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Washington State picks up third commitment in four days from Yakima linebacker Ryan Kershaw

La Salle’s Ryan Kershaw, right, tries to shed a Lynden Christian tackler during Saturday’s State 1A quarterfinal at Zaepfel Stadium. (Yakima Herald-Republic)

For the third time in four days, Washington State added to its 2021 recruiting class – and added a piece to Jake Dickert’s defense – when the Cougars snagged a commitment from Yakima linebacker Ryan Kershaw on Thursday.

WSU’s 2021 class has doubled in size since the start of the week. The Cougars added Tallahassee, Florida, defensive end Xavier Young on Monday night, got a commitment from Snoqualmie, Washington, defensive end Andrew Edson on Wednesday and most recently added Kershaw, a two-way star entering his senior season at Washington 1A powerhouse La Salle of Union Gap.

A three-star prospect, Kershaw had two offers from FBS service academies Air Force and Army, and had a handful of offers from FCS schools in the Big Sky Conference, including Eastern Washington, Idaho, Portland State, Montana and Montana State.

“The coaching staff at WSU have been incredible and they clearly care about me as a player, a person and they are focused on building a winning program,” Kershaw wrote in a tweet announcing his commitment.

Kershaw’s commitment is another symbol of the emphasis Rolovich’s staff has placed on recruiting in the state. The Cougars signed just four players from the Evergreen State in their 2019 and ’20 classes – one of those being Kentwood cornerback Alphonse Oywak, who signed with the new staff – but already have two commitments (of six total) from high school players in Washington.

Though Kershaw, who stands 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, played as an outside linebacker for La Salle, he projects as middle backer in Dickert’s 4-3 scheme. In only nine games last season, Kershaw had 14 tackles for loss with 8 1/2 sacks and 11 quarterback hurries.

He was also productive on offense at the small-school level, totaling 1,467 all-purpose yards – 1,081 rushing and 327 receiving – and registering 28 touchdowns. He had 24 touchdowns receiving and four rushing.

As a team captain, Kershaw led La Salle to the second round of the State 1A playoffs, where the Lightning eventually lost to Lynden Christian. Before that, La Salle won 11 straight games and outscored the opposition 558-76, with four shutouts.

Kershaw won SCAC Defensive MVP honors and was named 1A all-state honorable mention as a running back.