A little familiarity went a long way for Eastern Washington University during 2015 recruiting season.
Including six offensive linemen, a home-grown defensive player and the brother of a two-time Eastern All-American, coach Beau Baldwin announced the signing of 21 high school players Wednesday to letters of intent to attend EWU and play for the Eagles.
Eastern, 34-9 overall and 22-2 in the Big Sky Conference over the the last three years, lost 20 seniors to graduation from its 2014 team. But the next class includes 21 players from the state of Washington, including a dozen All-State selections.
Highly-recruited hometown product Keenan Williams, a three-star standout out of Cheney High joins the Eagles as a defensive lineman, where several former EWU players helped coach him.
“Keenan has great size and strength to go with his athletic ability,” he said of Williams. “It’s great to have a local player with that type of talent sign with us.”
All-State linebacker Ketner Kupp out of Davis High School in Yakima, Wash., was among the signees. He will join his brother, Cooper Kupp, who has been an All-America wide receiver for the Eagles the past two seasons. Their great-uncle, Jeff Kupp, played for Eastern from 1982-84.
“The bloodlines are there, but his family will be the first to admit that he and Cooper are different,” Baldwin said. “Ketner will come in with his own personality and be his own type of player.
Dre’ Sonte Dorton, whose uncle played for the Eagles, signed as a cornerback out of Pasco, Wash., powerhouse Chiawana High School, whose head coach is also a former Eagle. Other local products signed by the Eagles include safety/linebacker Roy Hyatt (Mt. Spokane HS) and defensive lineman Jim Townsend (Okanogan, Wash., HS) and offensive lineman Will Gram (Troy, Idaho, HS).
Along the way, the Eagles signed six offensive linemen - a pressing need for the future as they could field an all-senior lineup this fall - as well as five D-linemen and five defensive backs.
Eastern also addressed its lack of depth at running back, with three signees.
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