While Washington State is preparing for a bowl game this weekend against Fresno State, head coach Jake Dickert and company have not forgotten about recruiting. Three future Cougs committed to play in the Crimson and Gray on Monday. Nathan Gates out of Huntington Beach, California, Leo Pulalasi from Lakewood, Washington, and Kapena Gushiken from Saddleback College in Southern California all announced their intentions to sign with the Cougs.
Gates, a 6’5” 280-lb offensive tackle, announced early on Monday via twitter. He chose the Cougs over offers from Arizona State, Fresno State, UNLV, and six others. He helped anchor an offensive line that went 9-1 in the regular season before losing in the first round of the playoffs. In a pass heavy offense, their quarterback threw for 3,052 yards and averaging just over 280 yards per game.
After an amazing visit at Washing State University I have made the decision to become a Cougar!! Thank you to all of the coaching staff for making me feel at home. #WashingtonState #committed @AllegianceOL @EdisonChargerFB @GregBiggins @Sunset_Rewind pic.twitter.com/p1IcdkIUut— Nathan gates (@Nathangates13) December 12, 2022
Pulalasi, a running back/linebacker from Lakes High School in Lakewood, was the next to commit. After being committed to BYU since June, the 6’1” 205-lb athlete decommitted on December 8th a few weeks after being in Pullman for the Apple Cup. He is ranked as the 13th best athlete in Washington and 97th in the Nation. According to Max Preps, he tallied 762 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground and 391 receiving yards and 7 receiving touchdowns. On defense he added 40 tackles, 5 for a loss, and had one interception in his nine games. He chose the Cougs over BYU, Army, Oregon State, and 6 others.
FAITH, FAMILY, F20TBALL— Leo pulalasi (@LeoPulalasi) December 12, 2022
I’m Staying HOME!!! Thank You to all the coaches who reached out and offered me a scholarship. #Blessings @lakescoachmills @CoachDickert @CoachAtuaia @__CoachMorris @WSUCougarFB @BrandonHuffman @RylandSpencer @TFordFSP @Murdock_02 @UsOLIANxIata pic.twitter.com/ZqhGs3crJq
Gushiken, a 5’11” 180-lb corner who is originally from Pukalani, Hawaii announced late Monday on twitter. In his two years at Saddleback College he tallied 34 tackles and 14 passes broken up. He chose the Cougs over offers from Cal, Arkansas State, Hawaii, and 13 others.
Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach, who led Washington State from 2012-19, remains in critical condition Monday after reportedly suffering a heart attack at his Starkville home Sunday afternoon.
Fresno State is the Mountain West champions and with that, they go to the Jimmy Kimmel Bowl in Los Angeles to face Washington State out of the Pac-12.
Playing in its eighth bowl game since 2013, Washington State (7-5) will conclude its first full season under coach Jake Dickert in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl against Mountain West champion Fresno State (9-4).
Bartolone has Pac-12 roots, having played wide receiver at Washington State for one year under former Cougars head coach Mike Leach in 2012.
The PAC-12 wasn’t highly thought of when it came to the 2022 college football season. Some in the media have openly questioned if they are even a Power-Five conference. They are, and this season showed that the league now has some depth with the rise of programs at Oregon State, Washington State, and a team trending up for 2023 with the Arizona Wildcats.
The 6-foot-7, 320-pounder is the younger brother of former Cougars defensive lineman Toni Pole, who appeared in 35 games at WSU between 2011-13. Toni Pole is best remembered for his interception in overtime during the 2012 Apple Cup. His pick set up WSU’s game-winning field goal.
Washington State’s football team picked up a commitment Monday from Nathan Gates, a prep offensive tackle out of Southern California.
Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes athlete Leo Pulalasi is staying in-state. The longtime BYU commit decommitted from those Cougars last week and committed on Monday to the home-state Washington State Cougars.