Ken Wilson's relentless pursuit of Greg Hoyd

WHEN SIGNING DAY arrives next week, Greg Hoyd of southern California won't just put his name on the dotted line for Ol' Wazzu. He'll do it with gusto. He was so impressed by the spirit of Cougar fans on his official visit in November that he told North Carolina State and others he didn't need to take any more trips. But the biggest key to his crimson excitement has been his future position coach.

A prospect commits to a school for a variety of reasons. But for Hoyd, who hails from Murrieta, which sits about halfway between Riverside and Escondido, it was all about the future that Washington State holds for him and the close bond he's built with WSU assistant coach Ken Wilson.

Wilson oversees inside linebackers and has been the point man in WSU's pursuit of Hoyd. What especially stood out to Hoyd was that the second-year Cougar assistant didn't let up for a moment even after Hoyd pledged crimson back in mid May.

"Man, Coach Wilson just really got me pumped on Washington State when he was recruiting me and we became pretty tight," Hoyd said. "I just created a bond with him. He's told me about players he has coached that are in the league right now and I want to learn from him and study what he teaches."

Over the years, Wilson has sent 16 of his troops on to the professional ranks.

The coach recently had an in-home visit with Hoyd and his family, which added to Hoyd's excitement about WSU.


For the complete WSU recruiting class list, CLICK HERE.

And for a look at the prospects who still could join them in the class, CLICK HERE.
"First we talked about the paperwork and getting everything filled out, but more, he was talking to me about staying focused this off-season and getting ready for when I get up there in June," Hoyd said. "We talked about some of the other guys who we've picked up in this class and how great things are shaping up."

HOYD WILL LINE UP AT THE WIL backer spot for the Cougs next season, he said, but could also take turns on the other side as well. As a senior in 2013, Hoyd racked up 63 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions, including one he took back to the house for a 63-yard touchdown.

The 6-2, 210-pounder earned first-team All-Southwestern League honors for the second-straight season, and he was the No. 13 draft pick for the red team in the recent West Coast Bowl all-star game in Redondo.

His Vista Murrieta team finished 12-2 this past season and advanced to the CIF championship game before falling to a Centennial High club that featured incoming WSU receiver Barry Ware.

"I feel like I'm a good cover linebacker," Hoyd said. "I'm athletic and I can get to the ball quickly. I hit the gaps and I'm fast on the outside as well. I like to rush the line, but I can drop back in coverage as well.

His ability to make plays at both spots is something he and Wilson have talked about frequently.

"Coach Wilson likes my tempo and my speed," he said. "My versatility is something he thinks can help out the defense. I played on a championship team for two years. I know how to win and I can get the job done when something is asked of me."

THE FUTURE COUG CHOSE WSU over offers from Utah, North Carolina State, Duke, Nevada and several others. After he committed, Hoyd had said that he was still planning on taking official visits, but one thing in particular led to him shutting down his recruitment.

His official visit back in November.

"I was there for when they played Oregon State," Hoyd said. "It's all hyped up over there and the atmosphere felt great. I was excited going to the game and seeing how everything got started up and how everyone supports the team. I felt safe out there and it felt like home for me. I knew I was in a good spot and that I wanted to be a Coug.

"After that, I pretty much let schools know I was solid with them. Some of the schools got the hint that I wasn't going to change my mind and pretty much backed off and went out and got other guys."

Hoyd will sign his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday at a small ceremony at his prep school. After he makes his commitment to WSU official, Hoyd said he'll begin preparing to arrive to the Palouse shortly after high school graduation in June.

"I'm crazy excited for everything to start and I think about it every day," Hoyd said. "I watched a Youtube video the other day of all the jersey combinations we have and I can't wait to put the Coug jersey on. Things are coming up at Washington State and I can't wait to be a part of everything."

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