New Coug DE Preston Hendry has only scratched the surface, longtime JUCO coach tells CF.C

LONGTIME JUNIOR COLLEGE coach Kevin Emerson over the course of his career has sent 179 players onto four-year schools. New Cougar defensive end Preston Hendry, Emerson tells, went from average to great at Orange Coast College in his two seasons under Emerson. But there's another level the 6-5, 235-pounder is capable of at Washington State.

Preston's growth in the last two years has been huge,” Emerson tells CF.C. “He has grown from an average player to a great one, and I feel at WSU he will continue to grow even more with his new coaches.”

Whether you're a stats junkie or just watched the games this past season, it's readily apparent Washington State didn't get enough heat on the quarterback. And Hendry, Mike Leach said on Signing Day is "a great pass rusher."

In two seasons at OCC, Hendry had a combined 21 1/2 tackles for loss and 8 1/2 sacks.

“Preston is a motor guy, he has a nose for the football,” Emerson said. “He is a smart player as well. His biggest strength is his length...His body and arms are long and helps him fight off blocks and cover ground.”

WSU beat out Arizona State, Baylor, Kansas State and others for Preston's signature on Wednesday. 

In recruiting, it's usually more the high school prospects that have the big growth potential to pack on muscle and mass. But Emerson tells CF.C Hendry has plenty of room to reach his physical peak.

Three of the four junior college commitments in WSU's class are already enrolled and will go through spring ball. Hendry will arrive in the summer. To reach his Pac-12 potential, Emerson says Hendry must hit the weights and training table once he gets to Pullman. Hard.

“Preston needs to focus on his strength and growing his body,” Emerson said. "He has a big frame that needs to fill in.”

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