Washington State Football:Cougs Load Up With In-State Talent (Part Three)

Lew WrightSenior Writer IMarch 25, 2009

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 13:  A Washington State Cougars helmet showing the initials of Pat Tillman next to the American flag during the Arizona State Sun Devils against Washington State Cougars Pac-10 game at Sun Devil Stadium/Frank Kush Field on November 13, 2004 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)


The attempt to quench the thirst of college football fans parched from several months of feeling stranded in the desert that spans the distance between the final postseason bowl game in January and the merry month of March.

Sure, March Madness is something special, but it’s not college football.

So let’s get to it before Washington State Coach Paul Wulff blows his whistle officially for the first time this coming Thursday afternoon.

I have two more profiles of members of the Class of 2009 who will proudly play football for WSU. 

Chris Mastin

Chris Mastin is another outstanding student-athlete from Spokane. He attended Lewis and Clark high school, playing some monster defense for coach Tom Yearout. The 6-foot-2 Mastin earned three varsity letters.

Mastin began coming into his own as a player junior year at Lewis and Clark. He led the Tigers to the 4-A state championship. Chris was named the team’s best defensive lineman and was tapped as All-Great Spokane League First Team on the D-line.

Unquestionably a team leader, Mastin was named a team captain and Most Inspirational his senior year. Despite the Tigers 5-3 record in the GSL last season, Chris was named All-Greater Spokane League Co-Defensive Player of the Year, an award he shared with another WSU member of the Class of 2009 Travis Long. Recognizing the intensity and aggressive play of Mastin, Tacoma News Tribune named him Northwest Nugget honorable mention and was picked by the Seattle Times as a Red Chip prospect.

He was named to All-State teams as a defensive lineman by the Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune. Mastin was also named preseason All-State byMaxPreps.

Rivals.com rated Mastin the No. 14 high school prospect in the state of Washington. Scout.com rated him No. 28 on their Northwest Hot 100 list, No. 55 at his position nationally and No. 100 on their West Hot 150.

Chris’ parents are Chris Mastin and Kristie Jordan. He has three brothers, Haki and Xavier Mastin and Jyvon Tauda. Chris plans to pursue a degree in pharmacy at Washington State.

“Chris is a football player. We had him in camp and he is instinctive and he’s tough. He’s not the biggest guy right now, but with patience you are going to see a guy big enough to be a play maker in the Pac-10 and a major contributor to this team. We just need to let him develop physically.”  -Wulff on Mastin


Gino Simone

Gino Simone comes to WSU from Sammamish, WA where he played football for coach Mat Taylor at Skyline high school. The 6-foot, 170-pound Simone was a standout wide receiver who earned three varsity letters at Skyline.

In his first year with the varsity, Simone was named first-team all-league acknowledging his 38 receptions for 549 yards and seven touchdowns. His breakout game was against Liberty when Simone hauled in nine catches for 243 yards and four touchdowns.

Simone’s sophomore season was topped off by making All-State Honorable Mention. Junior season was memorable. He led the Spartans to the 3-A state championship and was named first-team all-league at both wide receiver and defensive back. Simone’s honors included Associated Press 3-A All-State First-Team, Tacoma News Tribune All State and Seattle Times All-State.

His spectacular stats that season included catching 49 passes for an eye-popping 1,042 yards and league-leading 14 touchdowns. One of the 49 receptions he took 99 yards to the house. If that wasn’t enough, tack on four two-point conversions.

Senior year was just as outstanding one for Gino. Once again he led the Spartans to a state championship, 4-A this time around. He caught 54 passes for 862 yards and 13 touchdowns. Gino returned four kickoffs for touchdowns.  His three-year career at Skyline included school records for career touchdowns (40), touchdowns in a season (19), touchdowns in a game (4) and career receiving yardage (2,827).

Simone was the Tacoma News Tribune Northwest Nugget and the Seattle Times Blue Chip prospect. He was named All-State by the Seattle Times, TNT and the Associated Press. TNT named Gino the State Player of the Year. For the second consecutive year Simone was named all-league on both offense and defense. MaxPreps named him All-State and was selected to the East vs. West All-Star game.

Rivals.com rated Simone the No. 2 prospect in the state of Washington and slotted him at No. 72 at his position nationally. Scout.com rated him No. 7 in the West at his position, No. 18 on the Northwest Hot 100, No. 39 at his position nationally, No. 44 on their West Hot 150, and No. 295 on their National Top 300.

Gino Simone was born in Bellevue, WA to Ronnie and Patty Simone. His father Ronnie played wide receiver at Arizona State from 1983-86.

The summer prior to his senior year at Skyline, Gino was a member of the 7-on-7 team that won a national title along with Cougar teammates Nolan Washington and Casey Locker.

“Gino is very mature beyond his years. I like how he handles himself on and off the field. Obviously he comes from a winning program but things don’t seem to faze him. We are going to ask him to hopefully contribute as early as he can in his career, maybe even in the first year. He has enough maturity to do that and I think it is a great match with Coach (Mike) Levenseller and just continue to refine a player that is fairly refined for a high school football player. I really envision Gino to be a catalyst for this class.”  -Wulff on Simone


If reading about these two future Cougs haven’t satisfied your craving for college football, check out the other stories here on Examiner.com profiling the Class of 2009.

Think that’s what I’m going to do right now.



Originally published on Examiner.com


Follow Lew Wright on twitter.com: cougarlew