WSU's Sulaiman Hameed poised for breakout?

PULLMAN -- Washington State safety Sulaiman Hameed has been healthy, re-energized and flying around the field this spring. But off the field, he readily admits, kayaking and swimming aren't amongst his strong suits.

Hameed -- pictured above with Charleston White at the Crimson and Gray Game -- posted five tackles for the Crimson squad on Saturday. In the process, he glimpsed some of the speed and knack for getting to the ball that first-year WSU defensive coordinator and secondary coach Alex Grinch has been stressing for the D all spring.

Hameed impressed Cougar coaches last fall as a true freshman with his speed and ability to make a play. It earned a burning of his redshirt and a starting debut five games into the season at Utah and Hameed rewarded the coaches for their faith that day with a six-tackle performance in the nail-biting win over the Utes. Hameed started two more games before his season was cut short by injury.

Between Hameed's assortment of tackles, interceptions and break ups this spring, it's probably a pretty good bet he'll be in or near a starting role next fall, regardless of what happens with the influx of junior college transfers who are coming to the WSU secondary.

The 5-10, 182-pound Alameda (Calif.) High grad missed his entire high school junior season due to injury, but came back as a senior to play four different positions (quarterback, running back, receiver and safety), and earn a 3-star rating by Scout.com. His skills as a defensive back were what attracted WSU coaches.

Cougfan.com recently spoke with Hameed about his outlook for the upcoming season, and much more.

Cougfan.com: What do you want to take away from the Crimson and Gray game?
Sulaiman Hameed: The biggest thing that I want to take away is just guys competing and everybody just running their positions. Spring is a big time for learning and I feel like the spring game is just a big learning process. For the defense, I want everyone to get on the same page.

CF.C: Who has impressed you most on both offense and defense this spring?
Hameed: Oh man, there have been a lot of guys flying around. I can’t really single anybody out, everybody’s been doing a great job. Both on the offensive and defensive side, everybody’s doing great.

CF.C: What is your first memory involving sports?
Hameed: That would have to be my first time going out to play football and thinking I was signed up for flag football but it was actually tackle. I was with a whole bunch of older boys and I was really scared but I got out there and ever since then I fell in love with it.

CF.C: Who inspires you?
Hameed: My mom, she is a strong woman and I look up to her. From a football aspect, I like guys like Ed Reed, Earl Thomas, guys that really fly around and make big plays and big hits.

CF.C: What does your pre-game warm up routine look like?
Hameed: I like to eat some gummy worms and then I listen to music from the Bay Area, guys like DBD, General, Trill Young and guys like that.

CF.C: Outside of football, what are some other things that you like to do?
Hameed: I like riding dirt bikes and ATVs and hanging out with my family and watching movies.

CF.C: Who is your closest friend on the team?
Hameed: I have to say my dread head brother, Keith Harrington. My brother, my roommate, he’s a great guy.

CF.C: What is your favorite story involving you and Keith?
Hameed: It would have to be the time they took us to the lake in the summer and we went out on a kayak and fell out. We had to swim back to the shore and we didn’t know how to swim. It was hilarious.

CF.C: What are you looking forward to most in this coming season?
Hameed: Personally, I’m just looking forward to being out there again having some experience under my belt, playing with a little more confidence and really getting after it this year. As a team, I just really want us to go out there and play our hardest and play up to the expectations of what we know we can do. I know we can do great things and play up to those expectations.


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