"Of all the years this may be toughest for pronouncing names," Mike Leach said in the middle of running through all 19 of his signees on Wednesday.
He's right, by the way.
I counted 10 out of 19 players in this WSU signing class who have either a first or last name that is a bit complicated.
Let's dig in to some facts about the 2019 Wazzu class
- 19 players signed on Wednesday.
- Leach said the position groups he targeted with this class were secondary, defensive line, and offensive line.
- Four players Leach signed were secondary players, three offensive lineman, and two defensive lineman. It would've been three defensive linemen if USC hadn't flipped Dejon Benton Wednesday.
- The Cougs will lose six starters on defense next year, so it makes sense that this class had a defensive focus.
Obviously, we aren't going to talk about every recruit Leach got today, but we will feature the three with the highest level of offers.
Let's start with Jamir Thomas, a running back from Ohio had 12 other Power-5 offers, but a lot of those offers were at the linebacker position, not running back. Thomas decided the Cougs were his best option if he wants to play offense. Thomas probably won't get much playing time next year with both James Williams and Max Borghi returning, but the following year he may play a factor.
On the defensive side, the two biggest gets were linebackers Travion Brown and Peni Naulu. Brown had ten Power-5 offers while Naulu had seven. The Cougs have a pretty deep linebacking corps as well, so we'll see if these guys can break through.
Two other fun facts about this class-- Seven will early enroll, which Leach says in the highest number he's ever seen. Leach also says that the team has a few scholarships left to offer for the second signing period, which begins February 6th.
The Eags signed nine players. Here's how the class breaks down: Two offensive lineman, two defensive ends, and one of the following positions: quarterback, running back, tight end, defensive tackle, and safety.
I'd expect this class to be much bigger come the February signing period considering this team has over 25 seniors of the roster.