May 14, 2008

Cougars second to offer Arizona athlete

The Grand Canyon State is stocked with Division-1 talent for the Class of 2009. According to the database, 21 prep prospects from Arizona already hold a scholarship offer. That list includes Shane McCullen, from Apache Junction.

McCullen, who stands 6-foot-2.5, 193-pounds, rushed for nearly 1,600 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior. He also played some safety, a position he could end up playing at the next level.

Washington State and Army have already offered him a scholarship.

"My coach also told me he thinks Air Force is going to offer," McCullen added. "He told me there are a lot of schools he thinks are going to offer me, just not yet.

"All of the Pac-10 schools send me mail and seven of the 10 Pac-10 programs have been by my school. The only three that haven't shown up are Oregon, Washington and UCLA."

The Cougars' offer was a pleasant surprise.

"About three weeks ago, a coach from Washington State came to my school and he was talking with my coach," McCullen said. "He asked my coach how many offers I had, and my coach told him that I had just the one offer from Army. The coach from Washington State then said they were going to join Army in offering. I was pretty excited about that.

"I like what they talk about. They talk about Washington State being in a small town. I like that because I don't live in a very big town right now. I am going to go up there this June to check it out and see what it's like."

McCullen took an unofficial visit to Colorado in April.

"I liked Colorado," he said. "The program they have and the coaches and the players there remind me a lot of what it's like here at A.J. (Apache Junction). They have the same attitude. They have the same school colors, too, ironically. It is just a really good atmosphere.

"The coaches at Colorado told me they are waiting to see whether they are going to offer right now. They don't know yet where they would play me. They just want to wait a little longer, they told me.

"I kind of just want to get as many offers as I can first and then just lay everything out on the table and just talk it over with my parents and my coaches; just see what is going to be best for me."

McCullen ran track this spring. He ran a 10.85 in the 100-meter dash and 21.94 in the 200.

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