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WSU adds former Auburn LB Wesley Steiner, once a 4-star recruit

 (Connor Vanderweyst)

PULLMAN – Washington State added some depth to its linebacker corps on Friday.

Former Auburn linebacker Wesley Steiner signed with the Cougars, the school announced, bringing in a one-time four-star recruit who spent four seasons as a Tiger.

Steiner, who will have one year of eligibility at WSU, appeared in nine games last season for Auburn (6-7), totaling 15 tackles, seven solo. He played middle linebacker in all nine games, but during his Auburn career he played many linebacker spots, perhaps giving the Cougs some versatility at that position.

WSU defensive coordinator Jeff Schmedding coached the 2021 and 2022 seasons with the Tigers, the first as linebackers coach and the second as defensive coordinator, meaning he overlapped with Steiner, who saw his most action in 2022. That season, he totaled 46 tackles, 31 solo, appearing in 10 games overall.

In his other three seasons combined, though, Steiner totaled just 39 tackles. That includes his freshman (three tackles) and sophomore seasons (21).

The Cougs appeared to like their linebacker crew at the end of spring ball. Returners Buddah Al-Uqdah and Kyle Thornton impressed, as did such newcomers as Oregon transfer Keith Brown, Portland State transfer Parker McKenna and true freshman Frank Cusano, an early enrollee. Steiner, a native of Georgia, will likely need to compete with that group for snaps.

If nothing else, Steiner’s addition gives WSU some experience at the linebacker position, a veteran who spent four seasons with an SEC program. How he translates to Schmedding’s defense at Washington State remains to be seen.