How did WSU close the deal on touted Squalicum RB Djouvensky Schlenbaker? Important talk on a practice golf green

Right now, there isn’t a more feared football player in Whatcom County’s high school ranks than Squalicum High School’s Djouvensky Schlenbaker.

In just five games last spring, the all-state running back rushed for 1,068 yards and 14 touchdowns. With his combination of power and speed, Schlenbaker has been quickly rising up the class-of-2002 recruiting rankings.

In golf, however, Schlenbaker is just a beginner who appreciates any tips he can get.

Even if it comes from Washington State Cougars football coach Nick Rolovich during an official visit to Pullman.

“I was on the chipping green (at Palouse Ridge) for a half-hour with Coach Rolo, and it was fun,” Schlenbaker said. “Just getting to talk, and getting to know him a little more – and he taught me some ways to chip on the green.”

Schlenbaker must have liked what he heard from Rolovich and his staff about WSU football, too. He gave the Cougars a verbal commitment Saturday morning – and announced it on Twitter on Monday.

He gave the Cougars the nod over California and Washington – two Pacific-12 Conference programs he visited earlier in June.

“I know he felt good about them before he went there,” Squalicum football coach Nick Lucey said. “And when he came back, he felt they had a different level of connection.”

Rated as the top player in Whatcom County, Schlenbacker (6-1, 215) is arguably the most complete running back in the state of Washington. He runs with power and purpose. He catches passes out of the backfield. And he is reliable in pass protection.

A three-star prospect, Schlenbaker is ranked as the No. 9 in-state recruit by 247Sports.com.

The teenager and his family flew to Pullman on Friday to met with the coaching staff. He even chatted with Wisconsin transfer Nakia Watson about the program.

“I needed to see … that their actions matched what I heard on the phone,” Schlenbaker said.

It didn’t take long, because Schlenbaker told Rolovich on Saturday morning he was going to be WSU’s second in-state recruit.

“It is great to be done,” Schlenbaker said. “At the same time, it was a fun process.”

(Photo by Hailey Palmer/Lynden Tribune)

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