Recruiting: WSU and Big Joe to land another Samoan star?

WHEN WSU IS going after a Samoan prospect, you better believe Joe Salave’a is the man in charge of leading the recruiting efforts. This is exactly the case for three-star defensive back Charles Watson, who told he’s loving what Big Joe is telling him about WSU. So much in fact, the Cougs are in Watson’s top list of schools -- and his decision could be coming shortly.

Watson a 6-2, 180-pounder out of Hawaii, is down to Washington State, Vanderbilt, Oregon State, San Diego State, Hawaii and Fresno State.

When it comes to the Cougs, there’s good reasons why the team from Pullman made his list.

“I love Washington State,” Watson said. “Honestly, I just love them. Coach Joe Salave'a is recruiting me and he has built a strong relationship with me. All the coaches have, but with Coach Joe, he’s Samoan and understands what it means to be Samoan like me.”

Salave’a, who grew up in American Samoa before moving to the United States when he was a teenager, has been selling Watson on the growing culture at WSU.

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“It’s a big Samoan family over there,” Watson said.  “They’re building that Poly pipeline. To me, that’s a big thing. I love being around Polynesian people because those are my type of people. That’s what I like about Wazzu. I know they were 9-4 last year too and they’ve got Falk and a bunch of other guys coming back.”

In addition to Salave'a, Watson has also spoken with defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. Watson said Grinch whlikes the way the Hawaiian product flies around the gridiron.

"They want me in the defensive backfield, period," Watson said. "Coach Grinch said they can use me at corner, but they'll also take me at safety. They think I'm versatile and can get the job done, which is how I feel. It doesn't matter where I line up. Safety or corner, I'm going to shut dudes down."

Ranked three stars and the No. 14th safety in the West, Watson said he’s also built strong early relationships with a trip of Cougar commits.

“I was at an Oregon satellite camp in the bar area with Isaiah Hodgins and Cyrus Habibi-Likio,” he said. “It was fun talking with them. Ever since then, they’ve been on me. Tyquez Hampton has been on me as well. Those three honestly recruit me harder than recruiters at other schools.

“Every day they are messaging me that they need me to join them at Wazzu. They really want me to be up there with them. It’s pretty great that I already have a bond with those three guys.”

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As for when a commitment is coming to one of his six finalists? 

“I want to have my decision out of the way so I can focus on my high school football team,” Watson said. “I want to say that in about 2-3 weeks I’ll make a decision. I want to talk things over with my family. They want me to wait for visits, but I’d like to get it done already.

“Even after I commit, I am still hoping to take official visits. I know I’ll be going to Washington State for sure. I’ll go to Oregon State and Vanderbilt as well and probably Oregon.”

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