IT'S A PRETTY safe bet that few CougFans have seen Spencer Waseem, WSU's newest verbal, play live. It's not like he lives in Spokane or Seattle, or even San Francisco for that matter -- he's 3,000 miles away in Florida. So to bring you firsthand insight, we went to the man in the media who has covered Waseem extensively, Chris Hays of the Orlando Sentinel. And Hays didn't disappoint.
Forty yard dash times here in the dot-com age, in many cases, have shrunk to fantasy levels. But future Cougar cornerback Spencer Waseem out of the Orlando area runs a legit 4.47. And that's fast.
More importantly, says Hays, he has football speed.
"Spencer is a great kid," says Hays. "On the football field he is deceptively fast. He may not look the part, but he can flat fly."
Waseem, out of Apopka High, checks in at 5-10 and 170 pounds, so he might not be that dream, prototypical-type lockdown corner, says Hays. But he does a lot of things very well.
"He’s not your standout cover guy but more of a guy who can be on the ball," says Hays. "He’s a bit small, but he packs a huge hit and loves to tackle."
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EVERY HIGH SCHOOL corner, it seems, also loves press coverage. And they play a lot of it in high school. But college coaches, in their camps, on tape and in live game evaluation, want to see corners play off the ball.
It's one thing to play press all the time in high school, and quite a different thing at the Pac-10 level and in big time college football.
Waseem, says Hays, actually does some of his best work away from press, although that can also come with its own set of challenges.
"He covers better off the line rather than up tight jamming the receiver, which could be a detriment if a team starts picking on him with short dinks," says Hays. "He’s also hell on wheels on special teams and if he misses a tackle, he’ll probably still make that tackle. He’s a relentless pursuant of the ball."
For evidence, Hays points to some of the plays on Waseem's highlight reel, particularly one where he tracks a ball carrier down from the opposite side of the field. And this upcoming season, that playmaking ability won't just be used on defense and special teams.
"Apopka will use him a bit on offense this season, also," said Hays.
Waseem is ranked No. 44 in the Sentinel's most recent Central Florida Super60, which the paper just released yesterday.
As has been made apparent for some time here on CF.C, Washington State has deemed the Sunshine State a true recruiting focus this class -- Paul Wulff has extended eight known offers to Florida prospects. For more on Florida recruiting from Hays and the Orlando Sentinel, click here.