At Lake Stevens High, Riley Krenz caught passes from the nation's top quarterback, Jacob Eason. Going forward, he'll catch passes from the nation's top passer -- Washington State quarterback Luke Falk, who finished his sophomore season averaging an FBS-best 380.5 passing yards per game.
At Lake Stevens High, Riley Krenz caught passes from the nation’s top quarterback recruit, Jacob Eason, who now plays for Georgia.
Going forward, he’ll catch passes from the nation’s top passer — Washington State quarterback Luke Falk, who finished his sophomore season averaging an FBS-best 380.5 passing yards per game.
Krenz, a 5-foot-11, 196-pound slot receiver, committed to WSU as a preferred walk-on on Monday over a scholarship offer from Central Washington. He had 68 receptions for 1,146 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, and projects well as a plug-and-play addition at the Y-receiver position in Mike Leach’s Air Raid.
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“I was talking to WSU a lot through my senior year, always keeping them updated on how things were going, and they let me know after my season that they were extending me a preferred walk on offer,” Krenz said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “That was exciting. But then Central Washington brought me out and offered me a full scholarship, and I had to made a decision.”
The allure of playing in the Air Raid was too much for Krenz to resist though.
“WSU has always been my dream, and to pass up that opportunity, I was like, ‘No way,” said Krenz, who likes to watch NFL receivers Wes Welker and Julian Edelman — both of whom played for Leach at Texas Tech. “With Leach and that offense and how much they throw the ball, as a receiver, it’s a dream come true.”
Krenz said he consulted former WSU offensive lineman Gunnar Eklund while trying to make his decision. Eklund, a fellow Lake Stevens alum, lives up the street from Krenz’s house, and the two have always been friendly.
Leach’s offense aside, Krenz said WSU’s track record of giving preferred walk-ons an equal chance to earn playing time also won him over. After all, Eklund, Falk and left tackle Joe Dahl all began their WSU careers as walk-ons, but earned starting roles based on their performances on the field.
“In talking to coach (Eric) Mele, he made it clear that in fall camp, they treat everyone the same and the best guys will start,” Krenz said, referring to special teams coach Eric Mele, who recruits the western half of Washington for the Cougs. “He said once you’re on the team, you’re a Cougar, and the best Cougar will start.”
Here’s a look at Krenz’s senior year highlight film.
With National Signing Day only two days away, WSU’s 2016 recruiting class is mostly wrapped up. But lost amidst the furor over the scholarship players is the fact that the Cougs have also rounded up a solid group of in-state preferred walk-ons. The list so far includes Bethel High quarterback Bryce Missey — the only quarterback in this year’s incoming freshman class — and Bellarmine Prep linebacker Eric Glueck.
Missey committed on Dec. 13. and told the Seattle Times last week that he loved the “family atmosphere” and “true college town feel” of Pullman.
According to 247Sports.com, Glueck committed on Nov. 11 despite holding a scholarship offer from Ohio.
Krenz, Missey and Glueck will all take a trip to WSU on March 26 to watch the Cougars practice, tour the facilities and get to meet the team.