Nick Rolovich sent out his “bat signal” two days ago — an internet GIF depicting Tom Pounds’ Ol’ Crimson flag waving high above the ESPN College GameDay crowd in Pullman two years ago — indicating Washington State’s football program had grabbed its second pledge in the 2021 recruiting class.
Nothing emerged Tuesday afternoon, however, and Wednesday didn’t offer any additional clues as to who the Cougars’ “mystery” commit was. But the wait ended on Thursday.
Blair Angulo of 247Sports.com broke the news that Christian Hilborn, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound offensive tackle from Highland High School in Utah has pledged to the Cougars, joining California receiver Orion Peters to become the second commit in the 2021 class.
Though Hilborn’s recruiting profile on 247Sports doesn’t indicate the player had other FBS offers, Angulo wrote he’d begun to “garner attention from the likes of Air Force and Weber State in recent weeks.”
The Cougars most likely identified Hilborn before others because the offensive lineman’s older brother, Caden, redshirted for Rolovich and new WSU O-line coach Mark Weber at the University of Hawaii last season. Hilborn also played alongside Cougars offensive-tackle signee Rodrick Tialavea last season at Highland.
“I’ve heard nothing but great things about (WSU) from (Caden),” Hilborn told Angulo. “I also know the facilities are super nice. I’ve always wanted to go to a Pac-12 school, so I knew I had to pull the trigger as soon as I knew I had the offer.”
While Hilborn comes to WSU as an offensive lineman, he also has experience in the trenches as a defensive player and made 34 tackles for the Rams as a junior, including seven sacks. According to MaxPreps.com, he was also responsible for forcing two safeties. Hilborn also plays basketball at Highland.