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Mike Leach weighs in on his 2019 class as Early Signing Day winds down

Let’s get a run down on the 19 guys who signed today.

In a tradition as old as signing day itself, Mike Leach met with the assembled media this afternoon to extoll the virtues of the first 19 players to sign in the Washington State Cougars’ 2019 recruiting class.

You can watch the entire video above, if you want. Or, you can just read our transcribed comments about each of the guys who signed if you’d rather not spend the next 24 minutes of your life listening to Leach cough and then watching him take pulls off his water bottle.

“Very fast, and a tall corner.”

“Extremely fast running back, catches the ball out of the backfield well. Interestingly, born in Haiti. Just a high-motor guy out there.”

“Not only is he a big safety, he’s getting bigger, and so we think that he’s going to develop physically as well.”

“He’s played a variety of positions, but we like him as an outside linebacker and a fast RUSH guy who plays in space as well.”

“Probably bigger than (6-4/215) because he’s grown in this recruiting process. ... We’ll know a lot more about (whether he can compete for the starting QB job) in the spring. One of the biggest keys there is that he adjusts quickly. ... He’s a big, tall, strong guy; reminds me some of a guy I recruited at the University of Oklahoma named Nate Hybl. Also reminds me of a guy named Lance Funderburk that we had at Valdosta State that was a very good quarterback. But the personality, as far how that generates performance for the overall unit, I think is a very big part of it. He can do all the stuff — he’s bigger than most that I’ve recruited, he’s got a stronger arm than most, yet still has good feet. He’s an extremely talented guy.”

“Huge frame, very aggressive, plays mean.”

“Big, strong, long-levered defensive lineman. Moves well, as well. Emphasis on speed, as usual.”

“Big offensive lineman. Plays aggressive.”

“Great hips. Moves around, tracks the ball well.”

“Real productive player, kind of a mature kid that made his presence known early out there on the field before he transferred. His dad is the former chief of police in St. Louis, so really impressive family there.”

“Big frame, aggressive linebacker.”

“I think he’s really adjusted to things quickly, does a good job in the classroom, is a very motivated guy that’s had a lot of distractions in the process, and I think that’s all the more impressive and speaks to his character as far as, you know, able to overcome adversity and beat challenges.”

“Typical linebacker guy that we have that’s fast, aggressive, had a lot of schools on him but we were lucky enough to make him a Coug.”

“Probably maybe taller than (6-3) and he may weigh more than 205. Very mature, strong at going up to get the ball. Also runs with it well after he catches it.”

“Inside receiver. Great change of direction.”

“I think the best long snapper in the country.”

“His strength coach (in high school), incidentally, is Coach (Rob) Oviatt. I worked with him at the University of Kentucky, and of course he coached here for a while.”

“HUGE frame.”

“Tall corner.”

Other comments

On the strength of the class: “I do feel like as good as the class was last year, and I do feel like it was a good one, I do think this one is an even better one.”

Were they trying to recruit big corners? “Yeah, if you can. They still have to be able to turn their hips. You want to go as tall as you can, but if they can’t get out of their cuts, can’t move their hips, then you go as small as you have to until they still can.”

What’s the rest of the signing period look like? “We have a couple of scholarships, which I think is good. Because between guys that don’t get signed today and anybody that transfers, that type of thing, you know, then we have some flexibility there too, which I think is good. ... I think we have three, and I think that’s probably the right number.”

Was taking taller, lighter offensive linemen a strategy? “Well, we’ve always done some of that (taking offensive linemen with projectable frames). The best current example of that is Andre Dillard. You can’t make a guy taller, but if they’ve got a good frame, they’ll nearly always get heavier.”