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Washington State signs QB Bruggman

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Washington State signed its top recruit, quarterback Tyler Bruggman, after a bit of drama Wednesday.

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Various media reports said Arizona State made a late pitch to the four-star prospect from Phoenix. Washington State coach Mike Leach said he did not know if that was true, but added he had little doubt that the 6-foot-2, 202-pound Bruggman would sign with the Cougars.

``All I know is at midnight I got a lasagna recipe from Mrs. Bruggman,'' Leach said Wednesday.

Leach said Bruggman's mother made the best meal he had on the recruiting trail this year. ``In terms of volume and quality it was impressive,'' Leach said.

Tyler Bruggman is pretty impressive too, Leach said.

``He's very efficient,'' Leach said. ``The ball comes off his hands quickly.''

Washington State's only four-star recruit is highly intelligent and has great leadership skills, Leach said.

Washington State announced the addition of 24 players on Wednesday, including high school recruits and junior college transfers. Five of the players were already enrolled in classes.

Leach said he was happy with a class that featured 11 offensive or defensive linemen. The Cougars recruited heavily in Washington and Southern California. Scout.com rated their recruiting class 39th in the nation Wednesday.

Leach landed 11 players from California, six from Washington and two from Pago Pago, American Samoa, in what amounted to the first class in which he had ample time to recruit. He signed his first class barely two months after being hired at Washington State.

One of the Samoans was 290-pound defensive lineman Daniel Ekuale. ``He's that big and he can also run,'' Leach said.

The biggest player he signed was 320-pound offensive lineman Riley Sorenson from Santa Margarita High in California.

The Cougars picked up three wide receivers in River Cracraft, also of Santa Margarita High; Robert Lewis, from South Gate, Calif.; and Vince Mayle, a 220-pound transfer from Sierra College.

``He catches the ball, runs with the ball and pancakes guys when he blocks them,'' Leach said of Mayle, whom he likened physically to the San Francisco 49ers' Michael Crabtree.

The Cougars also picked up a couple of running backs to try to jumpstart their low-producing rushing attack. Jamal Morrow is a shifty back from Menifee, Calif., Leach said. Gerard Wicks is a 195-pound running back from Long Beach Poly High in California.

Leach did not identify which players might contribute right away, but he noted that 15 freshmen played last year.

``I'm pretty happy,'' he said. ``We got quality guys, good in the classroom for the most part. We needed offensive and defensive linemen and we did that.''

While it is conventional wisdom that recruiting to tiny and rural Pullman is difficult, Leach said he is not finding that's the case.

``Without exception, when they come here they like it,'' he said. ``This is a college town and feels like a college town.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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