weekend in store. On Sunday he'll be throwing passes at the Nike Football Training Camp in Eugene.

Joining him in Eugene will be Bellevue defensive tackle Marcus Griffin, who was the second verbal commit to WSU for the 2014 recruiting class. Griffin didn't participate in Friday's camp on Mercer Island, but he was there watching the defensive line and seeing his future coach in Pullman, Joe Salave'a, instruct the troops.

Griffin said he's noticed just how well the Cougars have started the 2014 recruiting cycle, with six verbal pledges so far and a No. 50 national ranking by Scout.com.

"We've got a nice class coming in already," said Griffin. "It's stacked and it's solid. We've got some guys people were sleeping on, and some guys that a lot of people wanted, but we're building something special. These coaches know how to recruit. Greg Hoyd (another WSU defensive commit), is real nice."

NOTABLE NOTES:

  • Besides Salave'a, Cougar coaches instructing at the camp were running backs coach Jim Mastro, offensive line coach Clay McGuire, inside receivers coach David Yost, and outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons. We had a long conversation with Simmons that will be up on CF.C later this weekend.

  • If incoming Cougar freshman Isaac Dotson decides to hang up the cleats early, he would be a natural with a whistle around his neck. He was one of the instructors at the camp, and the future Coug was shadowing WSU coaches throughout the down time. Dotson was the QB MVP at the camp a year ago and had a commanding presence while running drills this time around.

  • Marysville-Pilchuk running back Austin Joyner was one of the stellar underclassmen at the NW Elite, and the 2015 prospect was one of the running back MVPs. Joyner has an offer from Washington State, Portland State and Washington.

  • Bellevue/Newport tight end Drew Sample said he's considering camping with Washington State and the rising prospect, who's now in double-digits for offers, was one of the tight end MVPs.

  • Kirkland/Juanita 2015 defensive tackle Thomas Toki was one of the defensive line MVPs and Toki has an offer from the Cougars as well as Arizona State, Oregon State and UCLA.

  • Redmond/Eastlake safety Drew Lewis was one of the best defensive backs at the event, earning MVP honors for the secondary. Lewis has an offer from the Cougars but Arizona State and Pittsburgh, where his brother plays, are still standing out.

  • Kaleb McGary of Fife, who holds a WSU offer, was one of the camp's OL MVPs.

  • The Northwest Elite Camp was presented by Adrenaline Fundraising.
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