RECRUITING: Cali LB planning two WSU visits after landing crimson offer for work at satellite camp

THE UNIVERSITY OF REDLANDS was the place to be for football recruits on Friday. That’s because the WSU staff was there working a three-hour satellite camp, and countless prospects put on a show. Perhaps no one bigger than outside linebacker Uluaki “Rocky” Katoanga, who has long been on the Cougar radar. But, after his strong showing on the gridiron, things reached a whole new level, he told Cougfan.

The first Pac-12 offer has finally arrived for Katoanga.

Heading into the WSU camp on Friday, the young man known as Rocky wanted to make sure he turned the heads of the entire staff, but more specifically Alex Grinch, who has been recruiting him since February. 

He did just that. 

“Coach Grinch told me the staff had seen my film, but they wanted to see me in person first before giving me an offer. I went out there and did my thing. Then, we spoke and he offered.

“I was so happy when it came. I’m just thankful for my family and everything they’ve done for me. It was a blessing to get that first Pac-12 offer. I was very psyched about it. I really like Washington State.”

In addition to the Cougs, Katoanga also holds schollies from UNLV, Idaho, San Jose State, Hawaii and Navy. He’s also receiving plenty of interest from Washington, UCLA, Boise State and San Diego State. 

It’s clear the Cougars are among the schools recruiting him the hardest right now, which is why he’s planning on taking a pair of visits to the Palouse. 

“The plan is to take an unofficial visit to WSU this summer,” he said. “I’m trying to set it up for July 25. I want to check out the campus and visit with the coaches and some players. I want to see how I fit in the school and in the community.”

Katoanga, who stars for El Camino High in Oceanside, Calif. (San Diego area) said he’s also planning on taking an official visit to WSU either during his bye week in the fall or after his season comes to a close. 

He said that his recruitment is still open right now, but that WSU is certainly among the schools standing out early. 

“I like how they feel like the underdogs sometimes,” Katoanga said. “On top of that, after I got the offer, all of a sudden everyone started showing me love. Right off the bat there were people from WSU congratulating me. 

“The alumni supports you. Even after college they’re showing you love. It shows how strong the community is out there. As of right now, Washington State seems like a place I could see myself for the next 4-5 years.” 

Here are some more recruiting notes for you: 

• Another player to land a WSU offer following a strong performance at Redlands was 3-star offensive guard Jarrett Bell. The 6-5, 285-pound hoss is ranked the No. 83 OG in the land by Scout. 

• Things appear to be looking good between WSU and 3-star wide receiver Tuni Fifita. In a recent interview with BarkBoard (Fresno State Scout affiliate), the 6-3, 200-pounder listed WSU as one of his three favorites. His current top three consists of WSU, Utah and San Jose State. 

• A reminder that coming up on June 24, 3-star WR Jalin Cooper will be taking an unofficial visit to WSU. Cooper is from upstate New York, about 45 minutes outside of Buffalo. He’s got offers from WSU, Syracuse, Rutgers, UConn and others.

• Taking a look at the class of 2019, WSU extended an offer to cornerback Kyron McKinnie-Harper on Monday. Mckinnie-Harper hails from Detroit. He’s also been offered by Syracuse, Temple, Toledo and Central Michigan. 

• Busy day in Detroit? WSU also offered Mckinnie-Harper’s prep teammate Ormondell Dingle, a 6-1, 190-pound safety. Central Michigan and Temple have also offered. 

RELATED: Two future Cougs move up in Scout rankings 

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