Parkersburg High School running back Allan Wasonga significantly upped his stock with college recruiters with his showing at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Combine in San Antonio.
Wasonga, who was measured at 5-foot-9 and weighed in at 196 pounds, ran the sixth fastest 40-yard dash time among the approximately 500 high school junior athletes invited to participate at the prestigious combine.
Of those 500, only six were able to better 4.6 seconds on the spongy surface of the Alamodome.
Wasonga was one of those six, turning in an electronically timed clocking of 4.53 seconds.
Mark McCullough, a long-time PHS assistant coach who accompanied Wasonga to San Antonio, compared Wasonga's performance there to the one turned in by former Big Red Josh Jenkins, who now is a starter for West Virginia University.
"What Josh and Allan both found out is that they are as good as anybody out there,'' McCullough said. "Allan is one of the best running backs in the country.''
Wasonga drew rave reviews from a writer for TheWolverine.com, which covers the University of Michigan football program, headed by former WVU?head coach Rich Rodriguez. The writer, Josh Helmholdt, compared Wasonga's physical maturity to that of former University of Pittsburgh star LaSean McCoy, now a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
In the article, Wasonga compared his running style to that of Mark Ingram, the Heisman Trophy winner who led Alabama to the national championship.
McCullough said Wasonga already has received a scholarship offer from Ohio University and is being pursued by many schools, including West Virginia University, Michigan, UCLA, Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Ohio State.
Wasonga said while he liked the offense at Michigan, he didn't think it was ideal for his style. He would prefer to play for a team that runs the I-formation, which is what WVU runs.
"I've talked to Bill Stewart and WVU is very interested in Allan,'' McCullough said. "And with Doc Holliday at Marshall, I would not rule Marshall out."
McCullough said Wasonga will play at about 215 pounds in college.
He describes him as a Quincy Wilson-type back. In fact, Wasonga and Wilson are such good friends, Wilson came to visit him this past fall and watched one Parkersburg High game from the Big Red sidelines.
Whoever winds up getting Wasonga's services not only will get an outstanding running back -Wasonga gained more than 2,300 yards and scored 28 touchdowns for PHS -but they also will get an outstanding student as he carries a 3.5 grade point average in the classroom.
McCullough -who scoffs at persistent Internet rumors that Wasonga will leave PHS?before his senior season -said there is a good possibility Wasonga will be invited to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl next year.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org