Haangana, out of Milpitas, Calif., could gain another nickname when he gets to WSU in 2016: Country Strong. He already benches 400 pounds. He tells CF.C the Cougar coaching staff - led by WSU area recruiter and Milpitas native Jim Mastro – was the catalyst for his verbal Thursday night to Washington State, sight unseen.
“Washington State has stuck by me since my sophomore year and have always recruited me the hardest out of all the schools – I feel the love from all the coaches there who have been checking in on me. I heard about the o-linemen (Keenen King and Jaelen Lewis) committing -- WSU just has a good program going,” said Haangana.
Haangana verballed to Washington State over offers from Oregon State and San Jose State.
Haangana, of Polynesian descent, is the polar opposite on the phone from how he plays on the football field: exceedingly polite, soft-spoken and all “Yes sir’s” and “No, sir’s.”
The intriguing thing about him is how strong he already is as a prep senior to go along with his natural agility -- something that will shine through more once he gets into a Pac-12 weight room and training table. For now, it should be fun for Cougar fans to imagine how he might develop over the next 4-5 years in WSU’s strength and conditioning program and under the tutelage of o-line coach Clay McGuire.
Haangana said he talked to both Mastro and Leach late Thursday night to tell them he was verbally committing.
"They were fired up, I could hear them screaming on the phone," said Haangana.
Haangana said WSU definitely likes him on the offensive line.
"I'll just fill in any area they need, I can snap a little too," he said. "They like that I play nasty and finish all my blocks."
He first jumped onto the WSU radar after his sophomore season when Leach and Co. worked a satellite camp in California. WSU has been strongly recruiting him ever since, Haangana said.
"Coach McGuire liked how well I moved for being so big," said Haangana.
He hasn't seen Pullman yet but Haangana said an official visit date in either December or January will be nailed down soon.
"I'm just excited to be a Coug!" Haangana said.
Haangana becomes the 19th known verbal commitment in Leach's 2016 class, joining OL Jaelen Lewis, OL Keenen King, CB Marcus Strong, ATH Justus Rogers DE Mason Vinyard, CB Isaiah Love, LB Derek Moore, LB Chima Onyeukwu, QB Cody Brewer, WR Grant Porter, CB/Nickel Skyler Thomas, OL Joshua Watson, WR Josiah Westbrook, WR/CB D'Jimon Jones, WR Stephen Houston, CB Jalen Thompson, WR/CB Renard Bell and LB Jihad Woods.