Cali LB earns WSU offer, likes Cougs

RECRUITING IS IN large part about patience and for a three-star linebacker prospect, it paid off late Wednesday night. One of the latest California prospects to pick up a Washington State offer is a 6-1, 225-pound middle linebacker with surprising sideline-to-sideline coverage. CF.C talked to him for the latest on his recruitment and his thoughts about the Cougs...

"I called Coach Ken Wilson and then I called Coach Dennis Simmons," Chandler Leniu told CF.C. "Coach Wilson told me that he talked with the rest of the staff and they were very happy to have the chance to offer me a scholarship. They had been recruiting me for a while now and I was just staying patient hoping they'd offer.

"It's my first Pac-12 offer and to be honest, I was kind of shocked. It's a true blessing for me and I'm really speechless about it."

Leniu, out of Bellflower's St. John Bosco High, put up some video game numbers last season with 157 tackles. He also had 2.5 sacks and forced three fumbles. He is rated the 26th best middle linebacker prospect in the land by

At the Oakland Nike Football Training Camp this past weekend, analysts Brandon Huffman and Greg Biggins were impressed by the combination of his athleticism and sturdy frame. "Leniu tested well with a 30-inch vertical jump and he threw the power ball 44 feet. He looked great in the drills as well playing fast and aggressive and looking very comfortable in space," they said.

"WSU LIKES HOW I move toward the ball and how I get sideline to sideline," Leniu said. "I have good hips and fly to the ball. I can make plays on the field -- but my goal for this summer and fall is to just keep getting better and better."

He added that he and Wilson have developed a close bond.

"He's a great coach and we have a good relationship right now," Leniu said. "I can feel the chemistry between him and I and I think we would be able to connect if I were to go play for him. We're talking about having me fly up there sometime in July too for an unofficial visit."

LENIU HOLDS OFFERS from Nevada, Fresno State, Iowa State and Kansas in addition to Washington State. He's also receiving plenty of interest from USC, Arizona, ASU, Utah and Stanford. Leniu said he has no dream school or leaders at this point and that he's looking for something in particular in deciding which college he'll attend.

"Academics are important to me, so I want to make sure I can get my degree," Leniu said. "Having a great football program is big for me as well, but school comes first."

AS A JUNIOR, some of his postseason honors included being named all-CIF first-team, the Trinity League MVP and a Maxprep 2012 California Division I all-state high school first-team defense selection.

Earlier this year, his strength numbers were a 285-pound power clean, a 315-pound bench press and a squat of 420 pounds.

Chandler Leniu profile

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