Beau Baldwin’s second recruiting class at Eastern Washington University is both big in numbers and loaded with talent.
The Eagles’ second-year coach, coming off a 6-5 season, announced the signing of 33 high school seniors to national letters of intent on Wednesday. I’ve posted an unedited version fo the recruiting story that will appear in Thursday morning’s S-R below. And I’ve also included a complete list of recruits.
As promised, I’ve updated this post with this link to the recruiting story on EWU’s website, which includes additional information on all of the new signees and additional comments from Baldwin. Please read on, and feel free to leave your thoughts on Baldwin’s latest recruiting efforts here.
BALDWIN SIGNS 33 NEW RECRUITS
Given a full nine-month recruiting window this time around, Beau Baldwin discovered he didn’t have to choose between quality and quantity.
Instead, Eastern Washington University’s second-year head football coach went searching for both. And his wide-ranging efforts were rewarded Wednesday morning when 33 talented high school seniors signed national letters of intent to play football for the Eagles next fall.
“We’re excited, really excited,” Baldwin said of his massive recruiting class, which includes 11 out-of-state signees and no junior college transfers. “I think it’s extremely deep and talented. And I think we were able to recruit a lot players into areas where we lost a good number of guys – like the defensive line where we lost some great seniors – and also certain positions like defensive back, where we’re still pretty young.”
Seven of Baldwin’s newest recruits are listed as defensive linemen, and seven more are listed as defensive back. Three of those defensive linemen come from out of state and two of them, according to Baldwin, have a chance to step in this fall and help fill the holes left by the graduation departures of Buchanan Award winner Greg Peach, Jason Belford and Lance Witherspoon.
“It’s not that we were necessarily looking for D-linemen from out of state,” Baldwin explained, “but it just so happened that there were a couple we could get from out of state that we had rated above anyone we thought we could get from in state.”
The out-of-state recruits expected to end up on Eastern’s defensive front include Jerry Ceja, a 6-foot-3, 230-pounder from Aurora, Colo.; Will Katoa, a 6-0, 285-pounder from Salt Lake City, and Anthony Larry, a 6-3, 225-pounder from Sacramento, Calif.
“It’s hard to say for sure right now, but both Ceja and Katoa have a chance to come in and play right away,” Baldwin said.
Among those new recruits listed as defensive backs are Shadle Park’s Bo Schuetzle and Seattle O’Dea’s Chandler Gayton, who was one of three signees who missed substantial portions of their senior seasons with injuries.
Gayton played in only three games last fall because of hamstring problems, and Billy Lechtenberg, a defensive back from Mountlake Terrace High School, and Brandon Kaufman, a 6-6, 205-pound wide receiver from Denver, were also hampered by injuries.
“Kids like that who are injured sometimes stay a little bit under the recruiting radar,” Baldwin said, “which can be a great thing if they can get healthy again.”
And Baldwin added that he expected all three of those players to be healthy when camp starts next fall, noting that Kaufman and Lechtenberg are playing basketball for their respective high schools this winter.
Among the other important recruits who signed with the Eagles were Kevin Miller, a placekicker from Portland, Ore., who has a chance to replace the departed Felipe Macias, and Anthony Vitto, a 6-1, 195-pound quarterback from Simi Valley, Calif.
Baldwin felt to the need to recruit another quarterback after Darius Banks, a highly touted California recruit who enrolled at Eastern as an academic non-qualifier last fall, decided to leave school at the end of the first quarter.
Baldwin, who was hired to replace Paul Wulff back on Jan. 4 of 2008, admitted the extra recruiting time he and his staff had this year made the entire process a lot less stressful.
“The biggest different was that we were able to start recruiting in the spring and talk to high school coaches throughout the season,” he explained. “Whereas the year before, when we got here in January, we were talking to players we had never met before, and that’s never an easy thing.”
Whether you’re looking for quality or quantity.
COMPLETE LIST OF RECRUITS
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School)
Allen Brown DB 5-10 160 Tacoma, Wash. (Foss HS ’09)
Chandler Gayton DB 6-0 180 Seattle, Wash. (O’Dea HS ’09)
Greg Herd DB/WR 6-3 200 Tacoma, Wash. (Steilacoom HS ’09)
T.J. Lee DB 5-9 170 Seattle, Wash. (West Seattle HS ’09)
James Monk DB 5-9 170 Vancouver, Wash. (Evergreen HS ’09)
Billy Lechtenberg DB 6-0 190 Brier, Wash. (Mountlake Terrace HS ’09)
Bo Schuetzle DB 5-11 190 Spokane, Wash. (Shadle Park HS ’09)
Paul Ena LB 6-2 210 Kenmore, Wash. (Inglemoor HS ’09)
Ronnie Hamlin LB 6-2 200 Lacey, Wash. (Timberline HS ’09)
Spencer Hessler LB 6-2 215 Walla Walla, Wash. (Walla Walla HS ’09)
John Asplund DL 6-4 250 Bellingham, Wash. (Bellingham HS ’09)
Jerry Ceja DL 6-3 230 Aurora, Colo. (Grandview HS ’09)
David Gaylord DL 6-3 230 Lynden, Wash. (Lynden HS ’09)
Will Katoa DL 6-0 285 Salt Lake City, Utah (Judge Memorial HS ’09)
Anthony Larry DL 6-3 225 Sacramento, Calif. (Luther Burbank HS ’09)
Ashton Miller DL 6-2 240 Vancouver, Wash. (Evergreen HS ’09)
Jakob Scott DL 6-4 210 Othello, Wash. (Othello HS ’09)
Anthony Vitto QB 6-1 195 Simi Valley, Calif. (Chaminade College Prep ’09)
Taylor Cox RB 6-0 190 Bothell, Wash. (Jackson HS ’09)
Artise Gauldin RB 5-10 175 Kent, Wash. (Kent-Meridian HS ’09)
Daniel Johnson RB 5-10 190 San Jose, Calif. (Valley Christian HS ’09)
Ashton Clark WR 5-11 170 Vancouver, Wash. (Heritage HS ’09)
Brandon Kaufman WR 6-5 205 Denver, Colo. (Heritage HS ’09)
Alante Wright WR 6-3 200 Phoenix, Ariz. (Hamilton HS ’09)
Zack Gehring TE/DE 6-3 220 Castle Rock, Wash. (Castle Rock HS ’09)
Cody Humphrey TE 6-5 240 Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS ’09)
Steven Forgette OL 6-4 250 Vancouver, Wash. (Heritage HS ’09)
James Lautogia OL/DL 6-3 280 Tacoma, Wash. (Washington HS ’09)
Brandon Murphy OL 6-4 290 Albany, Ore. (West Albany HS ’09)
Caleb Worthington OL 6-7 280 Boise, Idaho (Mountain View HS ’09)
Cameron Homan P 6-2 180 Eatonville, Wash. (Eatonville HS ’09)
Kevin Miller K 6-2 195 Portland, Ore. (Centennial HS ’09)