The Cougs sorely missed true physicality up front in 2012, but they seem to be on the path to finding a fix to that problem and in a big way. Jacob Seydel out of Riverside, CA is a big cat, standing 6’6″ and weighing a healthy 285 lbs. This kid prides himself on the physical nature of his game, something that’s evident when he speaks on his JUCO (Riverside) status in relation to Wazzu:
They’ve told me they like me because I’m not like most JC kids. I didn’t come here because of grades. I came here because I was undersized out of high school. Now I’m more physical and they like that about me. I don’t just prance around on the line. I finish plays.
Seydel fully qualified out of high school but didn’t immediately receive offers because of his size (240 lbs on the generous side), so he took himself to bulk up and develop at Riverside CC. After his first year he committed to UCLA for 2012, as the Bruin coaches saw him and said “we need you out here”, but according to Seydel himself he didn’t feel a good bond with the program. He also had offers from NMSU, FIU and Nevada at the time but they all backed off so he headed back to Riverside. Colorado State, Hawaii and WSU came calling recently.
Based on WSU’s porous line play this season, Leach and OL coach Clay McGuire have put some faith in what they saw in the film study of big Jacob, saying he will have a chance to help out and play immediately in their system.
They’re looking at me at one of the Tackle positions and I’m confident in my abilities. I know what I can do on the field, so I believe I can make a difference right away. I want to tell the fans that I can’t wait to get to Pullman and I’m going to do everything I can to help build a winning tradition at WSU. Everything is looking bright for the future.
Seydel will have 3 years to play 2, but unless something unforeseen happens, he’ll be playing right away and won’t need a redshirt year. He is a 2 star player but really only because he hasn’t been seen very much and is just now developing his explosive ability with his new body. It seems the Cougs are going to be more than happy, regardless of his low ranking.
He’ll be signing Dec. 19 (first day for mid-year junior college recruits to sign) and be enrolling for Spring semester in January. While that fact is expected for any incoming Juniors, it’s a big step in the maturation of a Cougar O-line that saw 6 players take every snap in 2012, most leapfrogging positions just to keep the line together.
Leach has pledged to bring in some JUCO linemen to help out the depleted unit, but also stresses the importance of building through the high school commits. It seems he is far from blowing smoke here, due to already receiving commits from 3 very large HS linemen at various times earlier this year.
As for Seydel, the Spring sessions will continue to build on his already mature frame and also give him invaluable time with the Cougar coaching staff and playbook. It also seems his family is excited about him playing in the Pac-12 because of the Networks, not to mention a game or two per season in California. Can’t say that’s not a good deal for everybody.