WSU continues to prime Polynesian pipeline

FRANK LUVU

WASHINGTON STATE WILL keep on reloading on defense under Mike Leach with this recruiting class. If all goes according to plan tomorrow, Washington State will sign four recruits of Polynesian descent on Wednesday. And beyond the large number of Polynesian players on the WSU roster, a quick check of that roster reveals a couple of additional interesting nuggets.

With four new signees on Wednesday the Cougs would have 16 Polynesian players, with 15 scholarship players on defense and one walk on playing on offense.

Those expected to sign Wednesday are DE Hercules Mata'afa, DE Kingston Fernandez, NT Ngalu Tapa and LB Frank Luvu.

Mata'afa and Fernandez out of Hawaii are high effort, long-running motor guys. Sacramento's Tapa was all but unblockable this season. Luvu is from American Samoa played safety much of the time but he's going to get bigger and will be bringing that speed to his linebacker spot at WSU.

Luvu by the way is someone, we think, that had he played in LA would have had a ton of offers. Far fewer schools recruit American Samoa than do California but he still pulled down offers from the likes of Oklahoma State, Oregon State and Colorado in addition to WSU.

THE QUARTET WILL be joining: DE Destiny Vaeao, S Taylor Taliulu, DL Emmitt Su'a-Kalio, LB Chester Sua, NT Toni Pole, DL Darryl Paulo, RB Jeremiah Laufasa, DL Lyman Faoliu, DL Daniel Ekuale, LB Cyrus Coen, LB Tana Pritchard and NT Robert Barber.

The driving force behind WSU's recruiting is d-line coach Joe Salave'a. Recruits tell us they can relate to him and they know he's someone who is going to take care of them. His name recognition is off the charts with recruits and being a former NFL player pays dividends.

Once they get to campus, they bond with their hosts and the other players. But none of that happens without Leach having made it a huge priority to recruit Polynesians as soon as he got to Washington State.

And especially on the defensive side for the Cougs.

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