New WSU verbal says 'I'm a man of my word'

YOU HEAR IT from recruits all the time - they say they’re 100 percent committed to one school, but will still take official visits to other schools. That won’t be the case for Mason Vinyard, he tells The newest Coug pledge was emphatic in saying his recruitment is done, no matter who comes calling. There will be no other visits. Oh and by the way, give Jeshua Anderson an assist too.

At least twice during a phone conversation with CF.C late Tuesday night, Vinyard said the following:

“I’m a man of my word.”

The 6-5, 220-pounder (pictured above) committed to the Cougs on Tuesday morning, choosing Washington State over offers from San Diego State and San Jose State. However, USC, Oregon, Arizona State, Oregon State and UCLA have been showing increased interest of late, waiting to see the first few games of his season.

But Vinyard said he didn’t want to wait and knew that the time was right to reach out to the Cougars and give them his verbal.

“I’ve been interested in Washington State for a long time,” Vinyard said. “I like the area and I definitely like the cold weather. It’s just a great fit for me.

“I like the position they offered me at too, which is an outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense. That’s exactly where I’m playing right now in high school. It’s a versatile position.”

THE COUGS OFFERED Vinyard, out of La Mesa, Calif., back in June, with defensive coordinator Alex Grinch leading the way as his area recruiter. In addition to Grinch, the Helix High senior said he also spent plenty of time talking with future position coach Roy Manning.

“I called yesterday to commit and as soon as I told Coach Grinch I wanted to be a Coug, I immediately heard a bunch of yelling over the phone,” Vinyard said with a laugh. “I think he had me on speaker and the coaches were very excited.

“I have a good relationship with Coach Grinch. He’s a cool guy and I actually met him last spring when he was talking with my head coach. With Coach Manning, he’s also a great guy and we have a lot in common. I feel like if we were both in high school, we’d be really good friends.”

Another helpful recruiting tool for WSU was former wide receiver and WSU track star Jeshua Anderson. Anderson stopped by Helix High over the summer and met with some of the players. While on campus, Jihad Woods, also a WSU commit, and Vinyard asked him about the Palouse.

“When I spoke with Jeshua, it really raised my interest in WSU,” Vinyard said. “He used to play there and he was saying that everyone that goes there has zero complaints when they leave. "Washington State has a great academic program and an even better alumni program set up. I was very excited to hear that.”

VINYARD VERBALLED TO WSU without visiting the campus, but said he’s hoping to make the trip in the winter.

“I’ll go after my football season,” Vinyard said. “I’ll go in January, but I’ll go on New Year’s Eve if I have to. I’m very much looking forward to that trip.”

And with so much time before National Signing Day, that leaves a lot of time for other schools to recruit Vinyard and possibly get him to take other official visits. As mentioned above, the new Coug was receiving plenty of interest from USC, Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA and others before committing on Tuesday.

But should one of those schools offer, it won’t mean a thing, Vinyard said emphatically.

“I don’t want to take any other visits,” Vinyard said. “I’m sure that WSU is the place for me. “I’m 100 percent on board and I’m a man of my word. To be honest, people were asking me why I wanted to commit now and I told them it was because I didn’t want to wait on any other offers.

“The recruiting process was distracting me from giving all of my focus to my team on the field. One of my suggestions from my uncle (see below) was to figure out what I wanted to do commitment wise. I decided it would be best to commit now and focus on my season. I’m glad I did and I’m excited to be a Cougar.”

Vinyard’s uncle, who has been guiding him through the recruitment process, is Toalei Talataina, a former member of the Oregon State football team. Vinyard said Talataina is also a cousin of WSU defensive assistant David Lose. Lose, whose duties include working in the WSU film room and on scouting reports, is entering his fifth season on the Washington State staff.

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