BREAKING: Cougs land highly sought DE

CALL IT AN early Christmas present for the Cougar Faithful. Mike Leach and Washington State on Sunday landed a key target in the Cougars' 2013 class, a prep defensive end who racked up 26 sacks as a down lineman and was named City Section Defensive Player of the Year his senior campaign.

"I just committed to Washington State," Paulo Lepua told CF.C moments ago. "It was the coaching staff that did it. They got me hooked on Washington State."

Lepua (6-3, 265) out of Narbonne High in Harbor City, Calif. projects as a defensive end in the Cougs' 3-4 and still has a lot of room on his frame to pack on the bulk.

Leupa's offers included Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon State among others. He was a terror for opposing teams during his senior season.

Lepua racked up 26 sacks during the 2012 campaign on his way to being named the City Section Defensive Player of the Year in 2012.

He is rated the No. 41 prep defensive end prospect nationally and three stars by


For the complete recruiting class list, CLICK HERE.

And for a look at the prospects who could join them in the class, CLICK HERE.
THE IN-HOME visit this month by the Cougar coaching staff factored heavily into his decision, particularly with his future defensive line coach, Joe Salave'a and his area recruiter, Dennis Simmons.

"I talked to Coach Simmons and let him know I was committing -- he was just so excited," said Lepua. "Coach Salave'a - great guy, great coach. I just cant wait to get there."

FELLOW FUTURE COUG Gerard Wicks also influenced his decision, said Lepua. He'll trip to Wazzu in January but the picture that emerged for him from Wicks and the Cougar coaches appealed mightily.

"They told me a lot of things about the school I really did like. It's (a college town) and one where you can really focus on school and football," said Lepua.

LEPUA HAD BEEN consistent all recruiting season long that he would more than likely take his decision into Signing Day. But that started to change as the Cougar coaches visited with him and the family in the living room.

"I've been thinking about it more and more since then, and my parents also talked to the coaches and they really liked them and what they had to say. My parents went to church and prayed about it, and they thought it was the right thing to do it now. I did too," said Lepua.

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