Washington State's roster continues to evolve during the offseason with the latest departure coming at running back. Backup running back Jeremiah Laufasa is transferring to UTEP with the lack of a scholarship the catalyst for the move.
Laufasa started his college career at Central Washington. He walked on at WSU in 2012 and sat out that season. He worked his way into playing time last season, getting goaline and short-yardage carries. He finished the year with 157 rushing yards on 35 carries, including seven touchdowns. He would likely have been slotted for a similar role next season, but instead is headed to UTEP after being passed over for a scholarship at WSU. According to Laufasa's father, Jeremiah was told he'd get a scholarship last fall. That didn't happen and he was then reportedly told he'd get a scholarship in December. That again didn't happen, so he decided to transfer to UTEP where he will be on scholarship. Via Jacob Thorpe and the Spokesman Review:
"They told him he was going to get one in the fall and then they told him he was going to get one in December," the elder Laufasa said. "(Running backs coach Jim) Mastro told my son and told me to my face that all I had to do was get my son - after he lied the first time he said get up to December and he would take care of my son for the rest of his career. When it came to December he had a whole different tone."
Don't expect to get the other side of the story on this issue as schools rarely, if ever, comment on situations like this. While it's definitely not the situation you'd hope for -- and may not have been handled well based on the quotes -- it's not an unusual situation in college football. There are only so many scholarships to go around and how they are accounted each year can be a fairly fluid situation. It's just the nature of the beast. Fortunately, for Laufasa, it sounds like he'll land on his feet with a scholarship and get the opportunity to play with his younger brother.
As for the Cougars, Gerard Wicks and Jamal Morrow are both coming off redshirt seasons and will compete for the vacated reps. Wicks and Teondray Caldwell appear best-suited to take over the goalline duties.
Consensus on Pac-12 college football recruiting class rankings - ESPN
10. Washington State (63)
Rypien said he is considering Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, Boise State and ASU. The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder will take three more visits before making his decision in May.
According to the Spokesman-Review and Cougfan.com, Washington State running back Jeremiah Laufasa is set to transfer to UTEP. Jeremiah is the older brother of current Miner fullback Darrin Laufasa who had a break out year last season as a freshman before sustaining a season ending injury.
Sophomore running back Jeremiah Laufasa will transfer to the University of Texas at El Paso according to his father, John Laufasa. His brother, Darrin Laufasa, was a freshman running back for the Miners this past season.