The Washington State recruiting trail drew unexpected attention on Monday when Alameda, CA product Sulaiman Hameed committed Crimson and Gray.
Hameed is a 3-star, 5’11, 175 pound cornerback, ranked 109th at that position in the country. His commitment, which is the 21st of the 2014 Cougar class, comes on the heels of Rahshead Johnson’s commitment to USC and in front of Alabama product Patrick Porter, who is slated to make his decision in a couple of weeks and was/is highly interested in WSU. One has to wonder if that is the reason Hameed moved up his decision to commit, in case there was only one spot remaining.
Hameed is almost a carbon-copy of the graduating Damante Horton, and it’s more than the dreads that flow from the back of his helmet. Hameed is very good coming up and making tackles on the short throws, he reads that part very well. In his highlight tape there really isn’t a whole lot of downfield coverage where he can high-point the ball from an inside position while boxing out the receiver. Part of this is he plays a lot of off-technique (8 yards or so off the receiver at the snap), much like Horton did. Nothing wrong with that because he’s so good coming up and making a play, just an observation that he may struggle in man coverage down the field.
At any rate this is pretty big for Washington State’s depth issues at corner, as that was becoming a bit of a concern after Darren Gardenhire flipped to Washington. Hameed, Kevin Griffin and Joe Turner are the three corners to commit thus far for Wazzu. Hameed is just getting back into football form too, as he was injured toward the end of his junior season and missed the first three games of this, his senior year.
Much like current (now redshirt) freshman S Darius Lemora, the Cougars feel like they got a steal in Hameed because of that injury. Lemora was said to be in line to take the starting spot by the 3rd game of 2013 opposite Deone Bucannon, if not for an injury that kept him slowed enough to just end up keeping him in redshirt status.
Looking at the position from a recruiting standpoint, it may be full now. If 3-star UCLA commit Denzel Fisher were to end up decommitting from the Bruins he would almost assuredly have a spot available from the Cougar coaching staff, but it’s possible that they are done there. With another receiver highly interested in Brayden Lenius and the Cougs still wanting to address needs at both lines and get a surprise commit somewhere along the way, the last four spots are thin.