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Former Incarnate Word star receiver Robert Ferrel commits to Washington State

Incarnate Word receiver Robert Ferrel, right, is lifted by a teammate after scoring a touchdown Nov. 6 against Southeastern Louisiana in San Antonio. Ferrel announced Tuesday that he will be transferring to Washington State for his sixth and final college season.  (UIW Athletics)
By Colton Clark The Spokesman-Review

PULLMAN – Washington State quarterback Cameron Ward won’t need to develop chemistry with the Cougars’ newest receiver.

Robert Ferrel, an elusive senior slotback who caught 109 passes from Ward over the past two seasons at Incarnate Word, announced his commitment to WSU on Tuesday evening over Twitter. The Cougars made the addition official Wednesday morning.

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Ferrel came to Incarnate Word in 2020 and quickly became one of Ward’s favorite targets. The two accounted for 1,289 yards and 15 touchdowns during their two-year stay with the FCS program in San Antonio.

Ferrel led UIW in catches (35), yards (474) and touchdowns (six) in the Cardinals’ six-game spring season last year, earning All-Southland Conference second-team honors.

In the fall, he finished second on the team in catches (74), yards (815) and TDs (nine) and picked up another all-conference second-team nod. The pass-happy Cardinals rode their offense to a 10-3 record and a berth to the FCS playoffs.

Ferrel will rejoin his UIW coach and QB for a sixth and final college season. Eric Morris, the Cardinals’ head coach for the past four years, was hired as the Cougars’ offensive coordinator in December. Ward, a third-year sophomore, transferred shortly afterward to WSU, where he will operate Morris’ version of the Air Raid.

The fleet-footed Ferrel adds another layer of big-play potential to an already deep Cougars receiving corps. He should be a factor on special teams, too.

A first-team all-conference pick as a kick returner last season, Ferrel averaged 26.8 yards on six kickoffs – including an 81-yard return – and 11.2 yards on 14 punt returns.

After graduating from Reed High in Sparks, Nevada, Ferrel took an unconventional route to the Power Five level. He began his career with a productive junior college season at College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California, then walked on at Nevada and redshirted in 2018. He returned to the junior college ranks the following season and starred for El Camino (Torrance, California), topping all junior college players in the state with 1,835 all-purpose yards and catching the attention of UIW’s staff.

Ferrel will look to carve out a role in the Pac-12. The Cougars are well-stocked at the inside receiver position. Veterans Lincoln Victor and Renard Bell are widely expected to start and shine. Freshman Orion Peters and junior Drake Owen impressed at spring camp and WSU added a transfer receiver last month in Zeriah Beason, who played in the slot and outside at Oregon State.