Washington State entered spring football with 17 linebackers on their roster, which didn’t include Faavae Faavae, Cole Dubots and Dymond Richardson, who will join the team this summer, along with several walk-ons who may or may not play linebacker.
That’s a large number, but Grinch, Wilson and Manning are clearly a very greedy bunch who can never have enough good football players, so earlier this week they went out and added linebacker Karson Block, a transfer from UL-Lafayette in the Sun Belt.
Block, who apparently prefers tackling, is technically a junior college transfer by way of Louisiana-Lafayette, whom he never played for. It’s a complicated story, but I’ll explain.
Though he was a four-sport star at Atascadero (Calif.) High, Block didn’t receive much recruiting attention, so he opted to go the junior college route, eventually landing at Saddleback CC—a well-respected JUCO program known to produce Division-I talent.
The 6-foot-1, 240-pounder took full advantage of his opportunity. As a sophomore last year, Block was a first team all-state JUCO selection after leading the Gauchos with 55 tackles and a sack in eight games played, which garnered a bunch of college attention.
Fresno State, Troy, Eastern Michigan and New Mexico put offers on the table for Block, but as SanLuisObispo.com reports, those offers began to disappear, to his surprise.
One by one the offers faded, Block said. One school dropped its offer when Block didn’t want to visit during the summer. Then Fresno State cleared out its coaching staff, and his chance to play for the Bulldogs dissipated. Before long, the only team left was New Mexico, so Block committed in November after a 14-tackle performance against Riverside in his final game at Saddleback.
Following his commitment, the First-Team All-State Junior College selection and team tackle leader said he didn’t hear from anyone on the Lobos coaching staff for three weeks.
“Finally, the New Mexico coach called me back and said they didn’t know if they would be using a scholarship on me,” Block said. “I talked to the Saddleback coaches, and they said they have never seen anything like this.”
A short time later, Block found out New Mexico had pulled the offer, so he reopened his recruiting Dec. 14.
“It was a rough time,” Block said. “It was getting down to the end, and I didn’t know if I was going to play. It kills your desire.”
After parting ways with New Mexico, Block received an offer from UTEP, but they wanted him to play fullback and he very much wanted to play linebacker. That’s when Louisiana-Lafayette jumped in with an offer and Block committed and then signed.
It’s unclear what happened between February and earlier this week, but apparently it wasn’t working out with the Ragin’ Cajuns, so Block was back on the market and WSU swooped him up. He thanked Arizona and Rich Rodriguez in his tweet, so it’s safe to assume the Wildcats were also in the picture, but defense doesn’t exist in Tucson.
Easy choice. Anyway, here’s some highlights.
I’m not sure where WSU is getting a scholarship for Block—it could be a blue shirt deal where he signs a financial aid agreement since he wasn’t technically recruited and then they can count him towards next year’s class.
They could also be bringing him in as a preferred walk-on—who knows. We do know that he can play some football and will provide some solid depth inside for the next two- to three-years.
This is my first Hot COUGAR Action post, and below* are the links that I found regarding WSU sports within the last 24 hours.
*You’ll notice there are no links, but WSU landed a verbal commitment yesterday that I typed words about, so you should read that, for sure. Other than that, here’s a Google search link in case something happens between now and when this scheduled post goes live for you check.