PULLMAN – Washington State’s seniors at key positions on the offensive line, wide receiver corps and defensive secondary have yet to play their final game, but the Cougars on Wednesday added potential replacements.
WSU coach Mike Leach announced the team signed three junior college players on Wednesday, the first day for football players to officially transfer from two-year schools to FBS programs. Wide receiver Easpon Winston, offensive lineman Robert Valencia and defensive back Sean Harper will all enroll at WSU for the upcoming semester and participate in spring practice.
The Cougars will lose senior starting receivers Gabe Marks and River Cracraft, and possibly C.J. Dimry if he is not granted an expected sixth year of eligibility. On the offensive line center Riley Sorenson and right guard Eduardo Middleton will each move on after starting for multiple seasons, as will safety Shalom Luani. Backup cornerback Treshon Broughton is also a senior.
Both Valencia (6-foot-5, 295-pounds) and Winston (5-foot-11, 180-pounds) play at the City College of San Francisco for coach Jimmy Collins. The Cougars have added players from CCSF in each of the last two offseasons, first landing Luani, an All-Conference defensive back for the Cougars, and then Anthony Gordon, who is a backup quarterback.
ESPN.com grades Valencia a four-star prospect and ranks him the No. 11 offensive tackle prospect in the junior college ranks. Winston caught 71 passes for 1,171 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns this past season, earning First Team All-League honors.
Harper, who originally signed with WSU out of high school, played the last two years at Holmes Community College in Mississipi. The Hartwell, Georgia native made 25 tackles and two interceptions, returning one pick for a touchdown. HCC finished the year ranked No. 7 nationally among junior college football programs, and Harper is ranked the No. 4 junior college safety prospect by ESPN.com.
The Vandals added three junior college players as well: defensive lineman D.J. Henderson (East Mississippi College), cornerback Brandon Brooks (Riverside (California) City College) and offensive lineman Sean Tulette (Long Beach (California) City College).
Henderson, 6-foot-0, 280, had 25 solo tackles and 11 assists on East Mississippi’s Mississippi Bowl Championship team, which finished 11-1 and was ranked second nationally. He also added six sacks. He was a teammate of current Vandals defensive lineman Aikeem Coleman.
Brooks (6-3, 185) had 13 tackles and three pass breakups along with one interception for Riverside City, which was 10-2 overall and won the Southern California Bowl. Brooks, who also played receiver at Patrick Henry High in San Diego, has three years of eligibility remaining.
Tulette (6-3, 280) also has three years of eligibility. Long Beach City was 9-2 overall and averaged 513.8 yards per game last season. In high school, he was a first-team Long Beach Press-Telegraph Dream Team selection after starting for three seasons at Los Alamitos (California). During his senior season, Los Alamitos had 1,746 rushing yards and scored 25 rushing touchdowns. He was a JuCo teammate of current Vandals Denzal Brantley and Joe Wysocki.