Our recruiting profiles break down what each recruit with a verbal commitment to the Washington State football program potentially brings to the team. For more detailed information on Hersey, links to other profiles on verbal commitments and everything else you'd ever want to know about the other commits, visit our comprehensive WSU Football Recruiting Central hub. You can also read all of our recruiting coverage here.
Max Hersey is a tight end and linebacker prospect out of Curtis H.S. in University Place. He was the second verbal commitment of this class (behind running back Bishop Sankey), pledging to coach Paul Wulff nearly a year ago on the day after signing day.
COMMIT DATE: 2/4/10
VITALS: 6-foot-2.5, 233 pounds
The reason Hersey wasted little time in committing to the Cougs? Both his parents are WSU grads, while his grandfather was a baseball player under Buck Bailey back in the 1950s. "The opportunity came up and I couldn't pass it," Hersey told Scout.com. "I've always wanted to go there. It's in my blood. ... When they offered, I just wanted to go there. It's close to home and it's fun to be down there."
It's hard to evaluate Hersey based on his high school play. As happens to so many kids who are among the biggest on their team, Hersey was placed on both the offensive and defensive lines -- two places he's unlikely to see any time at WSU. If you want to take a positive away from it, it's that Hersey has a "do anything to help the team win" sort of mentality.
The two most likely destinations, position-wise, for Hersey seem to be inside linebacker or tight end. ESPN gave him the lowest grade of any of the three major services, and they question his potential as a linebacker:
We like his effort getting to the football, however long pursuit could test his playing speed. ... If asked to play in coverage all aspects will need work and man coverage could be a concern. This is an active guy with the motor and tough tackling skills we like to see from linebackers. Hersey appears to be a boarder line prospect at the BCS level of play. It may take some time and perhaps a red shirt year to improve his athleticism before seeing meaningful playing time.
It seems that tight end is where Hersey would actually prefer to end up, and there's some evidence to support that conclusion. First, Rivals' three-star rating is actually given to him as a tight end prospect, and they rate him the eighth best at that position in the state. He also was named the tight end MVP of WSU's 2009 summer camp, which he attended after his sophomore year. The Competitive Edge combine lists his 40 time at 4.8, which is fast enough to play tight end. That combine also was from before the summer of 2009, so there remains a substantial chance that he's faster than that now -- unless, of course, he's gotten a lot bigger, which we don't know.
One also has to assess need when trying to figure out where a player will end up. This class is chalk full of linebackers (on top of the numerous linebackers already on the roster), and Hersey is the only prospect in this class currently listed as a potential tight end. Additionally, tight end was a real weak spot for the offense last year; the ones who were healthy last year were ineffective, and Aaron Dunn will be coming off an injury.
Here's to betting Hersey is going to get every chance to show he can play tight end. Will he be any good? Your guess is as good as ours. But he clearly impressed someone for the coaching staff to offer him so early, and if the track record of WSU's early offers is any indication, the Cougs have probably found a good one.
I could only find one video of Hersey -- from that combine. If you just want to see him move and throw some weights around, check it out.