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WSU football recruiting: 4-star recruit Austin Joyner decommits

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Firing Mike Breske appears to have cost WSU it's most-heralded recruit in the 2015 class.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Joyner -- a consensus 4-star prospect -- decommitted from WSU on Tuesday, according to a report from Brandon Huffman and others. The decision to decommit is a direct result of the firing of defensive coordinator Mike Breske. Breske established a strong relationship with Joyner and Joyner cited that relationship when he committed in April.

On Monday, Joyner said he wasn't as firmly committed following Breske's firing and wanted to make sure he had a good relationship with the new defensive coordinator, according to the Seattle Times. It probably didn't help that Eric Russell was the other coach heavily involved in Joyner's early recruitment.

Interest in Joyner has picked up as the season has gone along. According to Rivals, Joyner is scheduled to take an official visit to Washington this weekend and Boise State next weekend. The Cougars would seemingly still be in the running once a new defensive coordinator can establish a connection and that appears to be the case according to Joyner's father.

In an email, the elder Joyner said the decommitment did not mean WSU was out of the running, just that it "made no sense to be committed to play defense for a vacant position," according to Adam Gorney of Rivals.com.

Task No. 1 for the new defensive coordinator is now to try and reel back in Rivals' No. 4 prospect in the state of Washington.

Although the loss isn't a surprising one, it is significant if it sticks. Joyner is an impressive athlete who is expected to play defensive back in college, possibly plugging one of WSU's holes at safety. He's was the highest-rated of WSU's verbal commitments. With Joyner currently not in the fold and Dominic Davis flipping to USC in October, WSU's 2015 recruiting class has taken a major hit in recent weeks.