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Eastern Washington University Football
Sports >  EWU football

Eastern Washington adds seven players during early signing period

UPDATED: Wed., Dec. 15, 2021

EWU head coach Aaron Best watches the action from the sideline during the second half of a FCS college football playoff game, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, on Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
EWU head coach Aaron Best watches the action from the sideline during the second half of a FCS college football playoff game, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, on Roos Field in Cheney, Wash. (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Dan Thompson For The Spokesman-Review

Seven high school players officially signed with Eastern Washington on the first day of the early signing period Wednesday.

More are likely to do so on national signing day Feb. 2. But Eagles head coach Aaron Best indicated that lower numbers of new signings may be the norm of the next few years as football players work through the extra year of eligibility granted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At this point, the Eagles are going with quality over quantity. Of the seven signees, five are regarded as three-star recruits by 247Sports.com. That includes safeties Bryce Brown-Johnson and Drew Carter, defensive tackle Justis La’ulu, cornerback Amani Pressley and wide receiver Miles Williams.

Offensive lineman Dylan Conner from Orange, California, and Richland linebacker Elijah Rodriguez also signed. He and Carter – who is from Lake Stevens – are the two Washingtonians who have signed with the Eagles .

Wide receiver Jaelin Green was set to sign at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle on Wednesday, but that was postponed due to a shelter-in-place order at the high school, according to a Twitter post by football coach Corey Sampson.

Green also posted on his Twitter account that he was “100% committed” while tagging Eastern interim offensive coordinator Pat McCann.

Graham-Kapowsin quarterback Joshua Wood announced his oral commitment to the Eagles in October but did not officially sign Wednesday. Last week, Wood was named the MaxPreps Washington Football Player of the Year.

Presumably the Eagles will sign more linebackers to bolster a corps that will be without its top four from last fall: Ty Graham, Jack Sendlebach, Cale Lindsay and Jusstis Warren. In a news release, Best said linebacker is a “high, high position of need.”

Last year at this time, Eastern signed 17 players to letters of intent and added five more the following February.

After the 2019 season, the Eagles signed 15 players in December and two months later added another 12.

“I don’t think for the next four or five years we’ll be in the mid-20s as far as signing classes go if we do it right in terms of experience for our student-athletes,” Best said.

Bryce Brown-Johnson

Position: Safety

High school: Orange Lutheran (Altadena, California)

Height/weight: 6-1/170

Head coach Aaron Best: “He’s moved around between safety and corner and is a multidimensional player that can fit into our system in the safety role with coach Zach Bruce.”

Drew Carter

Position: Safety

High school: Lake Stevens (Washington)

Height/weight:

6-2/185

Best: “He is a high school camp kid that we’ve been fortunate enough to get an up close and personal look at. Especially from a team camp setting, we’ve seen him play on both sides of the ball.”

Dylan Conner

Position: Offensive Line

High school: El Modena (Orange, California)

Height/weight: 6-5/270

Best: “We need length and athleticism, and that’s what stood out on film. We pushed that arena more in recent years, being more athletic up front on the offensive line world.”

Justis La’ulu

Position: Defensive tackle

High school: Vista Ridge (American Samoa)

Height/weight: 6-3/295

Best: “We set our sights on Justis early and he fell in love with us just like we fell in love with him, and we’re excited about him bringing more than just the football aspect to the team because he has a presence that is certainly rare to most.”

Amani Pressley

Position: Cornerback

High school: Inderkum (Sacramento, California)

Height/weight: 6-1/175

Best: “We were honest up front that we were only going to take one corner, but we weren’t going to go after the wrong one, we were going to go after the best one and we found that in Amani.”

Elijah Rodriguez

Position: Linebacker

High school: Richland

Height/weight: 6-1/210

Best: “He will help us provide depth in the linebacker position, which is something that we coveted from the get go.”

Miles Williams

Position: Wide receiver

High school: Clackamas (Happy Valley, Oregon)

Height/weight: 6-0/180

Best: “Knowing that there are going to be a ton of opportunities throughout his career to do what he does best and that’s to run pristine routes, to get open in tight spaces, to catch the ball and then get up field after the catch. He’s going to be a good one.”

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