With Saturday night’s win over Arizona State, the Washington State Cougars are now 5-2 on the season and remain perfect in Pac-12 play. Their success is also paying off on the recruiting trail and Friday night they added a major commitment from Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, Calif.) linebacker Fa’Avae Fa’Avae.
“I committed to Washington State because it was the best fit for me,” Fa’Avae told Today’s U. “First, I’m going there for academics, to major in business. Second is playing time as a true freshman and playing early and last, but not least, is feeling loved and going somewhere that I can see myself living for the next four years.”
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— ⭐️F2 SO NICE⭐️ (@faavaefaavae) October 21, 2016
The 247Sports Composite, 84 overall three-star chose Wazzu among his top five, which also included Arizona State, Louisville, Colorado and Oklahoma State, he said.
“Nebraska and Oregon have been on me heavy too, but I’m 100 percent committed to Washington State, going up there and playing early as a true freshman and making an impact in the Pac-12,” Fa’Avae told Today’s U.
Several aspects of Fa’Avae’s game lead the Wazzu coaches to believe that he’s a guy that can come in and make an impact on defense from Day 1.
“They like my physicality and my leadership with what I bring to the table,” Fa’Avae said. “I’m never afraid to knock some heads off. I can cover and rush the passer, I’m a dominant linebacker, not just a downhill player, I can do it all.”
The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder is planning his first trip to campus early in December.
“I haven’t been up there yet,” Fa’Avae said. “I was supposed to take all of my officials, but I got hurt so I’ve had to do surgery and all of that. I don’t have any others planned, just Dec. 9, that’s my main focus.”
Fa’Avae tore his ACL before the season started and has been doing physical therapy to rehab his knee and get back on track for a successful collegiate career. Washington State is one team that’s stuck with the three-star through this unfortunate process and that has also impacted his decision.
“Mike Leach is a great guy,” Fa’Avae said. “I’m Mormon and he’s Mormon as well, that means a lot. I talked to him on the phone and he wants me to play for him and I want to play for a guy like that. I think they’re No. 23 in the rankings that just came out. With the Speed D and Air Raid offense, something special is brewing in Pullman.”
In addition to the coaching staff, players and other members of the Washington State community have played a role in the Coogs landing the three-star.
“I’ve gotten to know a lot of the players, (former linebacker) Jeremiah Allison, he’s a leader up there and one of my good friends,” Fa’Avae said.
“Payton Pelluer reached out to me, the middle linebacker, he told me congrats. They were on the bus going to Arizona State when they found out I committed and they said everybody was going nuts, that it was pretty big.”