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Washington State, Nick Rolovich fend off Mississippi State, others for 3-star WR

WSU fans cheer for their team against Cal during the second half of a college football game on Saturday, November 3, 2018, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. WSU won the game 19-13. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Mike Leach and Mississippi State offered. Nick Rolovich and Washington State prevailed.

On Jan. 24, the SEC Bulldogs and their brand new coach – the same one who spent eight seasons rebuilding the football program at Washington State – officially offered Mike Pettway, a three-star wide receiver from Alabaster, Alabama.

Three days later, Pettway reported an offer from the Pac-12 Cougars, and subsequently took an official visit to the Palouse four days after that.

In a recruiting battle that pitted Rolovich’s run-and-shoot against Leach’s Air Raid – and multiple other Power Five schools – the Cougars won the Pettway sweepstakes, receiving a pledge from the 5-foot-10, 170-pound prospect Monday afternoon, making him the third high school prospect in as many days to commit to the Pac-12 North program.

WSU and MSU were two of five Power Five programs to offer Pettway, who attends Thompson High in Alabaster, joining Louisville, Indiana and Virginia Tech. Pettway also holds offers from Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Colorado State, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, Troy, Tulane, Southern Mississippi and South Alabama.

He becomes the first offensive player to commit to the Cougars under Rolovich, who replaced Leach last month, and is set to become the third receiver to sign with WSU in the 2020 class joining Texas’ Cedrick Pellum and California’s Joey Hobert. Keyshawn Smith of San Diego signed with the Cougars under the previous regime, but got a release from his letter of intent and has since committed to Miami.

According to, Pettway had a team-high 60 receptions for 1,090 yards and 15 touchdowns last fall, also leading Thompson in all-purpose yards with 1,454. He had 364 yards on kickoff return, averaging 45.5 yards per return, and brought back two kicks for touchdowns.

Pettway is expected to sign a letter of intent with the Cougars, joining high school defensive backs Alphonse Oywak and Chau Smith, along with South Dakota DB transfer Philip Powell, who committed to WSU last month.