Washington State was seeking one additional defensive end in this class following the winter dead period and they found one of the more athletic defensive ends in the state of California, then flipped him from San Diego State.
Danny Bender, a defensive end from San Diego, Calif., officially signed his letter of intent Wednesday. It's been a whirlwind of a couple months for Bender, who committed to San Diego State in December, then picked up an offer from WSU last month, which ultimately was too good of an opportunity to pass up. He officially visited last weekend.
In total, the 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive end held offers from San Diego State, Nevada and Wyoming, in addition to WSU and several FCS schools. Bender also became the fourth prospect from the San Diego area, which is recruited by defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, to verbally commit or sign with WSU, joining linebackers Jihad Woods and Mason Vinyard, and receiver Dezmon Patmon.
The Valhalla High standout is a three-star prospect according to the 24/7 Sports Composite, and is ranked the No. 125 weakside defensive end in the 24/7 Sports Composite and the No. 120 overall prospect in the state, per ESPN.
As a senior, Bender racked up 74 tackles, 34 tackles-for-loss, nine sacks, eight passes defended, four forced fumbles and an interception, which he returned for a touchdown. It was also just the second year Bender had played on the defensive line, previously lining up at safety and tight end as a freshman and sophomore, respectively.
One of the most athletic prospect in this class, Bender shows off incredible athleticism and has the potential to be a serious difference maker after adding a few pounds. While a redshirt season is likely, he is a very exciting prospect.
Brian Anderson's scouting take
Plays with some malice. Just ferocious in pursuit. Bender is highly athletic, in a defensive class full of high quality athletes, and was more than competent in pass coverage. Great speed and fires off the line with purpose. Excellent with his hands shucking blockers. He's a little undersized at the moment, but could easily support the 20 or so pounds it'd take to get around 255-260. Bender plays with the kind of intensity that reminds me a lot of Travis Long.
Rivals - ★★
Scout - ★★
24/7 - ★★★
ESPN - ★★★
Composite - ★★
Position — Defensive End
Hometown — El Cajon, Calif.
Height — 6-foot-4
Weight — 235 pounds