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Mid-year junior college transfers can first sign with the Cougs starting on Wednesday, and begin taking classes in January. It also affords them the opportunity to go through the WSU's upcoming spring session and also the offseason conditioning program -- both benefits that can give the new Cougars valuable experience in the Wazzu system headed into fall camp in August when the incoming freshmen and spring term JC signees arrive.
DE LUIS VASQUEZ (6-3, 250, 4.7), a one-time Purdue signee, is expected to compete for immediate playing time at WSU and could smartly fill an area of need with the departure of first-team all-Pac-10 end Mkristo Bruce.
The sackmaster was a force at Arizona Western the past two seasons, netting first team junior college All-America honors both years. Especially noteworthy a feat was his repeat first team All-America recognition this season, one he earned despite constant double teams and offensive schemes designed to run away from him. As the stakes increased, so did his performance -- over the final three games Vasquez logged seven of his 15 sacks to helped seal the league sack title for the second straight season.
Despite the extra attention, Vasquez tallied 61 tackles (33 solo) off the edge, with a ridiculous 24 tackles for loss. He also forced two fumbles and scored a pair of touchdowns -- one coming on an 89-yard fumble return -- the other on an interception he batted to himself before hightailing it to the house. His freshman season, he tallied 16 sacks among his 66 tackles in 10 games, with 13 QB hurries, 20 tackles-for-loss worth 48yds, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He has 2-to-play-2 for the Cougs.
OT VAUGHN LESUMA (6-5, 340) is one mammoth hoss, and could very well provide the Cougs an instant answer at the right tackle spot opened up by graduating Charles Harris.
While certainly a significant leap from junior college to the Pac-10, and especially so for the offensive line position, Lesuma's coach at Mount San Jacinto says he has the what it takes to significantly contribute his first year, dishing out high praise for Lesuma's high capacity to learn, his strength and athleticism. Lesuma is also a locker room favorite, among the more enthusiastic people you could ever meet with an engaging personality.
As good as he's shown his first two JC seasons, Lesuma has probably only skimmed the surface on his potential. The Fiji native and former Rugby standout has only been playing the game of football for two seasons, both in junior college, since coming to the States -- he knew absolutely nothing about football until he put on a helmet but has since been making up for lost time with a vengeance. He has 2-to-play-2 at Washington State.
TE DEVIN FRISCHKNECHT exploded this year as a pass catcher, and is expected to figure in prominently for the Cougs this coming season at the end of the offensive line with the graduation of Cody Boyd.
All Frischknecht did in 2006 was catch more passes than any tight end in junior college football, with 54 receptions for 763 yards and nine TDs. He was also the No. 8 receiver overall in the entire NJCAA, regardless of position.
Besides the No. 1 receiving tight end in the NJCAA, he was the leading receiver at Snow College, the school capping the 2006 season with the No. 2 ranking in the NJCAA. Frischknecht took home Offensive MVP honors in the Badgers' bowl game. A full qualifier out of high school, Frischknecht was close to accepting a scholarship offer to Utah when the head coach left for a new job and he turned to Snow. He has 3-to-play-2 for the Cougars.
Vasquez -- Two-time first team NJCAA All-America; Two-time JC Grid-Wire All-America
Lesuma -- Second team JC Grid-Wire All-America, (COA AA teams yet to be released)
Frischknecht -- Honorable mention JC Grid-Wire All-America