The early signing period has begun. Track the latest news and updates on the Washington State Cougars' 2018 recruiting class.
No, it’s not National Signing Day, but it’s still time to fire up those fax machines. Today marks the beginning of the inaugural early signing period from Dec. 20-22, when recruits will have the chance to sign national letters of intent ahead of National Signing Day (Feb. 7).
We’re bringing you live coverage and updates as Cougar recruits begin to sign. Follow along with us for the latest throughout the day as the 2018 WSU class takes shape, and follow along in our updated recruiting tracker below.
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Update: 4:25 p.m.
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WSU football coach Mike Leach held his signing day news conference after practice, at about 3 p.m.
Leach called this signing class “the best signing class we’ve had since I’ve been here.”
WSU signed a total of 18 recruits Wednesday, and it doesn’t sound like they’re expecting any more between now and Friday. Check out this story for a look at each recruit, what they bring to the table, and how the WSU coaches anticipate they’ll fit in at WSU.
The Cougars expect to sign a full 25-man class by February. This means they have seven spots to fill.
In light of the uncertainty with the Max Borghi/Stanford situation, Leach was asked – generically- if the Cougars still intend to sign a running back.
Leach said, “We’ll recruit a running back. We’re looking for one running back.”
Leach isn’t allowed to comment on any prospects who haven’t signed, so that’s about as close as we’re gonna get to an admission that Borghi has not signed and the Cougars will need to fill that spot with another running back if he does, indeed, choose to sign with Stanford instead.
Update: 2:45 p.m.
WSU football radio analysts Jason Gesser and Alex Brink sat down with radio host Matt Chazanow and select WSU assistant coaches this morning to break down the 2018 signing class. Here’s what they had to say.
And, the signing of East Valley WR Rodrick Fisher is official-official! WSU has just announced it via a twitter post welcoming him to the Cougars family.
Update: 2:30 p.m.
Relax, Cougars fans! WR Rodrick Fisher, the four-star prospect out of Spokane’s East Valley High, has signed his letter-of-intent. WSU has not officially announced it yet, but that should be forthcoming.
KREM’s Evan Closky witnessed Fisher’s signing, so you know it happened.
Meanwhile, the Cougars have officially announced the signing of safety Halid Djibril, who was teammates at Cathedral (Los Angeles, Calif.) High with Jamire Calvin and Renard Bell.
Here’s Djibril’s bio:
Halid Djibril, S, 6-2, 185 pounds, Cathedral High (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Djibril, a high school teammate of WSU receivers Renard Bell and Jamire Calvin, picked WSU over Oregon State on Wednesday, announcing his commitment and signing via his Twitter page at about 9:30 a.m. Djibril visited WSU on Dec. 8 and tripped to Oregon State and UW last weekend. His offer list included UW, Utah, Boston College, Colorado, USC, Iowa State, Vanderbilt and Illinois, and he’s rated a three-star recruit and the 51st safety nationally by 247Sports.com.
Update: 1:26 p.m.
Here’s the latest on Pomona (Colo.) RB Max Borghi, who is committed to WSU, but has yet to sign an NLI.
At this point, WSU has inked 16 kids, but the following commits remain unsigned:
- Max Borghi: RB, 6-2, 200 pounds, Pomona High School (Arvada, Colo.)
- Rodrick Fisher: WR, 6-2, 203 pounds, East Valley High School (Spokane, Wash.)
- Nick Lewis: OT, 6-9, 348 pounds, The Bolles School (Jacksonville, Fla.)
- Erick Hallett: CB, 5-10, 170 pounds, Cy-Fair High School (Cypress, Texas)
- Gatlin Grisso: ATH, 6-1, 185 pounds, Aubrey High School (Aubrey, Texas)
- Calvin Jackson: WR, 5-9, 160 pounds, Independence C.C. (Independence, Kans.)
WSU football Chief of Staff Dave Emerick said earlier today that he expects another “one or two” recruits to sign between now and Friday, when the early signing period closes.
Update: 10:56 a.m.
On the WSU Signing Day radio show, former WSU QBs Jason Gesser and Alex Brink are really high on Lehi QB Camm Cooper and they’ve stressed how important he is to this recruiting class.
Cooper will enroll in January, which is key especially for quarterbacks because he’ll get a full dose of offseason conditioning and spring ball with the Cougars and will be ready to roll when fall camp begins.
In light of that, Gesser went out on a limb with this bold prediction.
“I’m very excited about this kid,” Gesser said. “I truly do think – nothing against (Tyler) Hilinski or (John) Bledsoe or anyone else — that the kid could come in here and position himself to compete for a position next year in the fall. I’m interested to see his demeanor and how he handles his winter conditioning and spring ball.”
Brink is equally excited about Cooper’s potential.
Brink: “Hopefully the fanbase can appreciate how talented Camm Cooper is. This is a huge get for WSU. Elite 11 QBs don’t fall off trees. Whether he comes in and competes as a freshman or not, he’s the key to this class and locking up all these guys. When he said ‘I’m a Coug.’ That’s why all these other guys said, ‘Yup, if he’s saying that, so am I.'”
Update: 10:45 a.m.
Random, humorous anecdote. In this digital age, recruits seldom fax in their national letters of intent. (I mean, really, show of hands, who knows how to operate a fax machine? And can you find one?) Instead, WSU football chief of staff Dave Emerick said Wednesday that the most common way recruits send in their NLIs is the screenshot.
As in, they take a screenshot of their signed NLI, and text it to the WSU coaches. Voila.
To recap, WSU currently has 16 signed NLIs. Emerick says they’re expecting one or two more between now and Friday, the end of the early signing period.
Will RB Max Borghi and WR Rodrick Fisher be among that number? Stay tuned.
Update: 10:14 a.m.
Stanford beat reporter R.J. Abeytia reports that Pomona (Colo.) RB Max Borghi has informed WSU he will not be signing an NLI with them today. Whether that means he’ll sign with Stanford, or has decided to wait and think over his final decision, is to be determined. The early signing period started today, but goes through Friday, so if Borghi is reconsidering, he could ostensibly sign any time between now and Friday. Or, he could even wait till February.
But, point being — the hesitation is not a good sign for the Cougars, who consider Borghi one of the cornerstones of this recruiting class.
Update: 9:48 a.m.
Cougs still waiting on Max Borghi, the coveted Colorado running back who is touted as the next Christian McCaffrey. Stanford made a late push for Borghi, and seeing as how that’s where McCaffrey played, the Cardinal might have complicated Borghi’s situation.
As Hawaii wakes up, J. Pono Lolohea, another defensive tackle, has signed his NLI and sent it in. That makes 16 today.
Jonathan Lolohea: DT, 6-3, 310 pounds, Copiah-Lincoln C.C. (Wesson, Miss.)
Lolohea is originally from Hercules Mata’afa’s hometown of Lahaina, Hawaii. But he’s spent the last couple years at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. He picked WSU over offers from Colorado and TCU, and fills a big need for WSU at defensive tackle.
Update: 9:15 a.m.
Sachse (Texas) WR Drue Jackson has sent in his NLI. Also, Matt Chazanow, Jason Gesser and Alex Brink are breaking down the 2018 signing class with WSU’s assistants in a Facebook Live on the Cougars Athletics Facebook page here.
Drue Jackson: WR, 6-1, 186 pounds, Sachse High School (Sachse, Texas)
Jackson’s nickname is ‘Juice’ and he’s ranked 83rd at wide receiver nationally. He was recruited primarily by Dave Nichol. He picked WSU over an offer list that included Utah and Texas Tech, and announced his decision with a slickly-produced commitment video in October. Jackson played mostly outside receiver in high school and has said that he picked WSU because he was drawn to the allure of playing in Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense.
Update: 9:00 a.m.
WSU adds defensive end R.J. Stone to the fold. Cougs now have 14 signed recruits. But they’re still awaiting NLIs from four-star Spokane receiver Rodrick Fisher and do-it-all RB Max Borghi.
R.J. Stone: DE, 6-4, 215 pounds, Valley Christian School (San Jose, Calif.)
Ranked the No. 51 DE prospect in the country, Stone was a late addition to the WSU recruiting class. He was teammates with safety D’Angelo McKenzie in high school, and was primarily recruited by Jim Mastro. Stone picked WSU over offers from Arizona State, Oregon State and Utah and can play outside linebacker or defensive end.
Update: 8:37 a.m.
After a brief lull, WSU announces its 13th signee — Texas receiver Kassidy Woods.
Kassidy Woods: WR, 6-2, 200 pounds, Greenhill School (Addison, Texas)
Woods picked WSU over offers from Nebraska, Iowa State and SMU. He was primarily recruited by Dave Nichol, and caught 37 balls for 589 yards and eight touchdowns during his senior season. He also played basketball at Greenhill School.
Update: 8:00 a.m.
WSU now has 12 recruits in the fold. The latest, D’Angelo McKenzie, picked the Cougs over UCLA and Notre Dame. That, folks, is quite noteworthy.
D’Angelo McKenzie: S, 5-10, 165 pounds, Valley Christian School (San Jose, Calif.)
McKenzie’s recruitment was a good indicator of how far WSU has come under Mike Leach and Alex Grinch. The safety chose WSU despite originally leaning toward Notre Dame, which he visited in July. Recruited primarily by Jim Mastro, McKenzie also had offers from Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA. He’s rated the 56th-best safety prospect nationally by 247Sports.com. McKenzie and fellow WSU commit R.J. Stone’s Valley Christian team lost in the CIF Central Coast sectional semifinals to eventual champ, Serra.
Update: 7:50 a.m.
WSU reeled in another key component when Crenshaw (Calif.) defensive tackle Ahmir Crowder sent in his NLI. Signing a DT was a critical need because the Cougars failed to sign one with last year’s class and are losing two starters at the position.
Ahmir Crowder: DT, 6-3, 280 pounds, Crenshaw High School (Los Angeles, Calif.)
With Daniel Ekuale and Garrett McBroom both graduating, WSU badly needed to sign a defensive tackle. Crowder fulfills that need. At 6-foot-3, 280 pounds, he can afford to pack some weight onto his frame, and, depending on how he develops, could compete for playing time early. He went to the same high school where WSU found DE Derek Moore, and played offensive tackle and defensive tackle. His offer list included Purdue, Vanderbilt and Cal.
Update 7:30 a.m.
The NLIs are coming in fast and furious now. OL Syr Riley, WR Patrick Nunn, LB Kedron Williams and CB Myles Green-Richards have all sent in their NLIs.
Kedron Williams: LB, 6-1, 190 pounds, St. John Bosco School (Bellflower, Calif.)
Williams is a hybrid linebacker/safety who can deliver hard hits but is also comfortable dropping into coverage, and with that skillset, he could compete for a spot at nickelback in the future. He was recruited primarily by Roy Manning, who, conveniently, also coaches WSU’s nickelbacks.
Patrick Nunn: WR, 6-3, 206 pounds, Junipero Serra High School (San Mateo, Calif.)
Nunn is another electric receiving prospect who should immediately compete for playing time. This caps off a big week for Nunn, who won a California class 2A state championship with Junipero Serra last Friday. Nunn had three receptions for 33 yards in his team’s win over Cajon. The big, athletic receiver has also been selected for the Polynesian Bowl in January.
Myles Green-Richards: CB, 5-11, 175 pounds, Churchill High School (Eugene, Ore.)
Green-Richards’s only other offer was from Oregon State because he committed to WSU this summer and shut down his recruiting. He’s rated the 13th-best recruit from the state of Oregon and was primarily recruited by Eric Mele. With a 4.52 40 time, this speedy cornerback should fit in well with Alex Grinch’s Speed D.
Syr Riley: OG, 6-3, 323 pounds, Palisades High School (Pacific Palisades, Calif.)
Riley was primarily recruited by Roy Manning, and he picked WSU over offers from Cal, Navy, Colorado State and Utah State. Random fact about Riley: He runs a small baking business, and has sold brownies to buy himself football equipment or raise money for the black student union. Sounds like he’ll be a popular member of the WSU offensive line.
Update 7:22 a.m.
And, the Cougs add OL Jarrett Kingston to the mix.
Jarrett Kingston: OT, 6-5, 255 pounds, Anderson High School (Anderson, Calif.)
At 6-foot-5, 255 pounds, Kingston is on the light side for a lineman, but will be expected to pack on some good weight under WSU strength coach Jason Loscalzo. The Cougars have a history of success in recruiting lighter, more athletic projects and turning them into linemen (see, Dillard, Andre.) Kingston is intriguing because he is athletic enough that he played tight end in high school was also recruited by some schools as a defensive end.
Update 7:12 a.m.
Brennan Jackson has joined the WSU football team.
Brennan Jackson: DE, 6-4, 238 pounds, Great Oak High School (Temecula, Calif.)
Jackson’s smarts are indisputable – his early offer list included Navy, Yale and Princeton. Recruited by Ken Wilson, Jackson visited WSU in the spring and committed soon after. He’s friends from WSU CB Darrien Molton, who’s also from the greater San Diego area. Jackson projects as a pass-rushing defensive end.
Update 7:08 a.m.
Woodinville’s Cade Beresford is the first recruit in the Pacific time zone to deliver his NLI to WSU.
Cade Beresford: OT, 6-7, 270 pounds, Woodinville High School (Woodinville, Wash.)
The Woodinville native started his college career at quarterback, but was buried on the depth chart as the third-string during his sophomore year. So he switched to offensive line and blossomed. Beresford is ranked the No. 8 recruit in the state of Washington, and he picked WSU over offers from USC, Arizona, Arizona State, Nebraska and UCLA.
Update 6:30 a.m.
Happy Early Signing Day, folks! As of 6:30 a.m. this morning, WSU has received three signed National Letters of Intent.
The first came from Brandon Gray, a 6-foot-5 receiver from Detroit, Mich.
Brandon Gray: WR, 6-5, 172 pounds, Cass Technical High School (Detroit, Mich.)
Tall and rangy, Gray should immediately compete for time at WSU’s depleted outside receiver spots. He’s the second Michigan recruit Roy Manning has pulled out of his old stomping grounds in as many years – Will Rodgers in 2017 – and he’s acknowledged as the top receiving prospect out of the state of Michigan. His offer list included Arkansas, Iowa State, and WSU’s Holiday Bowl opponent, Michigan State.
Then, WSU got a surprise from linebacker Kendrick Catis.
Kendrick Catis: LB, 6-1, 228 pounds, Highland C.C. (Highland, Kans.)
Catis originally committed to Arizona State in September, but he decommited after visiting WSU two weeks ago, and surprised the Cougars by signing with them on Wednesday. His offer list included ASU, Louisville and Arkansas. Per 247Sports.com, Catis is ranked No. 4 nationally among junior college linebackers.
After that, the Cougs reeled in their big fish — four-star quarterback Camm Cooper, who sent in his NLI shortly before 6:30 a.m.
Cammon Cooper: QB, 6-4, 202 pounds, Lehi High School (Lehi, Utah)
Cooper, a prized four-star Elite 11 quarterbacking prospect, is the son of a quarterback and is hoping to compete for the backup QB job at WSU next year. The big lefty led Lehi to a Utah 5A state championship in November to cap off a perfect senior season that saw him set multiple Utah state prep quarterbacking records. He will enroll at WSU in January.
Here’s what you need to know about the early signing period (via Adam Jude):
• Recruits can sign a National Letter of Intent during a three-day window from Dec. 20-22.
• The NCAA approved the new legislation last spring to “improve the football environment and culture for current and prospective student-athletes and coaches.” In theory, the change was implemented in part to help ease the burden of the recruiting — the contact calls, texts and visits from recruiters — for prospective student-athletes who have already made up their mind about where they want to go to school.
• Recruits who don’t sign this week can still sign during the traditional signing period — Feb. 7 for this cycle. But that date will lose some of its luster because most recruits are expected to sign this week. In the Huskies’ case, most, if not all, of the 18 recruits currently committed are expected to sign Wednesday.