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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Southern California defensive tackle flips from Fresno State to Washington State

A Washington State fan holds a school flag during the first half of an NCAA college football game between Washington State and Oregon in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018.   (Associated Press)

The recent recruiting surge continued for Nick Rolovich and Washington State Thursday night when the Cougars landed their third commit in less than a week’s time and 13th overall commit in the 2021 class.

David Gusta, a productive defensive tackle from San Bernardino, California, who was previously committed to Fresno State, flipped to the Cougars, giving them their first interior defensive lineman in the ‘21 class.

WSU has been pursuing Gusta for well over a year. In May 2019, when Tracy Claeys was still the defensive coordinator in Pullman, the 6-foot-4, 265-pound defensive tackle announced the Cougars were the first school to offer him a scholarship.

Between then and now, WSU overhauled its entire coaching staff and Gusta continued to pick up offers from schools on the West Coast. Between March 9 and April 28, he was offered by Arizona, Eastern Washington, San Diego State, Fresno State, Sacramento State, New Mexico and Nevada, and committed to the Mountain West Bulldogs on May 4.

Rolovich’s staff apparently picked up where Mike Leach’s staff left off and with cornerbacks coach/Southern California recruiter John Richardson as his point man, Gusta elected to pursue one of his two Power Five opportunities and play for the Cougars.

Gusta’s size may be one reason the D-tackle began racking up more offers toward the end of his junior school year. Initially, listed him at 6-2, 250 pounds, which indicated the player has grown at least 2 inches and 15 pounds.

Last season at Grand Terrance (California) High School, Gusta recorded 14 sacks in nine games, according to, and registered seven quarterback hurries. He had 62 total tackles and 20.5 tackles for loss.

Gusta, who’s transferring to San Bernardino’s Cajon High for his senior season, was named to the All-Sunkist League first team as a junior.

The addition of Gusta to the 2021 class means the Cougars have addressed every position on defense. The other defensive lineman in the class is Xavier Young, a defensive end from Miami who committed in May.

In the last week, the Cougars have received three commitments, from Gusta, Las Vegas safety Jaden Hicks and Texas outside linebacker Jahyvion Gipson. It still doesn’t compare to the recruiting surge WSU experienced in May, when five players committed in a span of nine days.

WSU’s recruiting class is considered the seventh best in the Pac-12 by