Share story

Washington State football fans are learning not to close the book on WSU’s recruiting classes on February’s national letter-of-intent day.

Chandler Leniu, a four-star linebacker recruit from St. John Bosco High in Bellflower, Calif., is headed for WSU after failing to meet an academic requirement at California, where he had signed. Leniu had originally committed to the Cougars before reversing.

“It wasn’t an NCAA issue, it was a UC-system issue,” said Brandon Huffman, national recruiting analyst for

Leniu, 6 feet and 220 pounds, was credited in 2013 with 238 tackles on a 16-0 team that won a No. 1 national ranking by

This week, save 90% on digital access.

“Jason Negro, the coach, said he was the heart and soul of that defense,” said Huffman, who called Leniu “probably Cal’s most high-profile signing. We had him as the No. 12 middle linebacker in the country last year.”

Earlier this spring, the Cougars lost an intriguing recruit when February signee Jalen Canty (6-8, 270) of Vallejo, Calif., came up short of a qualifying test score and decided to opt for junior college to play basketball.

Bud Withers: 206-464-8281 or

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.