SPOKANE, Washington — Washington State coach Mike Leach signed a quarterback and three wide receivers for his Air Raid offense on Wednesday, but wanted to highlight some other players in his latest recruiting class.
"The quality of the offensive and defensive line and the defensive backs in particular," Leach said when asked to place an identity on his recruiting class.
"This is the best class in my opinion we've had since I've been here," said Leach, who is entering his fourth season with the Cougars.
Of the 23 players signed by Leach, 17 were from California, two from American Samoa, and one each from Washington, Arizona, Maryland and Utah.
Safety Deion Singleton of Pasco was the only in-state player Leach signed. Singleton originally signed last year but was declared academically ineligible.
Leach said the Cougars are likely to add some walk-on players from Washington.
Freshman quarterback Tyler Hilinski from Upland, California, graduated from high school early and has already enrolled at WSU for the spring semester.
"Big guy but also kind of mobile," Leach said. "Extremely productive inside the pocket and outside the pocket."
The new receivers include sophomore Kyrin Priester, a transfer from Clemson who was heavily recruited out of high school in Georgia. The others are junior college transfer C.J. Dimry and freshman Kyle Sweet, who becomes the latest of a line of players from Santa Margarita Catholic High School in California to join the Cougars.
"They develop players better than most programs do," Leach said.
The Cougars got a surprise Wednesday when T.J. Fehoko, a defensive end from Cottonwood High School in Murray, Utah, announced he was selecting WSU over Nevada and North Carolina State.
The Cougars lost some likely recruits because of the move of receivers coach Dennis Simmons to Oklahoma.
Receiver Dahu Green of Oklahoma City opted out of a commitment and signed with Oklahoma. Deontay Burnett of Gardena, California, another receiver committed to WSU, has not yet signed.
Top 25 Class: No
Best in class: Tyler Hilinski, QB, Upland, California.
Best of the rest: Jeremiah Mitchell, de, Riverside CC; Kyrin Priester, wr, Lilburn, Georgia
Late addition: T.J. Fehoko, de, Murray, Utah.
One that got away: Dahu Green, wr, Oklahoma City.