Yessir Coug Nation! The Cougars received some fantabulous news Sunday morning, as former 4-star wide receiver Sebastian LaRue put into words that he is transferring to Washington State to play the final four years of his college ball.
The young 5’11, 180 lbs phenom from Santa Monica was rated a unanimous top 30 wide out coming out of high school in 2012, as high as 9th in the nation by ESPN.com. At one point his top 5 were Texas A&M, Washington State, USC, Notre Dame and UCLA. That’s a heck of a list for WSU to be associated with and there’s no reason to believe this isn’t a great fit and a huge pickup for the Cougs.
There are a couple of interesting things that come into play with his transfer at this time. First, is the fact that he is an FBS transfer, making him ineligible to play in 2014 and leaving him with three seasons to play after that. Therefore he will not be able to take the game field until August, 2015 at the earliest. While that puts a slight damper on the news initially, the fact is that 2015 is when LaRue would likely begin to make the most impact anyway, seeing that nearly every WSU receiver is back for the 2014 season. The only one missing at this point will be Bobby Ratliff, who would have been a 5th year senior but as reported yesterday, has chosen to forego this upcoming season of football.
The next element is that LaRue’s transfer comes just in time for him to enroll in school and practice with the team this Spring! That means he’s already had a Fall at Texas A&M and will have two Spring sessions and a full Fall of prep to get stronger before he takes the field for real. It’s basically like having two redshirt seasons.
He will be new to the rotation, but he will be far from a raw product after either coach David Yost or Dennis Simmons get their venerable claws on him. It’s unclear whether he will play inside or outside at this point for WSU, likely outside but it could come down to whether or not Brayden Lenius and/or former UCLA-commit Barry Ware choose WSU in the coming weeks. For now, let’s just assume the Cougars will try him out at both and see where he sticks. Don’t think he didn’t get any good teaching at Texas A&M either, they have some unbelievable receivers over there and a coaching staff that’s already laid the foundation for sure.
The final element is the reason this happened at all. The Washington State coaching staff did a tremendous job in 2012, giving this kid a home away from home. In the end, it all boiled down to LaRue being further away from home than he could stand. As mentioned by a reader in our original article posing why this kid was still a good fit at Washington State, Pullman is still 1100 miles from home, while Texas A&M is 1500. My response?
"It’s not a whole lot closer, but it’s going to come down to availability, familiarity and perhaps the fact that WSU plays in his area quite a bit. Doubtful he’d go to a JC or Division II school so if Wazzu is the best available it could happen."
And it HAS happened. This was about a family vibe (Washington State is getting that a lot these days from recruits), the opportunity for friends and blood-family to actually see Sebastian play when he heads to Cali once or twice a year and the fact that Mike Leach’s offense is at least perceived as by far the best offense for him between the USC, UCLA and WSU trio. Could be a little fortune as well, with USC and UCLA both being pretty full at wide out. Regardless, this is a close second to being right down there in the heart of California. And honestly, the general perception of being in Texas vs. being on the West Coast just two states away in relation to California is a pretty big deal.
So we welcome Sebastian LaRue to the Washington State family. Can’t wait to see this kid in Spring and ultimately taking the field to rip up Pac-12 secondaries in 2015!