Several junior college players signed with WSU on Wednesday morning and will join the Cougars in the spring
On mid-year signing day Wednesday, Washington State once again capitalized on its ties to City College of San Francisco, dipping back into a talent pool that has given the Cougars two starting defensive backs and a backup quarterback in consecutive years.
For the third year in a row, City College has athletes heading to the Cougars, this time in the form of offensive tackle Robert Valencia and wide receiver Easop Winston, who signed their letters of intent Wednesday morning and will join the Cougars in January.
Valencia, a 6-foot-6, 290-pound San Francisco native, announced his commitment to WSU on Tuesday night via his Twitter account. The sophomore will add immediate depth to a Cougars offensive line that is losing senior center Riley Sorenson and senior right guard Eduardo Middleton to graduation after this season.
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Winston, also a sophomore, caught 71 passes for 1,171 yards, and scored 12 touchdowns this season. The 6-foot, 180-pound receiver led all CCSF receivers in every category, averaging 106.5 yards per game. He’ll bring a veteran presence to a young outside receivers room next year. The Cougars will lose Gabe Marks to graduation, and possibly C.J. Dimry — though, Dimry has petitioned the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility on the basis of injuries throughout his career.
The Cougars have established a strong pipeline with City College, signing starting safety Shalom Luani in 2014, starting safety Robert Taylor and quarterback Anthony Gordon in 2015, and now Winston and Valencia.
They have defensive assistant David Lose to thank for this connection to CCSF. Lose played on the same Arena Football 2 Stockton Lightning team as City College head coach Jim Collins. Collins got Luani on Lose’s radar two years ago, and WSU’s Bay Area recruiter Jim Mastro and defensive coordinator Alex Grinch have furthered that relationship with the CCSF staff since then.
Holmes (Miss.) Community College cornerback Sean Harper also signed with the Cougars on Wednesday.
Harper, a 6-foot-2, 188-pounder from Hartwell, Ga., originally committed to WSU out of high school in February 2015, but had to go the junior college route because of low test scores. Grinch kept in touch with him over the last year, and WSU’s loyalty won over the cornerback, who picked the Cougars again over offers from Virginia Tech and Cincinnati.