It’ll be at least a few months before Washington State can start bringing potential prospects to the Palouse for on-campus visits, but the lack of in-person recruiting apparently hasn’t impacted the Cougars in the 2022 class.
The Cougars drew their first 2022 commitment last September when Arizona quarterback Adryan Lara announced he’d be joining Nick Rolovich and the run-and-shoot, and on Wednesday WSU picked up its first defensive pledge in the class, from Inglewood High linebacker Taariq Al-Uqdah.
Similar to Lara, Al-Uqdah has been coveted by multiple Pac-12 schools and he made an early commitment to the Cougars despite holding offers from USC, Washington, Colorado and Arizona, along with Kansas and New Mexico.
Al-Uqdah is considered the No. 34 overall recruit in the state of California by 247Sports.com and the nation’s No. 14 inside linebacker. According to the composite metric used by the recruiting website, Al-Uqdah has the highest rating (.872) of any high-school player committed to the Cougars under Rolovich and the highest rating of any WSU defensive commit since Travion Brown, another linebacker from Southern California.
WSU defensive coordinator Jake Dickert was listed as the lead recruiter for Al-Uqdah.
The 6-foot, 202-pound linebacker played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Narbonne High School in Harbor City, California, before transferring to Inglewood High. Al-Uqdah has yet to play his junior year because the COVID-19 pandemic, but his Inglewood team is scheduled to open the spring season on March 12 in the City of Champions Classic against Morningside.
Al-Uqdah projects as an elite cover linebacker who’s “a sure tackler” and “among the most versatile linebackers in the West,” according to 247Sports.com’s Greg Biggins.