football

Wazzu visit makes a difference with Combs

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Marquel Combs' recruitment seems to have a way of working itself out. First, the Pierce (Calif.) Community College defensive tackle was forced to rule out the entire SEC because of the league's policy outlawing online courses as transferable credit. Now, one of the programs that survived his latest cut has removed itself from the running as well.
If this keeps up, a man with more than 45 scholarship offers won't have much of a choice to make. Combs' final seven became a final six thanks to the coaching change at California. When Jeff Tedford was extracted from the Golden Bears' program, so too was Combs' interest.
The four-star prospect isn't a fan of uncertainty and doesn't have time to see how things shake out in Berkley. According to him, he had no choice but to act.
"I'm not interested in Cal anymore," Combs said on Sunday. "I was really close to the coaches. When they got fired, I checked out. I'm not interested now. I'm not visiting."
The picture is clearing by the day. On the heels of his weekend trip to Washington State, a visit about which he raved, Combs referenced a top three for the first time. The Cougars, of course, were included. So too were Kansas and Kansas State.
He refuses to rank the three schools in any order, but it's clear that his firsthand experience in Pullman was enough to place Mike Leach's program in the thick of the hunt.
"Washington State is definitely in the final three now," Combs said. "The visit this weekend really made me see what Washington State has to offer."
Cougar defensive end Xavier Cooper served as the uncommitted tackle's host over the weekend. Combs credits him for helping to create a positive experience. Other than that, the other high points read like a list of post-visit clichés.
"I liked it," Combs said. "It was fun. It was an exciting game. I got to hang with some of the players, and I liked them a lot. I spent time with the coaches, too. We ate and all that stuff."
Next up for Combs is a Dec. 1 visit to K-State. He doesn't play coy about the excitement level that surrounds it, either. The upcoming weekend is one he's been looking forward to for some time. After all, there's a reason the Wildcats have staked claim to a pre-visit spot in his top three.
"I can't wait to get there," Combs said. "It's exciting. The atmosphere is going to be crazy. All the fans have already been hitting me up, telling me what I'm going to see out there and talking to me. They're excited for me to get there. The coaches are excited for me to get there. I just can't wait. It's going to be a good experience."
Kansas, which Combs has already visited, rounds out the junior college star's top three. His close friend and junior college teammate Marcus Jenkins-Moore is a KU commit but will accompany Combs on his trip to K-State.
Combs intends to schedule a replacement visit for his cancelled trip to Cal next week. He will choose from a group of destinations comprised of Maryland, Iowa State, Oregon State and Michigan State.
A December junior college graduate, Combs intends to make a decision on Dec. 18.
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