The Washington State Cougars are coming along ahead of schedule under Mike Leach as they went to their first bowl game in 10 years last season. That success on the field has paid dividends on the recruiting trail as WSU is working on bringing in one of their best classes in recent memory to continue stockpiling talent on the Palouse and get back into the mix in the Pac-12 race. One of the biggest (literally) recruits to join the Cougs in 2014 will be Jalen Canty who could turn out to be a two-sport star for Washington State.
Canty, a three-star recruit, has had a windy road to WSU. The 6-foot-8, 260-pound football and basketball standout originally committed to the Washington Huskies last summer, though it was unclear if he was signing on to play football or basketball. He backed away from that commitment and verbally committed to the Fresno State Bulldogs in December (definitely for football this time) but then decommitted in January before making an impromptu visit to WSU and committing to the Cougs over offers from the Utah Utes and Oregon Ducks.
His rare blend of size and athleticism make him a phenomenally intriguing recruit. In high school, he has shown excellent ability at tight end and defensive end, often dominating his opponent with his sheer size and speed. He’s got good hands, both to fight off blocks and to go up and grab passes, but he’s also built with a frame that could handle adding some bulk and transition to defensive tackle or somewhere along the offensive line. There’s no shortage of ways that this young man can make an impact on the football field.
According to some reports, Canty is planning on playing basketball at WSU as well, which makes the prospect of bulking up to play in the interior much less likely. Mike Leach isn’t know for using a tight end all that much and hasn’t had a true tight end since coming to WSU, but he could certainly find ways to get the ball to the big-bodied Canty. The Cougars are reportedly recruiting him as a defensive end, so that might be the most likely landing spot for him initially. However, don’t be surprised to see WSU get creative with him to find out just how good Canty can be at the college level.
Canty has the potential to be a star at WSU. The question now is where he’ll settle in to star his ascent. Will he be a terror off the edge at defensive end, an unstoppable pass-catcher over the middle, or will he bulk up and move inside? Where would you line up the 6-foot-8 incoming freshman in 2014?