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WSU football recruiting: Several JUCO prospects to visit

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With the early enrollee signing period coming to an end, the Cougars welcome a junior college heavy visitor list.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

For the second week in a row, the Cougars are having a huge recruiting weekend. CougCenter has learned of six prospects that will be taking a trip to the Palouse this weekend. Let's take a look at the kids who have already pledged Crimson first.

DECEMBER 11-13 OFFICIAL VISITORS
Position Name Hometown/School Ht/Wt Rivals Scout Committed? Highlights
LB Chima Onyeukwu San Pablo, Calif. (CC) 6-3/215 *** *** WSU Link
ATH Justus Rogers Bellevue, Wash. 6-2/215 *** *** WSU Link
CB Jalen Thompson Downey, Calif. 6-0/170 *** *** WSU Link
DL Phillip Napolean Mt. San Jacinto, Calif. (CC) 6-5/280 *** Link
DL Garrett McBroom Miami, Okla. 6-3/265 Link
OL Francisco Perez Baldwin Park, Calif. 6-5/301 *** *** Cal Link
OL Liam Ryan La Verne, Calif. 6-6/270 ** Link

Justus Rogers just got done leading his Bellevue High Wolverines to the State Championship game last weekend. The quarterback/athlete has already signed a financial aid agreement and is expected to enroll in January. Here is CougCenter's analysis on Rogers.

Update: Jalen Thompson will also official visit, which we've noted at the bottom of the page.

Chima Onyeukwu is the third commit this weekend and this kid looks to be able to step right away and contribute. The junior college linebacker is a run-and-hit stud as evidenced by his highlights which are a must-watch. The Contra Costa Comet has been committed to WSU since August and is a JC top 100 player by 247sports.com

Garrett McBroom is another junior college player who looks like he could step in and make an impact. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive end out Northeastern Oklahoma A&M holds offers from Purdue and WSU. He is a potential replacement for Darryl Paulo with his size and athleticism. McBroom recorded 10 sacks this year and plans on signing with a school on the December 16.

Continuing the junior college trend, Mount San Jacinto College defensive end Phillip Napoleon will also be in town. The 6-foot-5, 280-pounder looks to be a fit at Destiny Vaeao's spot. Based on his film, his strength appears to be as a run-stopper. Both McBroom and Napoleon appear to be good complements to Hercules Matafa's pass-rushing skills. Texas Tech and Iowa State are among the schools competing with WSU for Napoleon's services.

Lastly, prep lineman Liam Ryan is heading to God's country this weekend. The La Verne native is a 6-foot-6 270 pounder who possesses the ideal frame for the Air Raid offense. He has previously visited Nevada and is receiving interest from Arizona State.

Britton's recruiting notebook:

Frederick Mauigoa, the No. 1 rated prospect from The Rock, told CougCenter yesterday he'll take an official visit to Washington State next month, likely making the nearly 24-hour trek on January 22. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound guard prospect says he has no other visits planned at this time despite offers from Oregon State, BYU and others.

Earlier this week I spoke with Michigan graduate transfer Logan Tuley-Tillman, who tells me he'll take an official visit to Pullman on either January 15th or the 22nd. The 6-foot-7, 320-pound tackle was visited by Cougars outside linebackers coach Roy Manning this week and has been active on Twitter regarding his interest in Washington State.

Tuley-Tillman was partially recruited to Michigan by Manning and, after graduating in June, will have two years of eligibility left. He's already visited Ole Miss and has a visit set up to Louisville, though Washington State should be considered a favorite. Houston has also offered and remains in the picture along with Texas Tech.

Shortly after committing to Washington State while on an official visit last weekend, Taylorsville, Utah, defensive end Lyric Bartley received an offer from Utah, whom he had previously visited. The offer, however, came a weekend too late for the 6-foot-3, 235-pound defensive end, who says he is fully committed to Joe Salave'a and the WSU staff.

I don't expect the reported departure of Graham Harrell to have a significant impact on recruiting, though he does hold the lead for several prospects. If reports are true, Harrell, a respected coach on the recruiting trail, leaves at a time when Leach will have an opportunity to mend any recruiting wounds.

This isn't the same as Dennis Simmons taking another job a week before signing day. Simmons, an amazing recruiter who took an awesome job at Oklahoma, had several top recruits already committed to Washington State, however news of his departure leaked out, leading to a flurry of de-commitments, including top receiver prospect Dahu Green, who followed Simmons to Oklahoma.

Timing is everything in the coaching world and Harrell was offered an opportunity he couldn't pass up. Harrell is jumping into a no-pressure situation while working for another Leach disciple. Washington State will miss Harrell, but this is an attractive job opening that has produced back-to-back promotions. Leach will likely look for a true receivers coach that has ties to his system.

Additional recruiting notes (11:25 a.m.)

I'll use the rest of this space to provide updates throughout the weekend on any recruiting news that pops up, as there's usually late visitor news on Fridays. First, however, I wanted to touch on the junior college signing period, which opens up next week.

This is the most important official visitor weekend for Washington State in terms of junior college prospects because the recruiting window for mid-year players closes on Sunday evening with a quiet period going into effect through Wednesday.

McBroom and Napolean are expected to sign on Wednesday with the school of their choice while Onyeukwu, who committed to the Cougars several months ago, has a chance to do so as well, though he may have to move his enrollment back to June. McBroom will choose between Purdue and Washington State while Napolean, also considering Purdue, recently said the Cougars were in his top three along with Oregon State and Colorado State.

I was able to confirm that Downey, Calif., cornerback Jalen Thompson, a Washington State verbal commit, will also be in town this weekend, as expected. He'll be joined by fellow early enrollee Justus Rogers. That makes seven visitors.

Washington State has a new football coach, and that means the Cougars have a new recruiter. So, who is Dave Nichol?

We have a quick report on the former East Carolina offensive coordinator here, which you should read. Nichol has already coached in the Pac-12 having served on Mike Stoops' staff at Arizona for five years from 2007-11. During that time, Nichol recruited mainly Arizona, California and spot-recruited Texas.

His biggest recruiting get while at Arizona was all-everything running back Ka'Deem Carey, who turned out to be a decent football player and is now playing for Da Bears. When promoted to offensive coordiantor at East Carolina, former Pirates head coach Ruffin McNeil called Nichol a "tireless recruiter."

Overall, Nichol seems to bring with him a proven offensive mind and recruiting ability. As mentioned above, the timing here works out nicely, given the circumstances, especially since he can now get some of Harrell's prospects on the phone this weekend and be ready to hit the recruiting trail in January.

You can check out Nichol's all-time commitments here and here.

According to a source, Washington State will also be hosting Baldwin Park, Calif., offensive Francisco "Paco" Perez. The 6-foot-5, 301-pound guard is currently committed to Cal and also holds offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Kansas State, Oregon State, Texas Tech, UCLA and others.

Perez rated the No. 33 offensive guard in the country, according to Rivals.com. Prior to committing to Cal, Perez listed a top six of Arizona State, Oregon State, Texas Tech, Colorado, Cal and WSU. There's been no indication that Perez is on the verge of backing off his commitment, however it's a big chance for the Cougars to make up some ground before the final push in January.