Nick Rolovich and Washington State hit a variety of different position groups with the first eight members of their 2021 recruiting class: quarterback, wide receiver, offensive guard, offensive tackle, linebacker, defensive end and punter.

The Cougars finally found their way into the defensive secondary this week, as Adrian Shepherd, a three-star safety from McKinney, Texas, became the ninth player to announce a commitment to WSU Friday afternoon, two days after Rolovich hinted that anther pledge was on the way with his trademark Ol’ Crimson tweet.


Shepherd is a first in a few respects when it comes to WSU’s 2021 recruiting class. Not only is he the first defensive back to commit, but he’s the first player from the state of Texas to pledge. The Cougars now have nine commits from six states – Texas, California, Washington, Utah, Arizona and Florida – along with Australia.

According to, Shepherd didn’t have any other Power Five offers, but Colorado had shown interest in the 5-foot-10, 180-pound safety. Shepherd’s only other FBS offer came from the Sun Belt Conference, and Louisiana Lafayette, and he held FCS offers from Northern Arizona and Notre Dame College.

Shepherd committed to the Cougars less than a month after pulling in an offer from Rolovich and his new staff.

It was Shepherd’s first full season playing on the defensive side of the ball for 6A McKinney High School, but the junior safety came up in a big way for his team at multiple points, recording two interceptions – one of those a game-sealing pick – in a 10-7 win for the Lions over McKinney Boyd that punched their ticket to the playoffs.

From his safety position, Shepherd made an impressive 94 tackles as a junior and had four tackles-for-loss to go with three interceptions and one fumble recovery that went for a touchdown.