West Bloomfield (Mich.) running back C.J. Brathwaite knew there was a high likelihood the Washington State coaching staff would be let go when he committed to the Cougars late in the fall, but he made the pledge hoping to secure his scholarship offer.
After talking with new Washington State head coach Mike Leach, however, Brathwaite is looking for a new school to continue his career.
"Washington State wanted to recruit more [West Coast] players, that's what they told me," Brathwaite said.
The 5-7, 175-pound Brathwaite has several options in the wake of his parting ways with Washington State. The Michigan native has official visits set up for the next three weekends before National Signing Day.
"This weekend I am headed to North Dakota State," Brathwaite said. "The weekend after this one I'll be going down to Arizona State and the weekend after that I'll be at Kent State. Penn State said the running backs coach was going to talk to me and they were interested too."
Brathwaite's Arizona State recruitment has a lot to do with his previous recruitment with Washington State. Former Cougars assistant coach Chris Ball is now on Todd Graham's staff in Tempe, and the interest from the Sun Devils has picked up as a result.
"I believe a coach from Washington State is down there now and told the new coaches about me," Brathwaite said. "They looked me up right away, called me and said I am a perfect fit for their program."
Arizona State has not yet extended an offer to Brathwaite, but the two parties are expected to discuss that topic when he arrives the weekend of Jan. 20 for his official visit. In preparation for the visit, Brathwaite has done his own research on the program, and is particularly attracted to what he has learned about the academic side of the program.
"I am interested in engineering and I saw a video on their Engineering program," Brathwaite said. "I saw they have a lot of Engineering courses you can take there so I'm very impressed with that. I've seen a lot of the facilities and it looks very nice and very clean. I've seen some of their games, too, and to me their defense looked great."
Kent State is also waiting until Brathwaite arrives on campus before a scholarship offer is discussed. North Dakota State has already offered.
Brathwaite is coming of a senior season in which he accumulated 1,300 yard rushing and scored 14 touchdowns.