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WSU makes key addition in linebacker Parker McKenna, a transfer from Portland State

 (Connor Vanderweyst)

Washington State keeps beefing up its signing class.

The Cougars’ latest addition is linebacker Parker McKenna, a transfer from Portland State, whose signing was announced Sunday evening. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.

McKenna, who chose WSU over offers from Nevada, Ohio and Delaware, gives the Cougs depth at a key position. Washington State is losing one starter from last season, Devin Richardson, plus two who have hit the portal, Ahmad McCullough and Davon Hicks – so McKenna figures to compete for playing time right away.

He spent three years at FCS Portland State, where last season he totaled 75 tackles (tops on the team, 11th in the Big Sky) and one interception for the 5-6 Vikings. An all-conference honorable mention selection, McKenna recorded his season high in tackles against Montana, finishing with 15, including two for loss.

A 6-foot linebacker, McKenna’s addition brings WSU’s 2024 signing class to 28 members. He is the fifth transfer in the group, joining former Austin Peay wide receiver Tre Shackelford, former Utah Tech edge rusher Syrus Webster and two junior-college transfers, Anthony Pinnance (Independence CC in Kansas) and Tony Freeman (College of San Mateo in California).

McKenna comes to WSU shortly before the deadline of Jan. 2, the date the transfer portal closes. It re-opens April 15-30.

If he thrusts his way into next year’s starting lineup, Washington State could roll out a linebacker corps of McKenna, returner Kyle Thornton and Buddah Al-Uqdah, the latter of whom is a redshirt sophomore who earned starting duties midway through the 2023 season and impressing the rest of the way.

McKenna was originally a two-star prospect from the Portland area, earning offers from Whitworth, Central Washington, Western Oregon and a walk-on opportunity from Oregon.