Feb. 5, 2003
PULLMAN, Wash. -- - Washington State University's Bill Doba Wednesday announced his first recruiting class as the Cougars' head football coach, a class of 13 high school players and three junior college transfers.
The junior college players include Patrick Afif, a 6-8, 320 pound offensive lineman who enrolled at WSU in January out of Orange Coast Junior College. Transfers slated to arrive in the fall are running back Chris Bruhn from Butte College and offensive lineman Keola Loo, also from Orange Coast Junior College.
Three of WSU's 16 recruits were named to the Western 100 squad by the Tacoma News Tribune, quarterback Alex Brink, offensive lineman Bobby Byrd and defensive lineman Aaron Johnson.
SuperPrep Magazine listed six future Cougars among their price West Coast players. They included Byrd and Brink, plus linebacker Paul Stevens, defensive linemen Reyshawn Bobo and Aaron Johnson, along with defensive back Christian Bass.
Russell Foster, an offensive lineman from Chula Vista, Calif., received votes from the Best in the West poll conducted each year by the staff of the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
Doba, during a late afternoon press conference Wednesday, said he felt WSU had filled some immediate needs, but also indicated the junior college transfers would stand the best chance of making an immediate impact next fall.
The following are Doba's comments:
HEAD COACH BILL DOBA TALKS ABOUT HIS FIRST RECRUITNG CLASS . . .
FILLED NEEDS: "I think we filled some of our immediate needs. We got some offensive linemen. I think we got some top kids. We are real happy to have Bobby Byrd - a lot of people wanted him. We got some corners and that was another need we had. We needed a defensive lineman and fee fortunate to get Conlin from Canada and Aaron Johnson. We helped the defensive line with Pitoitua and Liufau and we took one linebacker, Paul Stevens. The one area we were a little light on were receivers."
POSSIBLE GRAY SHIRTS: "We will probably grayshirt Scott Selby to allow him to physically mature a little more. His future is ahead of him and we think it will be as a receiver or a tight end. He is a special kid."
COACHING CHANGE: "We lost a couple of kids and Alabama probably lost a couple. Anytime there's a coaching change there's doubt until they meet the new coach. I think we did real well in holding our commitments. I was happy our kids stuck to their commitment Mike Price did not try to recruit anyone who we recruited. He wrote a letter to all our recruits."
WHO COULD START: "We have a pretty good bunch back (from last year), so if they are starting, they are pretty good. The junior college kids might have a chance at the start of fall ball. Maybe by mid-season a couple of the freshman could be ready to contribute."
ACADEMICS: "I think there are three kids who have yet to clear and I feel good two of those will."
BEING HEAD COACH: " have to learn offensive players names (joked) and I don't have to drive anymore (on recruiting trips), just sit in the back seat. We only had about two or thre weeks to get in all these kids' homes. It was a whirlwind experience. The main thing was to assure the recruits things would be pretty much the same. Also, they needed to know me as a coach and a person, that I don't holler at them, that I treat them with dignity."
LATE RECRUITS: "George Yarno found the Conlin kid while he was at LSU and Timm Rosenbach was in touch with Brink while he was at Eastern Washington."
BOBBY BYRD: "He runs well and has good feet, a real good kid."
CHRIS BRUHN: "He is hungry as heck to play. We really needed him after we lost Duane Wright. Duane and Bruhn were kids we thought would come and fill us up. By the time we lost Duane most of the other good backs were taken, so keeping Bruhn was really important."
ALEX BRINK: "There were five quarterbacks still available when we went back to recruiting after Carl Bonnell said he was leaving. When we evaluated them, we thought Brink was better than the other four. He is a leader and a great student as well as a top quarterback."
JASON HILL: "Jason is a really good athlete, tall with good speed and hands. There is not a whole lot not to like about him."
The following are brief bios on each of WSU's signees:
|1. AFIF, PATRICK...OL...6-8...320...JR...TEMECULA, CALIF.|
|HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Temecula Valley High.|
|ORANGE COAST CC: FRESHMAN (2001): Coached by Mike Taylor...helped OCC capture Mission Conference title.|
|SOPHOMORE (2002): Ranked No. 2 junior college offensive lineman in the country by The Insiders...rated one of the top 125 junior college players by Prep Star Magazine...helped pave the way for Mission Conference's sixth leading rusher.|
|WSU CAREER: Enrolled at WSU January, 2003.|
|PERSONAL: Patrick Afif...born 3/20/83...parents Simon and Patricia Afif...|
|2. BRINK, ALEX...QB...6-3...180...FR...EUGENE, ORE.|
|HIGH SCHOOL: Coached by Marty Johnson at Sheldon High...also a standout on the baseball diamond and in basketball...as a JUNIOR led team to the state title game...threw for over 3,500 yards and 28 touchdowns, earning first team All-State honors...Midwestern League offensive player of the year...hit a grand slam and pitched a complete game in one baseball contest against Willamette...earned first team All-Midwestern League honors as pitcher...SENIOR year led Sheldon to the state championship...threw for 213 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 57 more and another score in 31-24 win over Lake Oswego in state title game...tossed four touchdown passes and racked up 384 yards in semifinal victory over Clackamas...threw for 3,946 yards in his final season with the Irish, including 36 touchdowns...earned first team all-league and all-state honors, and was named Oregon player of the year...ranked No. 72 quarterback in the nation by The Insiders...named Northwest Nuggett honorable mention by Tacoma News Tribune...named to Tacoma News Tribune's Western 100...finished with a record of 35-3 in three years as starting quarterback...|
|PERSONAL: Alex Brink...born June 2, 1985...parents Russ and Jennifer Brink...has one brother, Ben...interested in pursuing Sport Management.|
|3. BYRD, BOBBY...OL 6-6...290...FR...OCEANSIDE, CALIF.|
|HIGH SCHOOL: Coached by John Carroll at Oceanside High...also played basketball, leading Pirates to 18-11 record as a junior, including a second place finish in the Valley League...JUNIOR year earned all-conference honorable mention...as a SENIOR ranked No. 9 offensive lineman on the West Coast by Greg Biggins of PacWest Football...named to Tacoma News Tribune's Western 100...named first team All-County in final season, helping Oceanside offense rack up 32 touchdown passes...named first team All-San Diego Section by San Diego Union Tribune...avenged loss in the 2001 Division II title game by leading Oceanside to a 42-14 win over Helix in 2002...teamed with fellow Cougar signee Russell Foster of Bonita Vista to pave the way for a California victory over Florida in CaliFlorida Bowl IV...helped lead Oceanside to the CIF Division II title game, which was played in San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium.|
|PERSONAL: Bobby Byrd...born July 5, 1985...parents Matthew and Belinda Byrd...undecided on academic areas of interest.|
|4. CONLIN, JON...LB/DE...6-3...240...FR...VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA|
|HIGH SCHOOL:Coached by Todd Bernett at Vancouver College Prep...also lettered in basketball and track and field...as a JUNIOR, racked up 11 sacks, 25 tackles for loss and 60 total tackles...helped lead the Finnegans to a 13-3 record and the British Columbia AAA title game...was named Vancouver's outstanding junior and British Columbia AAA top junior...as a SENIOR, was named the BC AAA defensive player of the year...earned consensus All-Canadian honors...recorded 10 sacks, 20 tackles for loss, and scored a touchdown on one of five fumble recoveries...named British Columbia's "Mr. Football"...Vancouver compiled 13-1 record and made it to the British Columbia AAA title game for the second consecutive year.|
|PERSONAL: Jon Conlin...born June 6, 1985...parents Brian and Monica Conlin...one brother, Richard...cousin Curtis Cruickshank played for the Washington Capitals and the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League...compiled 3.8 prep grade point average and was the President of the Letterman's Association...interested in communications or humanities at WSU.|
|5. FOSTER, RUSSELL...OL...6-7...290...FR...CHULA VISTA, CALIF.|
|HIGH SCHOOL: Coached by Carl Parrick at Bonita Vista...also competed in track, throwing the shot put nearly 53 feet...as a JUNIOR earned all-league honors...SENIOR year ranked No. 80 offensive linemen in the country by The Insiders...ranked No. 12 offensive lineman on the West Coast by Greg Biggins of PacWest Football...named to California's "Hot 100" football recruits by Mark Tennis of CalHi Sports...received two votes in the Long Beach Press Telegram's "Best in the West" poll...manned the weakside tackle position for Bonita Vista...selected to the 2002 second team All-State team by CalHi Sports...earned first team All-CIF honors...joined fellow WSU signee Bobby Byrd in the trenches for California's CaliFlorida Bowl IV victory over Florida.|
|PERSONAL: Russell Foster...born May 13, 1985.|
|6. SELBY, SCOTT...WR...6-5...215...FR...CASTLE ROCK, WASH.|
|HIGH SCHOOL: Coached by Tom Bate at Castle Rock High...also lettered in basketball and track...as a JUNIOR hauled in 47 passes for 676 yards and seven touchdowns...SENIOR year made 91 tackles from strong safety position...Seattle Times Red Chip selection...|
|PERSONAL: Scott Selby...born Nov. 26, 1984...parents Steve and Terri Selby...one sister, Shannon...interested in law.|
|7. HILL, JASON...DB...6-3...175...FR...SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.|
|HIGH SCHOOL: Coached by Phil Freed at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep...also an outstanding basketball player....SENIOR was runner-up for City of San Francisco player of the year...named honorable mention all-region at defensive back and wide receiver by The Chronicle...helped Sacred Heart clinch a win over St. Ignatius with an interception return for a touchdown in the oldest high school rivalry west of the Mississippi River, dating back to 1893.|
|PERSONAL: Jason Hill...born Feb. 20, 1985...parents Jerry Hill and LaVerne Hawkins...two brothers, Paul and Jerry, and three sisters, Mary, Helen, and Paula...undecided on academic pursuits.|
|8. JOHNSON, AARON...TE/DE...6-5...245...FR...FAIRFIELD, CALIF.|
|HIGH SCHOOL: Coached by Mike Singer at Armijo High...as a SENIOR ranked No. 73 defensive end in the country by The Insiders...named one of the top 100 players in California by SuperPrep...ranked No. 9 defensive end on the West Coast by Greg Biggins of PacWest Football...named to Tacoma News Tribune's Western 100...earned all-league honors as a tight end...earned Sacramento Bee All-City honors...earned offensive lineman of the year honors for his blocking prowess...|
|PERSONAL: Aaron Johnson...born April 1, 1985...parents Don and Cecilia Johnson...interested in pursuing biology.|
|9. BOBO, REYSHAWN...DE...6-1...185...FR...MORENO VALLEY, CALIF.|
|HIGH SCHOOL: Coached by Doug DuBois at Canyon Springs High...also lettered in basketball and track...SENIOR season ranked No. 13 defensive end on the West Coast by Greg Biggins of PacWest Football...earned first team All-Riverside County honors...was a dominant pass rusher for the Canyon Springs, racking up 15 sacks during his final campaign, including one for a safety...often used to drop back in pass coverage, where he joined fellow Cougar signee Christian Bass in the defensive backfield...led team in receiving yards in 2002...in addition to Bass, Canyon Springs defense also included USC signee Drean Rucker...described as a "quarterback-seeking missile off the edge," by Prep Star Magazine.|
|PERSONAL: Reyshawn Bobo...born Jan. 15, 1985...parents Felix and Elaine Bobo...two brothers Christian and Felix, Jr., and one sister, Cherisa...interested in fine arts.|
|10. ABDULLAH, HUSAIN...DB...6-1...190...FR...POMONA, CALIF.|
|HIGH SCHOOL: Coached by John Capraro at Pomona High...also lettered twice in basketball and three times in golf...golf team captain as a junior and football team captain as a senior...as a SOPHOMORE team's defensive MVP and Rookie of the Year...all-league honorable mention on defense...during JUNIOR year named team's defensive specialist of the year...All-Miramonte League defensive first team and second team All-Inland Valley team, also on defense...SENIOR year ranked No. 9 safety on the West Coast by Greg Biggins of PacWest Football...named to second team All-CIF...hauled in a key, 65-yard touchdown pass in Pomona's 35-21 win over University in the second round of the CIF Division IX playoffs...CIF Div. 9 defensive player of the year...named to the All-CIF All-Division second team...first team All-Valle Vista League as both a defensive back and wide receiver...team Red Devil of the Year...Daily Bulletin first team defensive back and Inland Valley first team, also on defense.|
|PERSONAL: Husain Abdullah...born July 27, 1985, at Los Angeles...parents Yusuf and Sa'eeda Johnwell...seven brothers, Abbas, Shayroh, Esa, Salih, Mustafa, Hamza, and Musa, and four sisters, Hajirah, Aliyah, Aisha and Sabriah...joins brother Hamza in WSU's defensive backfield...also a high school teammate of Cougar defensive linemen Odell Howard...enjoys playing golf, video games and reading...prep golf and football clubs president.|
|11. BRUHN, CHRIS RB 6-3 205 JR WOODLAND, CALIF.|
|HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Woodland High, where he was coached by Mike Gimenez...earned two varsity letters for the Wolves in both football and track...JUNIOR year had 220 rushing attempts for 1,823 yards and 20 touchdowns...named to the All-Delta League team...as a SENIOR rushed for 1,866 yards despite missing significant action because of a hip pointer...had 186 carries and scored 23 touchdowns...named the league's MVP and also received All-Metro and all-area honors...owns every school rushing record for a game, season and career...an All-Far West pick by both Super Prep Magazine and Prep Star Magazine...Tacoma News Tribune All-Western 100 pick and an honorable mention Fab 15 by the Orange Country Register.|
|JUNIOR COLLEGE: Attended Butte College...coached by Craig Rigsbee...was part of back-to-back Nor-undefeated, Nor-Cal championship teams...FRESHMAN year named All-Nor-Cal at running back...rushed for 876 yards and nine touchdowns on 133 carries...SOPHOMORE (2001) season named the 27th best junior college prospect by JCFootball.com...All-Nor Cal selection at running back...was seventh in the state in rushing with 1163 yards and 14 touchdowns, despite playing in only nine games...|
|PERSONAL: Chris Bruhn...one brother Tyler...enjoys music and playing video games...interested in a criminal justice major at WSU.|
|12. BASS, CHRISTIAN...DB...6-2...195...FR...MORENO VALLEY, CALIF.|
|HIGH SCHOOL: Coached by Doug DuBois at Canyon Springs High...also a letterwinner in track...recorded marks of 34 inches in the vertical jump and 4.37 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the Nike Camp in Los Angeles...as a SENIOR ranked No. 44 safety in the nation by The Insiders...named one of the top 100 players in the state of California by SuperPrep Magazine...named to the California "Hot 100" by Mark Tennis of CalHi Sports...ranked No. 6 safety on the West Coast by Greg Biggins of PacWest Football...|
|PERSONAL: Christian Bass...born June 16, 1985...parents Richard and Sonja Bass...one sister Christeo...interested in pursuing history or criminal justice.|
|13. STEVENS, PAUL...LB...6-4...225...FR...LAKEWOOD, WASH.|
|HIGH SCHOOL: Coached by Jim Goode at Clover Park High...earned six varsity letters in football and basketball...SOPHOMORE year helped basketball team reach the state playoffs and was named hoop team's most improved player while earning honorable mention All-PCL honors...as a SENIOR named a .Seattle Times Red Chip selection...captained Clover Park team and was named most valuable player in football...earned first team All-Area honors from the Tacoma News Tribune and All-State honorable mention...|
|PERSONAL: Paul Hevili Stevens...born Sept. 5, 1984 in Seattle, Wash...parents Ropi and Mele Stevens...has three brothers, Ropi Jr., Joe, and Bruce, and two sisters, Lily and Amy...cousin Saul Patu played football at Oregon from 1997 to 2000...another cousin, Chris Nofingaiga plays at Idaho...tallied a 1270 on SAT...member of Young Life Club...undecided an academic area of interest.|
|14. PITOITUA, ROPATI...DL...6-7...240...FR...SPANAWAY, WASH.|
|HIGH SCHOOL: Coached by Jim Goode at Clover Park High...also played basketball for the Warriors in the Seamont League...earned two varsity football letters.|
|PERSONAL: Ropati Pitoitua (pronounced Roe-potti Pitoe-two-ah)...born April 6, 1985 in Somoa...parents Sooalo and Faipine Pitoitua...one older brother Maeli and four sisters, Leutu, twins Vaiava and Leao, and Runal...interested in criminal justice.|
|15. LOO, KEOLA...OL... 6-1...290...JR...KANEOHE, HAWAII|
|HIGH SCHOOL: Coached by Cal Lee at St. Louis High, the same school attended by former Cougar quarterback Jason Gesser.|
|ORANGE COAST CC: Coached by Mike Taylor...FRESHMAN:...SOPHOMORE (2002) : ranked No. 3 junior college offensive lineman in the country by The Insiders...rated one of the top 125 junior college players by PrepStar...helped pave the way for Mission Conference's sixth leading rusher...|
|PERSONAL: Keola Loo...born Nov. 7, 1981...parents Gary and Elizabeth Loo...brother Keala, two sisters Lahela and Keali'ii...interested in pursuing a sociology major.|
|16. LIUFAU, TOLIFILI...DL...6-2...285...FR...HONOLULU, HAWAII|
|HIGH SCHOOL: Coached by Delbert Tengan at St. Louis High...SOPHOMORE year named first team All-ILH...as a JUNIOR helped lead Crusaders to state title game...voted Interscholastic League of Honolulu defensive player of the year...recorded five sacks, had five forced fumbles and 29 hurries...SENIOR campaign played defensive end...named to Honolulu Advertiser preseason All-State team...ranked the No. 23 defensive tackle in the nation by The Insiders...ranked the No. 7 defensive tackle on the West Coast by Greg Biggins of PacWest Football...St. Louis entered the season ranked No. 21 nationally...Crusaders captured ILH and state title in 2002...earned first team All-State honors as SENIOR...recovered key fumble to help preserve 14-13 win over Kamehameha in ILH playoffs...finished career with 43 tackles for loss and 18 sacks.|
|PERSONAL: Tolifili Liufau...|