BREAKING: WSU starts Apple Cup week with a recruiting bang; Mike Leach wins Pac-12 battle for 3-star DE

THE APPLE CUP is on the minds of Cougars far and wide but Mike Leach added some recruiting sauce to the gumbo on Monday. Leach and Co. won a Pac-12 recruiting battle in landing a verbal pledge from 3-star JUCO DE Preston Hendry, a 6-5, 235-pounder out of Orange Coast College.

The Cougs' hot streak on the recruiting trail continued on Monday, as Hendry is the third prospect in the last week to give his verbal to the Washington State staff (Quazzel White, Josh Talbott).

A defensive end for Orange Coast College, the newest WSU commit is reportedly on pace to finish up his Associates degree in the spring with 3-to-play-2. This season, he recorded 53 tackles, 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. In a win over Fullerton in late September, Hendry had 12 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.

"I was never recruited in high school (Tesoro in California), didn't have any stars, nothing," Hendry told Sun Devil Source earlier this fall. "I had to go the junior college path to make it happen. I gained about 20 pounds to play last year at 210 pounds as a freshman, and got up to 235 this offseason before losing about 10 pounds as we got the season going. It's hard to keep your weight up and I am the type of guy who eats a lot and still has a hard time." 

A 6-5, 235-pounder, the JUCO prospect held 11 scholarships, committing to Leach and WSU over tenders from Arizona State, Baylor, Syracuse, Iowa State, Kansas State and others.

It appeared in the end to be a Pac-12 battle to land his services, though. Hendry told SDS that he has always wanted to play Pac-12 ball and was favoring WSU and ASU at the time.

"Growing up in California, that's like where it's at out here," Hendry told SDS after his Tempe visit. "I want to play in the Pac-12. I know people at every team and school. So I'm really kind of narrowing it down to ASU and Washington State and keeping San Diego State in my back pocket because it's close to home and I have that option. Colorado has been talking with me a bunch too." 

Here's a look at Mike Leach's 2017 recruiting class:
DE Preston Hendry, OL Quazzel White, Safety Josh Talbott, LB Faavae Faavae, WR Derrion Grim, DE Kelle Sanders, ATH Anthony White Jr., CB Zaire Webb, OT George Moore, CB George Hicks, QB Connor Neville, OT Dontae Powell, OT Abraham Lucas, DE Joe Tryon and OT Alec Kuzmack. 

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