Not this time Miami, as Cougs sign three

THIS TIME, the verbal pledge held true. This time, the Cougar commit didn't bolt to sign with Miami at the eleventh hour. Indeed, no matter how hard the Hurricanes tried late in the game, he stuck with Washington State. And so Ivan McLennan, who told CF.C his dreams came true Wednesday morning when he sent in his signed LOI to WSU, became one of the first three Cougars in Mike Leach's 2013 class.

Cougar fans still probably haven't forgotten about tight end prospect Asante Cleveland, who was a Cougar verbal commit for nearly five months. Almost three years ago, Miami pooched the three star prospect away from the Cougars on the 2010 signing day.

Miami attempted to do the same this recruiting cycle with El Camino's McLennan, but the three star linebacker had a different message for the Miami coaching staff than did Cleveland.

"Miami called last week and linebackers Coach (Michael Barrow) extended me an offer," McLennan said. "It was crazy. Miami has always been one of my dream schools.

"But it was too late in the process. I told them that through it all, I was committed to Washington State 100 percent."

It wasn't just Miami who was making a late push either. McLennan also recently received scholarship offers from Texas Tech and Houston in addition to his early offers from Oregon, Arkansas, San Diego State and Nevada.

McLennan tripped to Reno to see the Wolfpack on Dec. 7, but following his trip he said there was no other school he could see himself playing for except Washington State. He wanted to be a Coug.

"It just made me realize that Washington State was the place for me," McLennan said. "I can go in there and help their defense and do my best to try and get us to some Rose Bowls."

McLennan, who racked up 79 tackles, an interception for a touchdown, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble this season, faxed his National Letter of Intent to play for the Cougs this morning. With his friends and family around him, he said it truly was one of the best days of his life.

"It's a big day for me because I'm officially a part of the crimson and gray man," McLennan said. "Dreams come true. I wasn't always the best athlete out there, but I kept working hard and I never gave up. Through hard work and dedication, anything can happen."

McLennan is on pace to graduate in early January and said he is working on some paperwork to finalize his transfer to WSU. He told CF.C that he won't be able to make it to Pullman for the first day of WSU's spring semester on Jan. 7, but he will arrive on campus no later than mid-January and will compete in spring ball.

The Cougs are bringing in McLennan as a BUCK LB, and although a starting spot is open with Travis Long graduating, said he knows he'll have to earn the job.

"I'm going to go in there ready to compete," McLennan said. "I've been working out non-stop and I feel like I'm an underdog all the time, so I'm working out to get better every day. I'm not saying I'm going to start because I respect the players they have and the talent they have. We'll go out in practice and make each other better and the best man will win the job."

WSU HAD NOT yet officially announced their midyear junior college signings as of press time but in addition to McLennan, College of San Mateo defensive end Lyman Faoliu and Riverside JC offensive lineman Jacob Seydel both told CF.C they have also faxed in their Letters of Intent to Washington State.

Faoliu chose the Cougs over offers from Oregon State, Maryland, UNLV and several others, while Seydal chose to go Crimson over offers from Hawaii and Colorado State.

McLennan said he's also been in contact with future Coug WR Vince Mayle, who will graduate in May from Sierra College and is expected to sign with the Cougs on Feb. 6. The three star wideout has been adamant that he will be in Pullman next season and has told coaches across the country that he is 100 percent committed to Washington State. Mayle holds offers from Auburn, Arizona State, West Virginia, Houston, Kentucky and Nevada in addition to WSU.

The Cougs also have 17 known prep verbal commitments who will sign on Feb. 6. Additional, Wazzu has two grayshirts from the class of 2012 in OL B.J. Salmonson and WR Robert Lewis who are expected to join McLennan, Faoliu and Seydel next month.

"I feel like we have one of the best classes in the Pac-12 and we're taking the right steps to compete for Rose Bowls," McLennan said. "Coach Leach expects nothing less than that, so we're going to try and give that to him sooner than later."

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