BREAKING: Leach talks, 3-star LB goes crimson

YOU CAN TAKE the No. 18 middle linebacker prospect off the board - Chandler Leniu tells CF.C he is headed to Washington State. There was a moment this past weekend -- when the three-star prospect out of Bellflower, Calif. was on his official visit in Pullman -- where he suddenly knew that he was going to be a Cougar. It happened when he met the head football man at Washington State.

Chandler Leniu out of St. John Bosco High is Wazzu-bound.

"I just committed to Washington State," Leniu told CF.C moments ago.

Leniu was blown away on his trip to Washington State. He left Pullman wanting to talk things over with his family, but also already knowing where he was headed for college.

"I had several of those moments when I was there where I knew (I would verbally commit)," said Leniu. "When I met Coach Mike Leach, that was one of those moments.

"He's such a great guy and a great coach...he brings the team together and he knows where they're going. He knows how to build a program."

Leniu (6-1, 225) said WSU likes him as a middle linebacker.

"Coach Ken Wilson is a great coach, we went over some plays and he really knows what he's talking about… I can't wait to play under him," said Leniu.

Leniu is the second official visitor from this past weekend to verbal to the Cougs, joining OL Sean Krepsz. Leniu held offers from TCU, Iowa State, Fresno State, Kansas, Nevada and others.

WSU WAS LENIU'S first visit and he said he wasn't ready on Thursday night to absolutely rule out taking another trip elsewhere at some point. That noted, he also said he can't imagine playing anywhere else bu Washington State.

"Once I got there, I just loved it," said Leniu. "I just loved the coaches. The school is great, the campus was great, the players on the team were great."

Leniu said he called his are area recruiter Dennis Simmons and Leach to deliver the news.

"They were excited and just told me how happy they were that I am going to be part of this family," said Leniu.

COUGAR LINEBACKER Tana Pritchard was Leniu's player host over the weekend.

"He was great - I felt very comfortable and welcomed with open arms by Tana and all of the players," said Leniu.

Leniu has been nominated for the national 2013 Butkus Award for High School. He is one of only four players from the state of California to have been so honored.

He racked up 157 tackles as a junior (111 solo) and earned All CIF First Team Defense and Defensive MVP of the Trinity League Defensive Player among his slew of honors and awards.

Leniu becomes the 14th known WSU verbal commit in the 2014 class, joining OL Sean Krepsz, OL Jordan Rose, LB Frank Luvu, CB Joe Turner, K Tristan Vizcaino, CB Kevin Griffin, WR Calvin Green, WR Keith Harrington, WR Zaire Andre, LB Greg Hoyd, NT/DE Marcus Griffin and QB Peyton Bender.

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