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WSU football recruiting notebook: Focus quickly shifts to 2017 prospects

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When it comes to college football, the crootin' can't stop, won't stop.

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With the 2016 class signed, sealed and expected to be delivered this coming June, the Washington State Cougars coaching staff has already shifted their focus to 2017 with offers flying out of the Football Operations Building.

A flurry of offers is typical for schools this time of year, and Washington State, in particular. Over the last week, WSU has offered double-digit prospects, as well as added verbal commitments from a number of preferred walk-on targets.

WSU football recruiting notebook

First of all, Washington State added a pair of preferred walk-on linebackers this week. Woodinville, Wash., inside linebacker Dylan Axelson and Lake Forest, Calif., outside linebacker Dillon Sherman have accepted preferred walk-on offers.

Axelson is listed at 6-foot, 210-pounds and was an all-state first teamer at linebacker after setting the Woodinville record for tackles this season. Sherman, friends with WSU walk-on Kaleb Fossum, is a 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker who finished with over 100 tackles as senior and was named to the All-CIF-SS West Valley Division first team.

Just before signing day, WSU offered Los Angeles, Calif., wide receiver Jamire Calvin. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound receiver is rated three-stars by Rivals.com and also holds offers from Cal, Oregon State, Utah, Washington and others. Calvin is teammates with Washington State signee Renard Bell, who also played receiver at Cathedral.

Also offered a couple weeks ago was Temecula, Calif., athlete Michael Onyemaobi. The 6-foot-1, 187-pounder is rated three-stars by Rivals.com and plays both cornerback and receiver for Chaparral. Cal has also offered Onyemaobi.

Washington State rarely offers junior college offensive linemen, however City College of San Francisco's Elliot Baker picked up a WSU offer over the weekend. The 6-foot-7, 295-pound lineman has also been offered by Arizona State, Illinois, Iowa State, Louisville and Missouri. WSU safety Shalom Luani and recent signee Robert Taylor, also a safety, also played for CCSF.

Joining Baker in picking up an offer from Washington State as a junior college offensive tackle is Ronald Rudd III. The Chaffey College, Calif., product is listed at 6-foot-7, 320-pounds and also holds offers from Louisville and Missouri. WSU is clearly looking to add some junior college help on the offensive line in this class.

The Cougars were the first program to offer Portland, Ore., offensive tackle Jaxson Kirkland on Monday afternoon. Kirkland is listed at 6-foot-6, 320-pounds and should see his recruitment pick up significantly in the coming months.

The of the most targeted prospects on the West Coast already is Redlands, Calif., defensive end Jaelen Phillips. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder picked up an offer from Washington State this week, which adds to an already impressive list including Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford, UCLA, Washington, Arizona, Cal, USC, Utah and Colorado. Phillips is a four-star prospect according to the 24/7 Sports Composite.

West Covina, Calif., receiver Brian "B.J." Casteel was offered by Washington State on Tuesday afternoon. The 6-foot, 190-pound wideout is rated three-stars by the 24/7 Sports Composite and the No. 98 receiver in the 2017 class. It's the first offer for Casteel, who plays at the same school as top WSU target Zion Echols (Cal) in the 2016 class.

Another top receiver to receive an offer from Washington State this week was Murrieta, Calif., standout Maurice Bell. The 6-foot, 170-pound receiver is rated three-stars by Rivals.com and also holds offers from Arizona State, Boston College, Colorado, Iowa and UNLV. The Murrieta Valley star appears to be on the verge of several more offers, too.

Back on the defensive side, the Cougars offered a La Mirada, Calif., cornerback Elijah Hicks. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound defensive back also holds offers from Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Colorado State and New Mexico.

La Mirada, Calif., linebacker Chase Newman joined Hicks in adding an offer from Washington State this week. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound outside linebacker is rated three-stars by Rivals.com and also holds offers from Colorado and Colorado State.

Washington State reached into Northern California to offer Walnut Creek, Calif., receiver Isaiah Hodgins yesterday. The 6-foot-3, 187-pound receiver is rated four-stars by Rivals.com and also holds offers from Boise State, Colorado State, Hawaii, Oregon State, San Jose State and Washington. Hodgins is ranked the No. 36 receiver in the country.

Mike Leach and Clay McGuire can never have enough big men up front. On Wednesday, they extended an offer to Buena Park, Calif., offensive lineman Ryan Nelson. The 6-foot-6, 254-pound tackle is rated three-stars by Rivals.com and also holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Colorado State, Nebraska, Utah and others.

After not signing a quarterback in the 2016 recruiting class, Washington State will be going after one hard in the current cycle. Could Layton, Utah dual-threat quarterback Tayler Katoa be the next man up for Leach under center? Well, maybe. The 6-foot-1, 204-pound quarterback was offered by Washington State today, which adds to a current offer sheet including BYU, Oregon State and Utah.

Update: After watching film, this is likely an "athlete" offer for Katoa, who would excel as a linebacker. Scout.com rates Latoa a four-star athlete, though BYU and others are still recruiting him as a quarterback.

One of the top running backs in the country, Stephen Carrpicked up an offer from Washington State today. The 6-foot, 180-pound all-purpose back is rated four-stars by Rivals.com and the No. 2 all-purpose back in the country. The Fontana, Calif., product is currently committed to USC, but also holds offers from Arizona, Cal, Georgia, Miami, Notre Dame, UCLA, Washington and several others.

Arguably the top receiver prospect in the country, Tyjon Lindseyadded an offer from Washington State on Wednesday. The four-star prospect, listed at 5-foot-9, 175-pounds, is ranked the No. 4 receiver in the country and the No. 24 overall prospect in the 2017 class, according to Rivals.com. Lindsey also holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington and many others.

Hayward, Calif., linebacker Addison Gumbs also picked up an offer from Washington State today. The 6-foot-3, 211-pound outside linebacker is rated three-stars by Rivals.com and also holds offers from Cal, Hawaii, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Utah State and several others.

Washington State is the second program to offer Cyrus Habibi-Likio, a running back prospect out of Palo Alto, Calif. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder also picked up an offer from Hawaii today. This guy is a freak athlete that could do a lot of things.

Staying in Northern California, Washington State extended an offer to Oakland, Calif., offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound offensive tackle prospect is rated four-stars by the 24/7 Sports Composite and the No. 29 tackle in the 2017 class. In addition to WSU, Vera-Tucker holds offers from Oregon, Cal, UCLA, Washington and Nebraska.

That's about it. I'll update this if more come in, which I'm sure they will.