Big hitting in-state LB adds WSU offer

THERE WERE EIGHT official visitors out on the Palouse over the weekend, but an in-state linebacker decided to make the trek to Pullman as well on an unofficial visit. That turned out to be a great decision by Fotu Leiato, who added a Cougar offer shortly after. It was the first Pac-12 scholarship for the 6-1, 200-pounder, and he just released quite the impressive highlight video.

Leiato returned home from Pullman to Steilacoom on Sunday evening and it didn’t take long for the call he was hoping for to arrive from WSU assistant Eric Mele. A WSU offer was put on the table, which as you can imagine, Leiato was thrilled to receive.

"I was real excited,” he told Cougfan.com “My dad was really excited and my whole family is pumped up knowing that Wazzu offered me.

It was awesome to know that the coaches at a Pac 12 school liked me enough to offer. I am excited about the opportunity.”

THIS WAS THE first time to the Palouse for the senior outside linebacker.

“The trip was a long drive over, ha ha, but it went really well,” Leiato said. “It was super cold at that game. The locker room was really nice, the weight room and the media room were cool. The barbershop was also something I didn't expect. Overall, just the football offices and facilities and the new buildings and stuff really stood out to me.”

WSU was the first Pac-12 school to offer but Oregon State is also showing interest, he said. The hard-hitting prospect holds overs from WSU, Eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Weber State and Portland State.

“WSU is definitely one of my top schools,” Leiato said. “I also like Wyoming and I like the coaches at Eastern Washington and Montana Stare who are recruiting me.”

EARLIER THIS WEEK, Leiato released his updated highlights (see below) and it blew up over social media. Those highlights showcased thundering hits throughout. It’s something Steilacoom assistant head coach William Garrow saw first hand all season.

“Fotu is the most violent, physical football player I’ve ever coached,” Garrow said. “He has a motor that just won’t quit. He runs down guys from 30 yards away and across a field. In practice and in games he only knows one speed. We had to change the way we practiced because we could not let him go live with full pads against his teammates because he’d end up injuring them.

"In addition, he’s a special player because there’s not many guys with his explosiveness. There are going to be guys who can run a little faster, jump a little higher, or lift some heavier weights, but there’s not many guys who can put on a helmet and shoulder pads and explode through someone in a different colored jersey the way he can.”

His potential is off the charts, Garrow added.

“He’s a hard working kid,” Garrow said. “Over the past summer, he made it to virtually every summer workout and busted his butt. He runs track in the spring to help his speed, and he lifts pretty hard in our program. He doesn’t post “wow” numbers in the weight room, but that’s really indicative of his growth. He’s not finished growing yet by any means.

“He played for us at about 195-200 pounds, but he has room to fill out. College coaches all talk about the growth potential that he has for his frame. He’s going to be 215-230 pounds when he gets into a collegiate level strength & conditioning program and has the nutrition support that a college team can offer. It’s going to be scary.”

NOTABLE RECRUITING NOTES
• Four-star wide receiver Isaac Whitney will be taking an official visit to Washington State this weekend. The Riverside City College product has double-digit offers, including USC, Cal, Utah, West Virginia, Florida and others.

• Whitney will be joined on his official visit by Riverside teammate Jonah Moi. The linebacker tweeted that he hosted Ken Wilson and Joe Salave'a for an in-home visit on Monday night and set up his trip to Pullman for Friday.

• Three-star Wazzu kicker commit Matthew Abramo hosted running backs coach Jim Mastro for an in-home visit earlier this week, he posted on his Twitter account.

• According to Springs High (Texas) head coach Chad Johnson, outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons stopped by the school on Tuesday to meet with the coaches. Springs' three-star cornerback Willie Sykes holds a Washington State offer.

• Simmons was a busy man on Tuesday. According to three-star defensive back Mohamed Barry, Simmons also stopped by his house last night for an in-home visit. Barry, a Loganville, Ga., product, is currently committed to Kansas State.

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