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Former South Dakota defensive back Phillip Powell commits to Washington State

Washington State defensive lineman Lamonte McDougle (9) cheers with teammates following a game on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, at Martin Stadium in Pullman. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

A graduate transfer defensive back with three years of FCS experience has committed to Washington State.

Phillip Powell, a former South Dakota safety who played in 28 career games for the Coyotes, announced Wednesday he’d be playing his final collegiate season in the Pac-12 Conference.

“I am officially continuing my education and college career at Washington State University,” Powell wrote on Twitter.

After the Cougars signed three defensive backs during the NCAA’s early period, former coach Mike Leach indicated WSU would look to bring in a few more to cement a secondary unit that was one of the thinnest in the conference last season.

Powell started in three games for South Dakota in 2018 before suffering a season-ending injury and played in all 11 for the Coyotes in 2019. The safety made 60 tackles, intercepted two passes and defended 10 passes as a redshirt junior.

In his career at South Dakota, Powell racked up 143 tackles, seven interceptions, 17 passes defended, three forced fumbles, 4 1/2 tackles for loss and one sack.

Powell will become the fourth defensive back to join the Cougars this offseason, joining high school recruits Hunter Escorcia, Jackson Lataimua and Justin Anderson.