WSU Football Recruiting: Abramo’s Commitment a Big Deal for Coug Defense


When Matt Abramo went Crimson yesterday, a lot changed for the future Washington State defenses.

That may seem like an odd comment… you’re probably thinking to yourself “you mean offenses buddy(!)”, but no, great kickers have always changed the game for the defense more than for the offense. Of course the kicker is the one that boots the field goals through, which scores for the offense, but I think it’s more important that the defense plays with those extra points. That’s exactly where the Cougs are still weakest.

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The Cougs may or may not have a reliable leg in new walk-on and former Fresno State kicker Quintin Breshears and are hoping for some major progression from fellow walk-on (redshirt freshman) Erik Powell. But the fact is, obviously, Leach and special teams coach Eric Russell weren’t ready to call it good.

Enter; Matt Abramo.

Many Cougar fans will remember kicker Tristan Vizcaino, a former Coug-commit turned Husky in the late stages of the 2013 recruiting cycle. We were pretty jacked for him until, of course, the change. While I wasn’t concerned at the time, it was a huge blow to the class, and as it turns out could be a reason the Cougar field position game takes a step back in 2014. That’s bad news for a defense with a young secondary that may struggle at times anyway.

The good news? Abramo might be just as good and he couldn’t have come at a better time for the Cougs in their recruiting.

Just like Vizcaino, Abramo is a top kicker nationally, ranking out as a perfect 5 out of 5 rated kicker on Chris Sailer Kicking. The difference might not be much, both have huge legs and their high school stats are identical. 80% of kicks into the end zone (from the 40), 10 for 16 on field goals and both can kick it 50-plus.

Kickers aren’t always easy to snag either, not the good ones. But the Cougs managed to get their second elite commitment in two seasons at the position and hopefully they can keep this one. Keep this in mind, the Cougs haven’t actually signed a kicker since Loren Langley way back in 2004.

Kickers are a different beast in the recruiting game and generally aren’t offered a scholarship, but this was important enough that the coaching staff went high up again to find themselves someone who can not just kick it through the uprights, but also keep the other offense pinned to begin their drives after WSU scores. Both will help the Cougs in a way that might not always be seen on a stat-sheet and the defense will benefit.