One of WSU's most exciting signings this year, came a little bit later than normal. New Orleans safety, Hunter Dale didn't commit until March 2, nearly a month after signing day but he could very well end up worth the wait. Dale graduated this month from famed John Curtis Christian High School, which has 25 football state championships to its name (and a consensus national title in 2012).
For the first time in his high school career, Dale didn't take home a state championship in football. John Curtis had taken home the Louisiana football 3A state crown 2011-2013, but failed to do so in 2014. Dale started all four years of his high school career. Dale picked off 15 passes in his high school career was named first-team 3A All-State his junior and senior years. While John Curtis may have not won the football state title this season, Dale a two-sport star helped lead John Curtis to the baseball state championship in 2015. He doubled twice in the title game for the Patriots who had not won a baseball state championship since 2002. One thing that appears to have not gone swimmingly for Dale in 2014, was how he let the recruiting process "get kinda out of hand." Hopefully now that all of that is over, Dale can settle in to his new home on the Palouse.
When Dale arrives in Pullman in a little over two weeks, we can expect him to be prepared physically. His father, Wyatt Harris runs a speed conditioning and strength training academy called Sonic Boom, in the New Orleans metro area. Dale talks about in this video about how former Alabama safety and current New York Giant Landon Collins was trained by Harris. Dale will have to make a big impression over the summer and fall if he wants to see the field this season. The current group of safeties bring back some experience. Taylor Taliulu and Isaac Dotson were pegged as starters at the safety positions coming out of spring with Sulaiman Hameed, who shined at times last year on the second team. The imminent arrival of JUCO safety Shalom Luani should also be mentioned as it is thought that he will contend for a starting spot. How much we see of Dale will likely be pretty reliant on one mystery.
One big question
Will he redshirt? If yes, it should be fun to watch him develop in practice and scrimmages and get excited for 2016. If no, let's hope his high school ballhawking nature translates into the Pac-12 and he helps the Cougar secondary turn it around in year one under Alex Grinch. Lets just hope, whichever decision the coaching staff makes, they stick to it. No one wants Dale to get his redshirt pulled late in the season like Kevin Griffin last year.
Name - Hunter Dale
Position - Safety
Year - Freshman
Height/weight - 6'0, 190 pounds
Hometown - River Ridge, La.