Weekend visitor wants to see one thing at WSU

IN TOWN THIS WEEKEND

WASHINGTON STATE WILL host a versatile prep defenseman from California this weekend who could play a number of positions. He's no stranger to Pullman, having visited the Palouse unofficially over the summer, but tells CF.C the Cougs have some catching up to do in his recruitment and there's one thing in particular that he's hoping to see that could help sway his mind in going crimson.

The fan support displayed by Cougar Nation this Saturday against UCLA (7:30 p.m., TV: ESPN2).

Jeff Camilli (6-3, 250-pounds) out of Shingle Springs, Calif. (40 minutes east of Sacramento) arrives to Pullman on Saturday and will be on his official visit until Monday morning. He visited the Wazzu campus in mid-July during one of the team camps, but with fall term still weeks away, said he didn't get the proper feel for the community.

The Ponderosa High product hopes that changes after his visit.

"I'm pumped for my trip," Camilli said. "The main thing I'm looking forward to is how Pullman really is and how the game-day atmosphere is. When I was there over the summer, the experience really didn't do it justice. I'm ecstatic for the game and I hope they pull off the upset no doubt."

The inside track however looks to belong to the Fresno State Bulldogs. Camilli took an unofficial visit for the Bulldogs 69-14 shellacking of Colorado on Sept. 15 and the trip to the school about three hours down the road made a lasting impression.

"I think my leader would be Fresno State at this point," Camilli said. "For not being a Pac-12 school, they were able to bring in a pretty big crowd and I enjoyed myself.

"I think Washington State will be pretty close once I go there and check it out, but I want to be able to compare the atmospheres of both schools. The new renovations (in Pullman) looked great over the summer and I'm hoping to see how it turned out."

THIS SEASON, Fresno State is 7-3 while Washington State is 2-7. But Camilli said the Cougs' struggles to win under first year head coach Mike Leach will have no effect on his decision and having the opportunity to play for Leach is something that definitely sticks out.

"Anyone that knows football, knows that they're in the process of rebuilding their program," Camilli said of WSU. "They want to bring in their own system and need to bring in some recruiting classes in order to hit full steam. It would be a great honor to play for coach Leach and he obviously had a lot of success while he was at Texas Tech. I think he can carry that to Washington State."

CAMILLI IS RANKED the No. 68 middle linebacker prospect in the country by scout.com, but the Cougars are looking at him at numerous potential spots. Camilli has been in close contact with offensive line coach and area recruiter Clay McGuire and the two have talked about him lining up at BUCK linebacker, inside linebacker or as a defensive end.

"I feel comfortable at middle linebacker, but I can play anywhere," Camilli said. "I bring a lot of versatility because I'm able to line up at different positions."

His physicality is another aspect he's hoping transfers over to the college level.

"There's no better feeling for me than laying a big hit," Camilli said. "I aim for that every play and I love knocking guys to the turf and laying those big hits."

Camilli said the Cougars have been showing him the most interest as of late, but he plans on waiting to make his college decision after he takes his official visit to Fresno State on Dec. 10. He added that this weekend's trip to the Palouse will have a major influence on where the Cougars stand.

In addition to Fresno State and WSU, Camilli holds offers from Nevada, San Jose State, Colorado State and UCLA has been showing increased interest as of late.

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