Cougs land SUPERSTAR plus other rumblings

Good news – bad news.

First, with holiday cheer, the Cougs got a coveted superstar! No, not THAT superstar – more on him later – but they did get maybe their best recruit from last year back for this year as he has posted a successful SAT score. He will challenge, if not start, at safety as a frosh.

Check it out:

Michael Willis, a phenomenal football player and one of the stars of the 2004 signing class, has met academic admission standards and will be enrolling at Washington State in January.Willis told Cougfan.com he is thrilled, absolutely thrilled, to be going to Washington State.”On a scale of one to 10 — I’d say about a 20,” Willis laughed.Make no mistake — this is huge.Insiders a year ago told CF.C that the Cougs had unquestionably landed two bona-fide stars — players of the caliber that could have made an immediate impact at virtually any college in the nation.One was Michael Bumpus. The other was Michael Willis.A long time recruiting observer this winter told Cougfan.com that had Willis prepped somewhere in California or Florida instead of Tacoma, he would have garnered a five star rating.”It’s mind-boggling that Willis didn’t receive the same type of in-state hype that Larry Stevens and Paul Arnold enjoyed around the state of Washington a few years back. Absolutely mind boggling.”Other long-time followers of both the state of Washington prep ranks — and Cougar football — expect Willis to make a serious push for immediate playing time in the WSU secondary in ’05.Don’t be surprised if he starts. He’s that good.Simply put, the 6-3, 205-pound Willis is a tremendous athlete capable of making an immediate impact on the gridiron for Washington State.At WSU’s summer camp, a pass was thrown deep downfield. Willis, defending on the play and far away on the opposite side of the field, took off after it. It would have been amazing had he just gotten to the ball. But not only did he get there, he leapt, grabbed it and then all in one motion, came down and took off on a dead sprint for the other end zone. He went untouched.And mouths dropped.Regarded as one of the most feared hitters in the region from his safety spot, the Tacoma native may have actually received more honors and accolades on the offensive side of the ball, piling up 1,207 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns his senior season.Willis is more than capable of earning significant early playing time on either side of the ball for the Cougs. But with one of the biggest needs at safety this coming year, it appears the Cougar defensive backfield will be the likely destination for the former Lincoln High star and newest member of the Washington State family.

Now, really quick on Snoop Stewart – the rumors and whispers are true. He is VERY interested in UW, not to the point that he is going to commit to them, but they have certainly wormed their way into the top-4 with Willingham. He met with Willingham one-on-one after UW beat NC State last weekend, and came away extremely impressed. It’s not a worry that the big man upstairs is telling him to go to UW, that it’s a serious omen that Willingham fell into their laps, a gift from the sky. I’ll have more details after xmas day when I can pow-wow with UW super-sources, but we need to be very concerned…….one rumor making the rounds was that Willingham was going to hope to get one of the guys between Hasty, the player of the year in Washington, and Snoop, but now the whispers are Willingham could get BOTH guys and they will be a force as a duo in the backfield, AND Hasty could also play saftey which is where he broke in at Bellevue.

I’m telling you and anyone else who cares, Willingham will be the Lorenzo Romar of UW football. The future is scaring me when I think of the kind of in-state talent he’s going to keep home. It’s not purely a racial thing, of course, there’s always more to it than that, but Willingham is what he is. He believes in kids getting their education, he has excellent graduation rates (but let’s get real, Notre Dame and Stanford are elite universities, UW is nowhere near that level) and he NEVER gets in trouble. It’s music to many the ears of Mom/Pop/Grandma/Grandpa when he strolls into a living room in purple-n-gold, looks them in the eye, and waxes on about how he will take care of their son, he will play for a great football program rich in tradition, on TV no less, AND he will get an education!

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