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WSU adds Nusi Malani to 2022 recruiting class

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The Virginia transfer defensive tackle has three years of eligibility remaining. Plus, your daily links!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 24 Wake Forest at Virginia Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Washington State Cougars made a big addition both literally and figuratively to their 2022 recruiting class when they announced the signing of defensive lineman Nusi Malani, a transfer from Virginia, on Wednesday.

Malani — who is 6-foot-6 and 275 pounds — comes to WSU with three years of eligibility and a redshirt remaining, but there surely is no plan for him to spend a year developing: Originally a member of the 2020 recruiting class, he played immediately for the Cavaliers as a true freshman in the Covid-disrupted season and played in eight games this past season.

WSU recruited Malani heavily out of Junipero Serra High School in San Bruno, California, where he was a mid-three star recruit. He took an official visit to Pullman but eventually signed with the Hoos over the Cougs, Arizona State, Nebraska, and Arizona. It’s probably notable that WSU’s new running backs coach, Mark Atuaia, spent the last six years on Bronco Mendenhall’s staff in Charlottesville.

Malani’s stats at Virginia won’t blow you away — just six career tackles in 15 games — but interior defensive linemen don’t typically rack up a bunch of stats. It’s also important to remember that he’s still young with developing to do. Size-wise, though, he seems to fit the mold of what head coach Jake Dickert looks for: As a former defensive end who has added 25 pounds since high school, he should be able to be disruptive from the inside and not simply a space eater.

Here’s a little bit of video of him at Virginia from WSU:

Malani, who will enroll in the spring semester and participate in spring practices, is the first defensive line recruit in the 2022 class and the 12th member overall. He’s the second transfer in the class, joining Nevada linebacker Daiyan Henley.

2022 WSU Football Commits

Player Pos. 247 Composite Rating Measurables Commit Date City State Comments
Player Pos. 247 Composite Rating Measurables Commit Date City State Comments
Cameron Ward** QB ✯✯✯✯ 0.9300 6-3/220 1/20/22 West Columbia TX Transfer from UIW (4 to play 3), played under OC Eric Morris
Andre Dollar** TE ✯✯✯ 0.8817 6-6/230 12/14/21 Mustang OK Flipped from Oregon, 23rd overall TE nationally
Jordan Lee** DB ✯✯✯ 0.8800 5-11/205 1/5/22 Las Vegas NV Transfer from Nevada (1 to play 1)
Taariq Al-Uqdah* LB ✯✯✯ 0.8735 6-0/218 2/24/21 South Central LA CA Selected to All-American Bowl, USC tried hard to flip
Daiyan Henley** LB ✯✯✯ 0.8700 6-2/220 12/20/21 Los Angeles CA All-MWC grad transfer from Nevada (1 to play 1)
Rashad McKenzie Jr.* DL ✯✯✯ 0.8647 6-4/250 3/27/22 Mission Hills CA Offered by Oregon, Arizona State, Nebraska
Zeriah Beason* WR ✯✯✯ 0.8614 6-0/195 4/20/22 Duncanville TX Oregon State transfer (4 to play 3; HS rating listed)
Djouvensky Schlenbaker** RB ✯✯✯ 0.8607 6-0/220 6/28/21 Bellingham WA Offers from UW, Cal, Colorado, Virginia Tech, Air Force
Eric Wilder* OL ✯✯✯ 0.8527 6-5/280 6/29/21 Syracuse UT Offers from Cal, UCLA
Nusi Malani** DL ✯✯✯ 0.8500 6-6/275 12/29/21 San Bruno CA Transfer from Virginia (4 to play 3)
Javan Robinson* DB ✯✯✯ 0.8464 5-11/175 10/10/21 Apopka FL WSU only reporterd Power 5 offer
Hudson Cedarland** LB ✯✯✯ 0.8449 6-4/220 6/21/21 Gig Harbor WA 247Sports rates him as a borderline 4-star
Jakobus Seth* OL ✯✯✯ 0.8445 6-4/280 6/28/21 Lakewood WA Rated as a DL, also offered by OSU
Jaylen Jenkins* RB ✯✯✯ 0.8444 5-8/168 1/29/22 Allen TX Also offered by numerous G5 schools
Zack Miller* OL ✯✯✯ 0.8405 6-7/308 1/21/22 Orange CA Also offered by Colorado
Leyton Smithson* DB ✯✯✯ 0.8403 6-2/180 11/23/21 Bellingham WA Rated as a WR, headed for safety
Kendall Williams* OL ✯✯✯ 0.8396 6-3/291 1/23/21 San Diego CA Rated as a DL, headed for OL
Tony Carter* LB ✯✯✯ 0.8348 6-0/195 1/29/22 Jacksonville FL Also offered by Maryland
Bryce Grays* DB ✯✯✯ 0.8248 5-11/190 11/17/21 Richmond TX WSU only reporterd Power 5 offer
David Johnson* DB ✯✯✯ 0.8227 6-2/174 2/2/22 Hooks TX Rated as a WR, headed for DB; flipped from UTSA
John Mateer* QB ✯✯✯ 0.8225 6-1/215 1/24/22 Little Elm TX Previously committed to Central Arkansas
Sam Lockett III** DB ✯✯✯ 0.8171 6-1/205 12/15/21 Spokane WA Two seasons at Utah State before JUCO (2 to play 2)
Luke Roaten* OL ✯✯✯ 0.8167 6-5/265 1/25/22 Tomball TX Landon's twin, rated as DL, previously committed to Wyoming
Landon Roaten* OL ✯✯✯ 0.8148 6-5/285 1/25/22 Tomball TX Luke's twin, previously committed to Louisana Tech
Reece Sylvester* DB ✯✯✯ 0.7982 5-11/180 2/2/22 Houston TX Offered by Rice and many FCS programs
Colton Theaker* K N/A 0.0000 6-3/185 3/30/22 Arroyo Grande CA JUCO transfer, offered by Mississippi State (2 to play 2)
Grant Stephens OL N/A 0.0000 6-4/302 4/6/22 Missouri City TX Grad transfer from FCS N. Colo., offers: Cal, Purdue, Arizona
*Signed letter of intent / **Signed and enrolled in January

LINKS

Cougs Open Pac-12 Play this Friday in Beasley - Washington State University Athletics
PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State women's basketball team opens Pac-12 Conference play this Friday, Dec. 31, as the Cougars host California. Tip-off against

Cougars Head to El Paso for Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl Against Central Michigan - Washington State University Athletics
Kickoff is set for Friday, December 31 at 9 a.m. (PT) on CBS.

Difference Maker: Jake Dickert steadied Washington State's football team and earned the reward | Washington State University | khq.com
PULLMAN – Jake Dickert provided stability when Washington State’s football program needed it, so WSU returned the favor.

Punter Nick Haberer, wideout De'Zhaun Stribling reflect on rookie seasons at Washington State | Washington State University | khq.com
EL PASO, Texas – De’Zhaun Stribling had to acclimate himself to the speed and “intensity” of football at this level. Nick Haberer had to familiarize himself with football in general.

2021 Sun Bowl Game Preview: Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Washington State Cougars - Hustle Belt
The Chippewas, who nearly saw their postseason end on Monday afternoon, instead find themselves get ready to face a Power 5 opponent on national TV Friday.

Washington State Cougars Vs. Central Michigan Chippewas Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (12/31/21)
My Prediction: Washington State wins 34-31, Central Michigan covers, over 57.5 points

2021 Sun Bowl prediction, odds, spread: Washington State vs. Central Michigan picks from model on 43-30 run - CBSSports.com
SportsLine's model simulated the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl 2021 featuring Central Michigan vs. Washington State 10,000 times

Washington State QB Jayden De Laura has been steady all season
Washington State quarterback Jayden De Laura has been steady all season for the 7-5 Cougars, who play in Friday's Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl

Washington State vs. Central Michigan: Prediction, pick, Sun Bowl odds, spread, live stream, watch online - CBSSports.com
Central Michigan drove from Arizona to El Paso to face Washington State in the Sun Bowl

‘Coach Tik-Tok’ uses social media to rise from Texas high school to Washington State | KTSM 9 News
EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Climbing the coaching ranks to a Pac-12 program was never the plan for Marco Regalado when he started a Tik-Tok account in the spring of 2020, at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I never wanted to make money off of Tik-Tok,” said Regalado. “I just wanted to make people […]

WSU head coach Jake Dickert Q&A | krem.com
Travis Green sat down with Dickert to discuss his childhood and his journey to becoming a head coach.

Sun Bowl to feature family duel | Sports | dnews.com
On what turned out to be Manic Monday in the Washington State and Central Michigan football orbits, Molly Akey wended her way on a multi-leg flight from Michigan to Tucson,

WSU Cougars’ Sun Bowl saga indicative of college football’s COVID-caused bowl issues | The Seattle Times
After Miami withdrew from the Sun Bowl due to COVID-19 issues, the Cougars were left scrambling for an opponent. While WSU found one in Central Michigan, the issue epitomized this...