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WSU football recruiting: 2016 Big Board (12/8)

With signing day quickly approaching, let's take a look at where things stand with WSU football recruiting.

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The Washington State football staff is hitting the home stretch on the recruiting trail with national signing day just two months away, so if you're into the whole finding out where 17-year-olds are going to play their college football thing, you've landed at the right place.

Below you'll find our recruiting big board which will hopefully serve as a quality resource leading up to signing day. The board will detail the verbal commitments and positional targets with recruiting notes attached. With official visits, in-home visits and the silliness of recruiting in full force, this will be updated daily and republished weekly as recruiting news pops up.

The "needs" at each position are unofficial, as is about everything else. For counting purposes, WSU has 22 verbal commits and is allowed to take a total of 25 in this cycle, which includes those who sign in December and February, greyshirts and basically everyone else who sign prior to April. There's also a chance WSU asks some of the commits in this class to greyshirt, but I won't speculate on that yet.

If you have any questions, hit the comments and I'll try to answer.

WSU offensive recruiting big board

Name Hometown Ht/Wt Stars Visit Commit Offers
Cody Brewer Corpus Christi, Texas 6-6/223 ** Yes WSU, Sam Houston State
Name Hometown Ht/Wt Stars Visit Commit Offers
Romello Harris Tulare, Calif. 5-10/173 *** 22-Jan Yes CSU, Duke, Fresno, UW, WSU
Name Hometown Ht/Wt Stars Visit Commit Offers
Grant Porter Upland, Calif. 6-2/184 *** Yes WSU, BSU, CSU, SDSU, Utah
Jo. Westbrook Bellingham, Wash. 6-1/180 *** Yes WSU, Hawaii
Renard Bell Los Angeles, Calif. 5-10/165 *** —€” Yes WSU, BSU, Nevada, SDSU
Steve Houston Oxnard, Calif. 6-3/185 ** Yes WSU
Isaiah Johnson West Palm Beach, Fla. 6-3/190 *** 4-Dec Florida Florida, Miami, L'Ville, WSU
Trevon Bradford Oregon City, Ore. 5-11/180 *** 4-Dec OS OS, BSU, WSU
Dezmon Patmon San Diego, Calif. 6-4/202 *** 4-Dec No BSU, CSU, SDSU, USU, WSU
Zion Echols Covina, Calif. 5-8/175 *** No Cal, OS, Utah, WSU
Dez Fitzpatrick Waterford, Mich. 6-2/189 **** No U-M, Minn, Neb, Pitt, WSU, UK
Keoni Makehau Honolulu, Hawaii 5-11/170 ** 15-Jan No Hawaii, WSU
Khris Vaughn Redlands, Calif. 6-0/175 *** 15-Jan No WSU
Name Hometown Ht/Wt Stars Visit Commit Offers
Joshua Watson Everett, Wash. 6-5/265 *** Yes WSU, BSU, Fresno, Idaho
Keenen King Las Vegas, Nevada 6-4/297 *** 4-Dec Yes WSU, ASU, CU, CSU, OS, USU
Jaelen Lewis Antelope, Calif. 6-6/270 ** Yes WSU, UNLV, USU, SDSU, SJSU
Chris Haangana Milpitas, Calif. 6-5/345 ** Yes WSU, Oregon St., SJSU
Fred Mauigoa Pago Pago, Am. Samoa 6-4/290 *** No BYU, OS, Hawaii, Nevada, WSU
Liam Ryan La Verne, Calif. 6-6/270 ** 11-Dec No Fresno, NV, NM, SJSU, WSU
Sean Auwae Kapolei, Hawaii 6-3/296 *** 22-Jan No UCLA, Utah, Vandy, UW, WSU
Nate Herbig Honolulu, Hawaii 6-4/320 *** 22-Jan Yes Stanford, Cal, OS, TTU, WSU
Tyson Rising Ventura, Calif. (CC) 6-4/280 *** No ASU, UO, UH, WSU
Grant Hermanns Rio Rancho, N.M. 6-6/255 ** No Nevada, New Mexico, WSU
Matthew Gutwald Dublin, Calif. 6-4/275 *** No AZ, UO, OS, WSU, Ivy Schools

Despite official visits for the 2016 class beginning just days ago in the Palouse, the Cougs are close to being full on the offensive side (and defensive side, actually) with over a month to go. That means nothing this early in the recruiting calendar, as last year was an example of how fast things can change. So, there will still be visitors at positions that already look full.

For the purposes of the first recruiting big board, I'll run through each position, but going forward I'll just link back to the previous week for updates across the board, because you don't need to know that Cody Brewer is the quarterback commit each week.


Speaking of Brewer, he remains committed, though there's been rumblings that the staff has evaluated other quarterbacks in the West. Leach did his job and checked in on Jacob Eason, the top quarterback prospect in the country who just so happens to be in the neighbors back yard, though the five-star is going to stick with Georgia or flip to Florida, according to many reports. Quarterback recruiting will be interesting to watch down the stretch.


Jim Mastro has his next running back as Romello Harris, a yardage machine, committed to the Cougars last week during an in-home visit with Clay McGuire and Graham Harrell. With freshman James Williams in the hole along with Gerard Wicks, Keith Harrington and Jamal Morrow each returning, there's only room for one running back in this class.


Wide receiver is where things get interesting. The Cougs already have four receiver commits, though the staff brought in three receivers — Isaiah Johnson (Florida), Trevon Bradford (Oregon State) and Dezmon Patmon — last weekend on official visits. It could be a race to the phone for each prospect, as the receiver position is getting crowded. Or is it?

Right now, it looks like they could take five receivers, though it wouldn't be surprising to see them take six, especially with Tyler Baker and Dom Williams graduating and the real possibility that Gabe Marks declares for the NFL Draft. Keep in mind, the Cougars have zero receivers redshirting this year after Tavares Martin and Kyle Sweet both played major snaps and Zaire Andre and Barry Ware each transferred out of the program. There's some spots to fill there.

Upcoming visits at receiver include Honolulu's Keoni-Kordell Makehau and Redlands' Khris Vaughn, both of whom will visit as soon as the recruiting dead period ends on January 15. WSU is still recruiting four-star Louisville de-commit Dez Fitzpatrick, though no visit is set up. Zion Echols, a recent Cal de-commit, is a potential inside receiver prospect who was reportedly talking to the WSU coaches about visiting next month.


After a flurry of verbal commitments, the Cougs have four offensive linemen in the fold. Leach likes to take about five each cycle, and I don't expect that to change this year. Keenen King officially visited over the weekend. King is the only offensive line commit to visit thus far, though there isn't any concern over the other verbals regarding their status.

With one (and possibly two, depending on the caliber of the prospect) spots left on the offensive line, there are some intriguing options. A pair of Hawaiian studs — Sean Auwae and Nate Herbig — will visit just before signing day. Auwae, the No. 4 ranked center in the country, recently de-committed from UCLA, while Herbig, a Stanford commit, is one of the top guards out West.

Equally as touted is Frederick Mauigoa, the top ranked prospect in American Samoa. Mauigoa, who plays for Joe Salave'a's brother at Tafuna in Pago Pago, told me he was in the process of setting up an official visit to WSU, which will likely come next month. If Mauigoa makes it to campus, you have to like WSU's chances to land the 6-foot-4, 290-pound guard.

Another prospect to watch is Liam Ryan, a two-star tackle who will officially visit this weekend. Ryan holds offers from several Mountain West programs and has ideal size at 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds. Tyson Rising, a top junior college offensive tackle prospect, received an in-home visit from the WSU staff last week, though he's headed to Oregon this weekend for an official visit and, as an early enrollee, has yet to visit Pullman.

WSU defensive recruiting big board

Name Hometown Ht/Wt Stars Visit Commit Offers
Lyric Bartley Taylorsville, Utah 6-3/245 *** 4-Dec Yes WSU, Nevada, Purdue, Vandy
Josh Allen Long Beach, Calif. (CC) 6-2/255 **** 15-Jan No Arizona, ASU, UCLA, USC, WSU
Garrett McBroom Oklahoma City (CC) 6-3/266 ** 11-Dec No Purdue, WSU
Fua Pututau Salt Lake City, Utah 6-3/231 *** No BYU, Utah, CU, WSU, UW
Phillip Naplolean Mt. San Jacinto (CC) 6-5/280 *** 11-Dec No CSU, OS, Nevada, TTU, WSU
Curtis Weaver Long Beach, Calif. 6-4/265 *** No BSU, BC, Duke, Wisc, WSU
Anthony Smith Las Vegas, Nevada 6-3/250 *** 22-Jan No CSU, Nevada, SDSU, WSU
Evan Weaver Spokane, Wash. 6-3/240 *** Cal Cal, AZ, Utah, UW, WSU
Name Hometown Ht/Wt Stars Visit Commit Offers
Mason Vinyard La Mesa, Calif. 6-5/200 *** Yes WSU, SDSU, SJSU
Jihad Woods La Mesa, Calif. 5-11/215 *** Yes WSU, SJSU
Chima Onyeukwu San Pablo, Calif. (CC) 6-3/215 *** 11-Dec Yes WSU, Utah State
Derek Moore Los Angeles, Calif. 6-2/211 ** Yes WSU, Nevada, UNLV, Utah
Tainoa Foster Honolulu, Hawaii 6-3/205 ** 15-Jan No Fresno, Hawaii, USU, WSU
Pookie Maka Murray, Utah 6-2/200 *** No ASU, BYU, CU, Utah, WSU
Name Hometown Ht/Wt Stars Visit Commit Offers
Jalen Thompson Downey, Calif. 5-11/169 *** Yes WSU, Army, CSU, Navy, UW
D'jimon Jones Federal Way, Wash. 6-1/170 *** Yes WSU, Hawaii Montana
Marcus Strong Rialto, Calif. 5-11/170 *** —€” Yes WSU, OS, SJSU, UW
Isaiah Love West Covina, Calif. 5-11/160 *** 4-Dec Yes WSU, CU, Fresno, SDSU, SJSU
SAFETY (3 of 3)
Name Hometown Ht/Wt Stars Visit Commit Offers
Skylar Thomas Perris, Calif. 5-11/170 ** Yes WSU, Hawaii, Nevada, UNLV
Robert Taylor San Francisco (CC) 5-11/180 ** 4-Dec Yes WSU, Purdue, WVU
Justus Rogers Bellevue, Wash. 6-2/210 *** 11-Dec Yes WSU

Much like the offense, WSU's defensive recruiting has been active prior to official visits, which produced a couple more verbal commitments over the weekend in junior college safety Robert Taylor and prep defensive end Lyric Bartley.

While there's still plenty of room on the defensive line, the Cougs have already loaded up at linebacker, cornerback and safety, but as with the offense, there will be plenty of action on this side leading up to signing day regardless of numbers.


Rather surprisingly, Bartley, a good looking 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive end prospect, became the Cougs' first defensive line commit during this cycle. Technically Thomas Toki, the four-star defensive tackle who committed during the last cycle, will count towards this class should he sign, though there has yet to be an update on that front.

Next on the docket for the Cougs on the defensive line is a trio of junior college prospects, each of whom have set up visits. Four-star defensive end Josh Allen will trip to Washington State for next month. The highly ranked junior college end will also visit USC, UCLA, Arizona State and Arizona, whom he de-committed from last month.

Another intriguing prospect the Cougs are after is Garrett McBroom, an Oklahoma area junior college defensive end who will be on campus this weekend. The 6-foot-3, 265-pound lineman visited Purdue last weekend and will make a decision soon after his visit this weekend. McBroom is a mid-year prospect expected to sign next week.

Also visiting this weekend is Mount San Jacinto, Calif., junior college defensive end Phillip Napoleon, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound three-star prospect. Napoleon has the Cougs in his top four along with Oregon State, Colorado State and Purdue, whom he visited last weekend. As a December graduate, Napolean will make a quick decision.

The Cougars also have interest in Long Beach, Calif., defensive tackle Curtis Weaver and Cal commit Evan Weaver, a local product out of Spokane, however no plans to visit are in place. Las Vegas' Anthony Smith, a three-star with several Mountain West offers, will visit Washington State next month.


With four linebackers already in the fold, the Cougs could probably squeeze in one more if they wanted to, but they would likely be happy with the group they have currently. Mason Vinyard was recruited as a tight end by several schools, though he'll come to Washington State as a rush linebacker. His teammate, Jihad Woods, will join him on the Palouse at inside linebacker. Los Angeles product Derek Moore rounds out the prep verbals at linebacker.

One of the more exciting prospects on film in this class is Chima Onyeukwu, a three-star junior college linebacker that could fit in a number of spots. It's still unknown whether Onyeukwu will be able to sign next week or have to wait until February to sign, then enroll in June.

One linebacker the Cougars are still heavily recruiting is Tainoa Foster, a big inside linebacker from Hawaii. Salave'a had an in-home visit with Foster last week and the two-star prospect is expected to visit WSU next month with receiver target Keoni-Kordell Makekau. Foster also holds offers from Fresno State, Utah State and Hawaii, each of whom he will, or already has, visited.

Pookie Maka, a leading contender to land on the all-name team, is a hybrid prospect that can play either linebacker or defensive end and just this week listed the Cougars in his top five along with Arizona State, BYU, Colorado and Utah. There's been rumblings that Maka is waiting on test scores before heading out on visits, so we'll have to wait and see.


The Cougs quickly filled up at cornerback, landing four quality prospects over the last few months. Jalen Thompson, a three-star who chose the Cougars over an offer from Washington, leads the group and will arrive in January as an early enrollee.

D'jimon Jones is the most athletic prospect in this class and will come to WSU as a cornerback despite also playing quarterback prior to breaking his ankle earlier this year. Jones would later return at defensive back for Federal Way's final game of the season and is now playing for the top-ranked Federal Way hoops squad.

Marcus Strong and Isaiah Love round out the foursome of three-star prospects. Strong held offers from Washington and Oregon State while Love, who visited over the weekend, picked the Cougs over offers from Colorado and several Mountain West programs.


If we're getting technical, there's only two safety verbals, as Justus Rogers is committed as an athlete with an opportunity to start out at quarterback when he arrives in January, though I think he projects as a safety, nickel or linebacker at the next level. We're going to place him here for now and worry about that later.

Rogers is a good looking prospect that hails from the top high school program in Washington. He should benefit from arriving on campus early and undoubtedly adds another athlete to whatever position group he winds up at.

Skyler Thomas is another long time verbal commit and he's joined by the Cougars' second-most recent verbal commitment, Robert Taylor, who pledged over the weekend. Taylor, also a mid-year guy, picked the Cougars over offers from West Virginia and Purdue, and should compete right away for the safety spot opposite Shalom Luani next season.