BREAKING: Leach lands his QB

TYLER HILINSKI KNEW going into his Washington State unofficial visit that he wanted to be a Cougar. But he also knew he needed to see the campus, and to talk face to face with Mike Leach, before making that level of commitment. Soon after arriving in Pullman, and just moments ago, the 6-3, 200-pounder out of Upland, Calif. tells CF.C he gave his verbal pledge to Leach and the Cougars.

"Just got out of Coach Leach's office and I committed. I'm a Coug!" Hilinski said in a text.

Accuracy is the chief attribute Leach looks for in a quarterback and Hilinski as a junior this past season at Upland High completed his passes at a 68 percent clip.

The three-star rated QB was 177-260 for 3,053 yards and 34 touchdowns against eight interceptions as a junior. He also rushed for 334 yards and four more scores.

"Tyler has made big strides as a quarterback in the last year,"'s Greg Biggins tells "I saw him Week One of the season last year in what was his first ever start and he had that deer in the headlights look. Over the course of the season, he dramatically improved his pocket presence, poise under pressure and ability to move around in the pocket, escape the rush and make a play with his legs or with his arm.

"Tyler's biggest strength as a QB is his accuracy and timing. He doesn't have a huge arm and he still needs to tighten his release a bit but he throws the ball on time, anticipates well and is very accurate on all three levels." Biggins said he has the other intangibles desired in a quarterback as well.

"He's a great kid, a natural leader and very driven. No one will outwork him and he truly wants to be a great player and will do all he can to improve every area of his game."

"Right now I have offers from WSU, Utah State and UPenn, but ever since I got that offer from the Cougs, other schools have gotten in touch," Hilinski told CF.C earlier. "I've received interest from Vanderbilt, Arizona State and others. I think once I got that WSU offer, schools became interested because they know how great Coach Leach is at recruiting quarterbacks.

"The more I've thought about it, though, Washington State is a great fit and Washington State is the school for me. I've developed a great relationship with Coach Leach, Coach Ken Wilson and other members of the staff. It's a great program with great energy right now."

Hilinski's decision today to go crimson no doubt gave the Cougar staff a big boost.

"I spoke with Coach Leach (Tuesday night) and we talked about how he really wants me to commit and become a Cougar," Hilinski said. "Coach Leach wants me to help them get things rolling with the rest of the class and go out and get some great recruits to come to Washington State."

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