WSU Football: Cougs Load Up With In-State Talent (Part Four)

Lew WrightSenior Writer IMarch 27, 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 final two outstanding WSU Cougar recruits from Washington are profiled here.

Coach Paul Wulff and his staff are excited about both their in-state recruiting efforts  and spring practice. Wulff is looking forward to seeing just how much progress has been made in the offseason by his players already in Pullman, and in a couple of months, the high school class of 2009 will be welcomed on campus.

The rundown of in-state student-athletes committed to WSU has been alphabetical up to this point. One young man was added later without signing a Letter of Intent, but that has nothing to do with his potential.


Let’s take a look at a defensive back and quarterback, the final two freshmen-to-be in my analysis:

Nolan Washington

Washington played his high school ball for coach Bob Bourgette at Kennedy High School in Burien, WA. The 5’10”, 170-pound defensive back was a three-year starter for the Lancers.

His sophomore year was outstanding. He was named first-team All-Seamount League as a kick returner and second-team all-league at defensive back. Nolan led the state in kickoff and punt return yardage and touchdowns. He tallied over 1,000 yards in all-purpose yardage. And that was just his sophomore season.

Washington’s junior year was several notches higher than his first on varsity. He was named first-team All-Seamount League at both quarterback and defensive back. Coach Bourgette ran a rushing offensive, yet Washington still managed to complete 22 of 36 passes for 288 yards while carrying the rock 81 times for another 396 yards. He racked up 35 all-purpose touchdowns. He was named Junior All-State by Ron Siegel and was part of the Seattle Seahawks' seven-on-seven team at the NFL Combine that earned a national championship.

Washington’s senior year was his best, as he played quarterback, wide receiver, and defensive back for the Lancers. Once again he was named first-yeam All-Seamount League at defensive back, second team at running back after carrying the ball 84 times for 748 yards, and third-team all-league at quarterback.

Following his senior season, Washington was named Tacoma News Tribune's "Northwest Nugget" honorable mention and Seattle Times' "Red Chip" prospect. He was named the AP AAA All-State first-team defensive back, and also preseason all-state by MaxPreps. rated Washington the No. 4 prospect in the state and No. 55 at his position nationally. ranked Nolan No. 25 on their "Northwest Hot 100," No. 89 on their "West Hot 150" and No. 51 at his position nationally.

Nolan’s parents, Nelson, Sr. and Audrey, are proud of their entire family, which includes his brother Nelson, Jr. and sister Natasha. His father played football for Idaho and his cousin Brandon Jones is currently playing for the Cougs. Nolan’s uncles Aaron and Rodney both played football at Boise State. In other words, football is in his blood.

Says Coach Wulff of the young man:

“Nolan is another mature, good student, good person, who has a lot of physical tools and will bring a lot of speed to this team and class. Nolan can play corner, is a versatile athlete and is another player who was very attractive to a lot of colleges across the country but he wanted to be a Coug.

"He is going to be one of the key players to move our program forward.”


David Gilbertson

Gilbertson earned three varsity letters playing for coach Mike Pluschke at Redmond High School in Woodinville, WA. The 6’2”, 200-pound quarterback will attend WSU without signing a Letter of Intent.

Gilbertson’s solid high school career included leading the Mustangs to a berth in the state playoffs his sophomore year. He followed that up with a junior campaign in which he passed for 1,247 yards and six touchdowns and added another two TD on the ground. He was honorable mention All-KingCo AAAA.

Gilbertson was named team captain his senior year and nearly doubled his offensive production, throwing for 1,977 and 13 touchdowns while rushing for four TD. His best game was against Eastlake; he set a school record with 26 completions and racked up 323 yards with three touchdowns. Gilbertson was named an alternate to the All-State Game.

David’s parents are Keith and Barbara Gilbertson. His father is a familiar name in college football and a former head coach for the Washington Huskies. David has two sisters, Anne and Krissy. Keith, Sr., David's grandfather, played his college football for the Cougs, his mother attended WSU, his sister, Krissy, is currently attending WSU, and heck, even his great uncle George is a Coug.

David does well in the classroom to boot, as he sported a 3.17 GPA in high school and plans to pursue a degree in communication.

Coach Wulff said of Gilbertson:

“David is another one of the guys in this class that has a tremendous football IQ. The opportunity to be around his dad on a regular basis has him ahead of the learning curve compared to most high school student-athletes.

"David is extremely competitive and has the leadership qualities that will give him an opportunity to find a way to contribute at WSU."


A solid reputation and hard work have delivered one of the best home-grown recruiting classes for Washington State in a long, long time.

Not all of these incoming freshman will be playing this season, as many will use a red shirt year to adjust to college life and develop into football players that can compete at a very high level, but one thing is certain.

They are now Cougs.


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