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That time Marshawn Lynch took an official recruiting visit to WSU

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He was almost a Coug! (OK, not really. But it's fun to think about.)

Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

You might have heard that Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch retired with a fun little tweet towards the end of Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, but you might not have known or remembered this.

When Lynch was a four-star running back out of Oakland Technical High School in 2003, new WSU head coach Bill Doba convinced Lynch to take an official visit to Pullman -- his first official visit of the recruiting cycle.

Back then, Beast Mode looked like this:

On his visit, Lynch got to witness the 14th-ranked Cougars whip Arizona to move to 5-1 on the season. He had fun:

"I liked it," Lynch told us as he was in the drive-through at a Jack 'N the Box for some late-night dinner. "I really liked the coaches and had fun with the other guys that came to visit too."

Chris Bruhn, Jonathan Smith, Sammy Moore and Jason Hill all took turns showing Virdell and Marshawn around. "The players were very cool," said Lynch. "I think the highlight for me was just meeting the players and getting to know them."

WSU, of course would go on to reach No. 6 in the AP poll and finish second in the Pac-10 before advancing to the Holiday Bowl, where they'd defeat No. 5 Texas to secure a third consecutive 10-win season and a top 10 ranking.

And, of course, Lynch would not pick WSU. Instead, he decided to attend Cal, where Jeff Tedford was just getting the program off the mat. Lynch would gain more than 3,200 yards in three years, posting 17 100-yard rushing games and 29 touchdowns on his way to becoming the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2006, which would lead to the Buffalo Bills selecting Lynch in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

Despite having the stronger program at the time, I presume WSU never really had a chance, knowing Lynch's affinity for his hometown and the Bay Area in general. Still, it's kinda fun to wonder what might have been had Lynch been in the backfield from 2004-2006. He'd have helped redefine the term "thunder and lightning" with Jerome Harrison for a couple of years before taking over full time in 2006, when we would have been spared the three-headed monster of Dwight Tardy/Demaundray Woolridge/Derrell Hutsona.

Maybe WSU figures out a way to get one more win in 2006. Maybe Doba doesn't get canned in 2007. Maybe we never end up with Paul Wulff.

That said, if Marshawn Lynch had come to Pullman, we would have never gotten this gem after he scored a game-winning TD against Washington:

Marshawn Lynch is such a treasure, maybe it was worth it.

h/t Stephen Cohen