WSU Cougars

Signing Day: Washington State adds offensive linemen, defensive backs

Washington State coach Mike Leach bolstered his offensive line and defensive secondary on national signing day Wednesday.

The Cougars signed six offensive linemen, a key to making the Air Raid offense soar, and five defensive backs among 25 new players.

Nearly all of Washington State’s recruits were rated as three-star prospects by the various scouting agencies.

With record-setting quarterback Luke Falk heading into his junior year, the Cougars did not sign a highly touted quarterback for the future.

Instead, they signed Justus Rogers of Bellevue High as an athlete.

Rogers played quarterback at Bellevue, leading his team totwo state championships, and is expected to get a chance to play quarterback in Pullman at some point.

Leach signed 15 players from California, four from Washington, and one each from Utah, Hawaii, Florida, Nevada, Oklahoma and American Samoa.

Other things to know:

Top 25 Class: No.

Best in class: Receiver Isaiah Johnson of Belle Glade, Florida, was rated a four-star prospect by, and among the top 20 receivers in the state.

The 6-foot-3, 211-pound product of Dwyer High School caught 44 passes for 912 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior.

Best of the rest: Running back Romello Harris rushed for 1,943 yards and 25 touchdowns in only nine games as a senior, and is rated the No. 57 running back prospect in the nation.

The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder totaled 7,311 rushing yards in his career at Tulare Union High in California.

Late addition: Linebacker Suli Tamaivena of Kirkland. His father, Levi, was a national rugby star in Fiji.

One that got away: Athlete Tayler Hawkins of Palm Springs, California, who chose San Diego State.

How they’ll fit in: Washington State has plenty of returning veterans from a nine-win season that was the best in more than a decade.

The new players should have time to learn the system and earn playing time without being rushed into the breach.

With three quarterbacks on the roster, the Cougars apparently did not feel the need to sign a top passer this year to run the Air Raid down the road.