PULLMAN — When Oregon State took the field before its 52-24 win over Washington State on Saturday night, the Beavers had a typically strong delegation of state-of-Washington players on the roster.
OSU has made hay recruiting the state to the north under Mike Riley. Nine Washington products are on the squad this year, and three started: Scott Crichton, all-league defensive end of Tacoma Foss; Connor Hamlett, tight end from Meadowdale High in Lynnwood; and Grant Enger of Bothell and O’Dea High.
“Washington has quite a few guys every year,” said Riley. “We’ve thought there’s probably 26 to 30 Division I players a year sometimes. Some are, of course, going to go to Washington and some to Washington State, but we think we can get our share, maybe two or three guys a year.
“We like the close access. Sometimes we’re closer than Washington State is (to the prospect) up the I-5 corridor. We feel real good about recruiting that state.”
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The Beavers have offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf recruiting the state of Washington.
Mike Leach’s first recruiting class (2012) at WSU netted only three in-state prospects in an abbreviated period, and one didn’t qualify academically. Last February the in-state total jumped to five, and WSU has two such prospects committed for 2014 — offensive tackle Jordan Rose of Rockford and defensive tackle Marcus Griffin of Bellevue.
Jack Thompson, the legendary “Throwin’ Samoan“ of the 1970s, was named last week to the inaugural class of the Polynesian Hall of Fame.
Thompson, one of a succession of noted quarterbacks at WSU, established multiple passing records during his 1975-78 run, had his No. 14 retired and was the No. 3 pick in the 1979 NFL draft.
The other six to be inducted in the hall are former Washington center Olin Kreutz, who had a 14-year NFL career after a successful late-1990s run at the UW; late linebacker Junior Seau of USC and NFL fame; Kurt Gouveia, ex-BYU and NFL linebacker; Kevin Mawae, ex-NFL center who had his start with the Seahawks in 1994; Ken Niumatalolo of Navy, first of Samoan ancestry to coach major-college football; and Herman John Wedemeyer, St. Mary’s halfback who was fourth in the 1945 Heisman Trophy voting.
The OSU-WSU date was also Armed Forces Appreciation Day, and safety Deone Bucannon says it has special meaning for him. His father was in the Marine Corps and his mother was in the Navy for 23 years.
“It’s incredibly important,” said Bucannon. “(They) made me the person I am today. It instilled discipline. Who they are and what they represent is more than I can even explain.”
Bud Withers: 206-464-8281 or firstname.lastname@example.org