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Jyden King commits to WSU

The three-star running back becomes the first verbal in the 2020 class.

NCAA Football: Utah at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 recruiting class for the Washington State Cougars finally got off the ground this weekend, and it started off in a big way: Three-star running back Jyden King announced his commitment while in Pullman for an unofficial visit.

King’s 247Sports composite rating is 0.8678, making him a high-three-star recruit, but 247’s own evaluators see him even more favorably: They give him a grade of 88, which is only a whisker below four-star status. King also held reported offers from the Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Utah Utes, and Fresno State Bulldogs.

247 lists King, out of Calabasas, California, at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, which is two inches taller than where Rivals has him; it looks like he participated in a Rivals camp about a year ago, and did so as a wide receiver — Rivals still has him listed at that position. But he played running back in his junior year (which was limited to only a handful of games because of a transfer), and it’s clear that’s where the Cougars envision him. It also seems clear, from looking at the photos above, that he’s probably not 190 pounds anymore.

In fact, 247 recruiting analyst Greg Biggins lists him at 6-0/205, which seems plausible. His analysis of King’s strengths jives with what I see on his limited highlights:

What to Like: King is a big back, all of 6-0, 205 pounds and runs with power and toughness. He has played a lot of receiver during the 7v7 circuit this off-season and also at the SoCal Opening Regional and looked very good. He has the hands and skill set to play receiver in college although everyone is recruiting him as a running back right now. He’s a physical, downhill runner with good straight-line speed. He’s not a dancer and doesn’t show a ton of wiggle but can bang between the tackles and has the strength and toughness to wear down a defense. We really like his versatility as an every down back who can also be a factor in the passing game.

He runs with kind of a glide — the sort of long strides we don’t typically see out of WSU running backs. That’s not a knock, just a bit different style. Take a look for yourself:

And here’s his sophomore year, where he does play some receiver.