Wicks & Cracraft shine in game, then talk WSU

CRACRAFT (8) & WICKS

CARSON, Calif. — River Cracraft and Gerard Wicks were just happy to be there. The two Washington State recruits, who both committed verbally to the Cougars back in June, did a bit more than just show up, though, sparking their all-star team to a win in the inaugural South Bay BMW West Coast Bowl on Sunday.

River Cracraft, the top receiver at Santa Margarita High (Calif.) in Orange County and considered one of the better ones in Southern California, and Gerard Wicks, a talented running back at Long Beach Poly (Calif.), were instrumental in the Red squad posting a 21-16 victory over the Green at the Home Depot Center in Carson. The game featured some of the top players and Division I prospects from California, Arizona and Hawaii.

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of Wicks and Cracraft at West Coast Bowl at bottom of story

Cracraft and Wicks were among the best of them. Cracraft caught a 17-yard touchdown pass, which turned out to be the game-winner, with 4:39 left in the third quarter as the Red team held off a late run from the Green to prevail.

"For a short week of practice, we really clicked on some plays," said Cracraft, who had two receptions for 32 yards. "It was an awesome experience coming here. I loved it. I wasn't expecting to have this much fun and meet so many people. But I'm going to know these guys for the rest of my life. I would recommend this game to anyone. It was great."

Asked about his commitment to the Cougars, Cracraft said it was firm.

"Absolutely. Washington State all the way," said the Trinity League MVP, who caught 51 passes for 784 yards and six scores. "They're on the up-rise and I'm excited to be going there and a part of the program. I'm thankful for the opportunity. I'm really looking forward to it."

Wicks, who has been rumored to possibly be wavering on his commitment as the signing day approaches, expressed similar thoughts about playing for the Cougars. He said he was not reconsidering, but did tell one reporter that UCLA was lurking.

"I'm still committed to Washington State," said Wicks, who also returned a kickoff 41 yards, setting up a touchdown. "Strong verbal. UCLA hasn't offered me (a scholarship). I'm not concerned about UCLA. I just believe in the Washington State program and how it's coming up with Coach Mike Leach. It's headed to do big things. I want to be a part of it."

Wicks, who played a major role in Long Beach Poly winning a California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section championship late last year with a dominating win over perennial power Mater Dei of Santa Ana, rushed for 52 yards on 10 carries in the all-star game. His running helped his team convert two of its three touchdowns.

"It was a great experience playing with these top-notch players from California," said Wicks, who ran for more than 1,400 yards and averaged more than seven yards per game for Long Beach Poly. "I just wanted to come out and play well against some of the best."

NOTABLE: While future Cougars Cole Madison of Kennedy/Burien and Tyler Bruggman of Brophy/Phoenix, originally were picked for the West Coast Bowl, neither was on hand Sunday.

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