PULLMAN – Sophomore running back Jeremiah Laufasa will transfer to the University of Texas at El Paso according to his father, John Laufasa. His brother, Darrin Laufasa, was a freshman running back for the Miners this past season.
Laufasa’s father said the cause for his son’s transfer was that the Washington State coaching staff would not place him on scholarship after repeatedly indicating that was their intention.
“They told him he was going to get one in the fall and then they told him he was going to get one in December,” the elder Laufasa said. “(Running backs coach Jim) Mastro told my son and told me to my face that all I had to do was get my son – after he lied the first time he said get up to December and he would take care of my son for the rest of his career. When it came to December he had a whole different tone.”
Because Laufasa, a walk-on, has already redshirted, he will petition the NCAA for a waiver that would allow him to play immediately next season. He will attend UTEP on a football scholarship.
WSU coaches could not be reached for comment and it is the team’s policy not to comment on what the coaches consider internal matters such as player transfers.
Laufasa said that his son “enjoyed being a Cougar” but that the concern over whether or not he would be placed on scholarship caused the family anxiety. With four children in college he said that family finances were a concern. He also added that the team’s pass-heavy offense was a consideration.
“The whole time was stressful for my son,” he said. “For them to keep telling him – he worked his butt off and became the Scout Player of the Year last year as a walk-on, and was expecting to be getting a scholarship … come Fall he didn’t get one, in Winter he didn’t get one, so it was just stressful for him and my family.”
Laufasa had 35 carries for 157 yards last season, and seven of the team’s 10 rushing touchdowns. His carries dwindled later in the season and he only scored one touchdown in the team’s final six games. In that time Laufasa also began to participate in WSU’s Thursday Night Football scrimmage for underclassmen that don’t regularly see the field.
His final carry as a Cougar came in the team’s bowl game against Colorado State. In that game Laufasa fumbled late, allowing the Rams to score the game-tying touchdown.
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