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Peni Naulu, linebacker from Hawaii, commits to WSU

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The three-star player has an impressive offer list.

NCAA Football: Washington State at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a minute since the Washington State Cougars picked up a recruiting commitment to their 2019 class, but nearly three months of silence was broken on Thursday when three-star Hawaii linebacker Peni Naulu committed to the Cougs.

The very first thing that will jump out to WSU fans is that Naulu’s offer list is eye-popping relative to what we typically see from a Cougar commit: In addition to the usual suspects such as Cal, Nebraska, and Oregon State, Naulu also holds offers from Washington, Oregon, and UCLA.

In watching his highlights, his ability to track down ball carriers and make a sure tackle — even in space — sticks out to me. And while he’s listed as an outside linebacker, he certainly looks like someone who could easily (inevitably?) bulk up and end up as an inside linebacker.

Naulu cited his relationship with linebackers coach Ken Wilson as key to his decision to commit; you can read more about that here if you have a 247sports subscription. He’s the first defensive player to commit in this class, which now stands at five. WSU also now has five commitments from five different states, which is probably apropos of nothing, but interesting nonetheless.

2019 WSU football recruiting commitments

Player Expected Pos. 247 Composite Composite Value NLI received? Enrolled Early? Measurables (via 247) Commit Date City State CougCenter Profile Comments
Player Expected Pos. 247 Composite Composite Value NLI received? Enrolled Early? Measurables (via 247) Commit Date City State CougCenter Profile Comments
Travion Brown LB ✯✯✯ 0.8748 YES NO 6-3/215 10/2/18 Temecula CA Link Rated four stars by 247sports evaluators
Jamir Thomas RB ✯✯✯ 0.8676 YES NO 6-1/215 11/27/18 Massillon OH Link Ranked as a LB, converted to RB as a senior
Gunner Cruz QB ✯✯✯ 0.8607 YES YES 6-4.5/215 5/31/18 Queen Creek AZ Link Threw for 5700 yards and 70 TDs as soph/jr
Bryce Beekman DB ✯✯✯ 0.8582 YES YES 6-2/190 11/20/18 Yuma AZ Link Teammate of OL commit Dontae Powell
Jouvensly Bazile RB ✯✯✯ 0.8540 YES NO 5-10/180 6/28/18 Naples FL Link Has reportedly clocked 10.98 in 100 meters
Patrick Utschinski OL ✯✯✯ 0.8537 YES NO 6-7/280 9/10/18 Walla Walla WA Link Rated four stars by 247sports evaluators
Konner Gomness OL ✯✯✯ 0.8532 YES NO 6-4/270 9/29/18 Fresno CA Link Reported offer from Louisville and lots of midmajors
Billy Pospisil WR ✯✯✯ 0.8463 YES YES 5-11/190 2/16/18 Arvada CO Attends same high school as 2018 signee Max Borghi
Armauni Archie DB ✯✯✯ 0.8456 YES NO 6-1/175 10/12/18 El Cerrito CA Link Chose WSU over an offer from Nebraska
Derrick Langford DB ✯✯✯ 0.8448 YES YES 6-2/185 11/15/18 San Francisco CA Link Juco who has four to play three
Tyler Garay-Harris DL ✯✯✯ 0.8444 YES NO 6-5/230 11/4/18 Oakland CA Link Offers from Utah and ASU
Donovan Ollie WR ✯✯✯ 0.8431 YES NO 6-3/205 10/15/18 Wylie TX Link Chose WSU over Iowa State and Utah
Peni Naulu LB ✯✯✯ 0.8423 YES NO 6-1/210 9/6/18 Kapolei HI Link Other offers: UW, Oregon, UCLA, Cal, Nebraska
Cosmas Kwete DL ✯✯✯ 0.8418 YES NO 6-3/220 11/5/18 Phoenix AZ Link Inexperienced player, specialized in Rugby
Daniel Isom DB ✯✯✯ 0.8407 YES YES 5-10/180 11/8/18 Council Bluffs IA Link Played as a true freshman for NIU before transfer
Rocky Katoanga LB ✯✯✯ 0.8366 YES YES 6-2/205 2/6/18 Oceanside CA Grayshirted
Jimmy Price OL ✯✯✯ 0.8306 YES NO 6-5/295 1/26/19 Houston TX Link Picked WSU over Arizona State
Shahman Moore DB ✯✯✯ 0.8267 YES YES 6-0/170 12/20/18 El Segundo CA Link Two years of eligibility remaining
Ma'ake Fifita OL ✯✯✯ 0.8154 YES NO 6-5/250 12/16/18 Snohomish WA Link Staff targeted him as a center
Gatlin Grisso DB ✯✯✯ 0.8072 YES YES 6-1/185 6/23/17 Aubrey TX Link Grayshirted
Nicholas Sheetz DL ✯✯✯ 0.8072 YES NO 6-3/253 2/3/19 Greenwood SC Link Lightly recruited; offered PWO by Georgia
Simon Samarzich LS ✯✯✯ 0.8043 YES NO 6-0/200 6/8/18 Upland CA Rated the top long snapper in the country
Gage Gubrud QB NA YES YES 6-2/205 1/26/19 Cheney WA Link Grad transfer from EWU

Soccer is still undefeated

Before we get on to the football links, a little love for what has been the best program at WSU for a while now — 5-0-0 and rising up the national rankings.

Cougs rule the Palouse | Sports | lmtribune.com
PULLMAN - Playing in their first border battle rivalry showdown since 2015, the No. 17 Washington State soccer team kept its undefeated season alive.

Cougars Dominate The Battle of the Palouse - Washington State University
PULLMAN, Wash. – Putting on a defensive exhibition, the No. 17 ranked Washington State soccer team (5-0-0) came up with their third shutout of the young season, holding visiting Idaho (2-4-0) goalless on their way to a 3-0 win at home at Lower Soccer Field.

Palouse Posse of the Pitch? Stingy D elevates Cougar soccer team - Cougfan.com
Freshmen and veterans working seamlessly

Tyler Hilinski

I wrote about Tyler yesterday. Here are some other perspectives on how WSU is handling the death.

In honoring QB, WSU tries to find balance | Sports | dnews.com
During a five-month period immediately after comedian Robin Williams hanged himself in 2014, suicide rates in the United State rose by 10 percent, according a study…

Grip on Sports: As Washington State opens its home football season, the Cougars move forward instead of moving on | The Spokesman-Review
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Everyone has experienced sadness mixed in with the joy sports can bring. That’s part of how sports mirror life. But one would hope a certain type of sadness would never be included. It has this year at Washington State.

‘Help and hope’ the strategy Washington State is employing to honor former QB Tyler Hilinski | The Spokesman-Review
It’s easy to sense the fatigue and grief in Dr. Sunday Henry’s voice as Washington State’s director of athletic medicine talks about Tyler Hilinski near a chain link fence on the north side of Rogers Field, while nearby Cougar football players labor through drills on a sun-beaten afternoon in mid-August.

Links

WSU in Week Two: 3 things I think, 3 things I know - Cougfan.com
Predicting what could and will happen when Washington State battles San Jose State

Remembering frosty ‘Refrigerator Bowl’ – The Daily Evergreen
Regardless of how WSU fares in its home opener against San Jose State University, it will be nearly impossible to top the historic matchup 63 years ago.

Football holds home opener – The Daily Evergreen
WSU football will be heavy favorites this weekend as they take on San Jose State University in its home opener.

Predicting the Pac: Week Two - Duck Territory
Skopil: Oregon fans should watch this one closely, as they play the Spartans next week and the Cougars in just over a month. Washington State's 41-19 win over Wyoming on the road last week was pretty impressive. I like them to win and cover.

San Jose State vs. Washington State Preview | Mountain West Wire
Will the Spartans have a bounce back game at Washington State? Contact/Follow @MWCwire WEEK 2: San Jose State University (0-1, 0-0 MW) vs Washington State Cougars (1-0, 0-0 Pac 12) WHEN: Saturday, Sept.

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 1 - Conquest Chronicles
The Pac-12 went 8-4 in season openers last week. Here are the power rankings for the "Conference of Champions" heading in to Week 2.

Volleyball Set To Host 2018 Cougar Challenge - Washington State University

WSU Tennis Set to Host Play with a Cougar Event - Washington State University
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State women's tennis invites members of the community to join the team for their annual Play with a Coug event on Friday, Sept. 7. Tennis play begins at 4:30 p.m. followed by dinner and the rest of the evening's program at 6 p.m.