Get that young man down to the Snake River

PULLMAN – Someone needs to introduce Taylor Taliulu to the Snake River sand dunes. When the Honolulu safety landed in Pullman on Monday to start his career as a Cougar, the temperatures were in the 50s and there wasn't a beach to be seen.

"It is so cold here," Taliulu said before the thermometer started to climb into the 70s and 80s this week. "I'm not used to it. But the landscape is really nice, it reminds me of home.

"There's no beaches here, so that's new," Taliulu joked.

Apparently his official and unofficial recruiting trips to Pullman last year didn't include stops along the Snake. Or glimpses of the cliffs that former Cougar basketball star –- and fellow Hawaiian -- Derrick Low used to dive off.

Weather and sand aside, Taliulu is as enthusiastic as any of his classmates to be in Pullman. The vast majority of his 2012 recruiting class arrived in Pullman this week to get a jumpstart on classes and to begin voluntary workouts.

"I'm really excited," said the 5-11, 175-pound Taliulu. "Seeing the guys coming in and the guys we already have, I see this team doing big things. I can't wait to come in a make a difference."

His path to WSU was somewhat circuitous. After an unofficial visit to Pullman last July he verbally committed to the Cougs, but when Paul Wulff was fired in December uncertainty reigned.

"When Coach Leach was hired, I wasn't contacted for almost three weeks so I didn't know what was going on," Taliulu said. "My friends were all going to Hawaii, so we all wanted to start a tradition there, plus my family could watch me play, and that's important to me," Taliulu said.

Three days before national signing day, Taliulu switched his verbal commitment to the University of Hawaii.

Just 48 hours later, after speaking extensively with his family, Taliulu recommitted to the Cougs. That was just 24 hours before signing day.

Taliulu said leaving his family was difficult, but Pullman has filled that early void.

"The family I have now in Pullman is great," Taliulu said. "Plus we're going to be starting an amazing tradition here in Pullman. It's going to be a lot of fun."

Taliulu recently finished his freshman orientation and said he's made a ton of friends already.

"Austin (Apodaca) and I are having a good time," Taliulu said. "Pullman has been great."

NOTABLE:

  • Two members of the 2012 recruiting class, linemen Alex Mitchell and Sam Jones, have said academic hurdles will preclude them from joining the Cougar this season.

  • One member of the class, lineman B.J. Salmonson, is going to grayshirt and enroll in January. Receiver Robert Lewis could join him.

  • Three members of the class – JC transfers Teondray Caldwell and Mike Bowlin, and early prep graduate Denzell Dotson – arrived on campus this past January and participated in spring practices.

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