Santa Margarita Catholic High School has been kind to Washington State in recent years and that trend continued on Monday with 3-star offensive lineman Austin Maihen verbally committing to Washington State, according to Cougfan.com. He becomes the 13th verbal commitment in WSU's 2015 recruiting class and the third offensive lineman.
WSU has secured a fare amount of talent from Santa Margarita in recent years with River Cracraft, Riley Sorenson and Nick Begg all heading to Wazzu after playing their high school football there. Cracraft is the Cougars' most reliable receiver while Sorenson is the starting center as a true sophomore. The 6-foot-5, 285-pound Maihen may line up next to Sorenson one day. He chose WSU over offers from BYU, Kansas State San Diego State and others. He has the size the coaching staff coverts, with the frame to add even more weight. He played both tackle and guard in high school and versatility is another important trait for a Cougar offensive lineman since OL coach Clay McGuire likes to move guys around to find the best five-man unit.
According to Britton Ransford of WazzuWatch McGuire first made contact with Maihen when he was a sophomore. The Cougars offered him in late August.
"We have kept a steady line of communication since then and he's been the most consistent coach talking to me and staying in touch with me," Maihen said of McGuire in August, via WazzuWatch.
Although he was only a sophomore when Cracraft, Sorenson and Begg were seniors. the four were teammates and Maihen played when he was a sophomore, getting some time on the same offensive line as Sorenson.
Washington State has solid depth along the offensive line. The five current starters all have at least a year of eligibility remaining. There are several young players filling out the depth chart. The depth means Maihen is likely headed toward a redshirt season next year, but could compete for playing time as soon as 2016 when WSU replaces the starters on the left side of the line.
Here are Maihen's junior season highlights, via hudl: