Baldwin Signs 21 in his First Eastern Recruiting Class
Feb. 6, 2008
Recruiting the state of Washington is something that comes natural for first-year Eastern Washington University head football coach Beau Baldwin. After all, he's a product himself.
Despite having just 12 seniors on last year's team, Baldwin has announced the signing of 21 high school players to letters of intent to attend EWU and play football for the Eagles this fall. Of the total in Baldwin's first recruiting class as EWU's head coach, 16 of them are from within the state of Washington to help continue the approximately 85 percent rate of in-state players Eastern annually has on its roster.
"That is something that is more unique about Eastern than any other school in the Big Sky," said Baldwin, a 1990 graduate of Curtis High School in Tacoma, Wash. "We are fortunate to be in a state that is so strong -- we can recruit a lot of players in Washington."
After leaving Curtis, Baldwin went to Central Washington University as a player then became a Wildcats coach. He spent four seasons as Eastern's offensive coordinator before taking the head coaching job at Central for the 2007 season before returning to Cheney to replace Paul Wulff as EWU's head coach.
"I came into a situation where I had already been recruiting the state heavily," said Baldwin. "Everybody on our staff -- whether they were here before or came with me from Central -- had already been recruiting the state of Washington."
"That's a positive thing and a great thing for the camaraderie of the players when they all come together as a team. Even though they may not be from the same high school, they are coming from the same area or the same league. They already have a bond when they get here."
Among the signees were a pair of All-Greater Spokane League quarterbacks, although only one will remain at that position. Jeff Minnerly, the GSL Offensive MVP and first team all-league pick, comes to Eastern from Ferris High School where he earned All-State honors. He passed for 27 touchdowns and just one interception in leading the Saxons to the semifinals of the WIAA State 4A Playoffs, and currently plays on the unbeaten and defending WIAA State 4A Champion Ferris basketball team.
The other GSL signee is Bryan Karwacki from Gonzaga Prep High School where he was the second team All-GSL quarterback. He was signed as a linebacker where he earned All-State honors as a junior.
A third area product, Sylas Rohner from Colfax High School, was signed as a defensive lineman and earned All-State honors this past season. A fourth local product is linebacker Codee Allen from Spokane's University High School.
Besides Minnerly, the Eagles signed two out-of-state quarterbacks who should eventually get a shot to take the place of EWU junior-to-be Matt Nichols, who was the Big Sky Conference Offensive Most Valuable Player in 2007. The three quarterbacks Eastern signed completed a collective 58 percent of their passes as seniors for 7,485 yards, 80 touchdowns and only 18 interceptions.
Signed were Darius Banks from Culver City High School in California where he passed for 9,356 yards and 104 touchdowns in his career, and had another 937 yards and 18 scores rushing. The other signal caller is Scott Burgett from Centennial High School in Peoria, Ariz., where he helped his team win back-to-back state titles and compile a three-year record of 38-4.
"Matt only has two more years, so it's a good situation for all three of those new players," said Baldwin. "We thought it was important to sign some quarterbacks this year. We're happy with all three of them."
Baldwin said Eastern's recruiting emphasis was offensive linemen. After that, it was to be able to find the best available football players he and his coaching staff could find.
"More than anything, we had to fill some spots on the offensive line, and we were able to do that with the addition of three or four players," he said. "There are a couple of them that could be offensive linemen or defensive linemen."
"After that, our goal was to try to find the best football players out there. I think we were able to do that in a number of spots. I think whenever you are able to recruit a decent amount of linebackers and defensive backs, and certain receivers and running backs, you are also adding to your special teams. I think that can be a big benefit of having those types of players in your program."
"We like to find the great athletes or great football players that maybe don't necessarily meet the specs in height and weight at this level," he continued. "We have always done a good job with that here and is something I believe in. Before we get caught up with height and weight, we want to see how good a football player he is. When I look at this group top to bottom, we have a lot of good football players."
Baldwin inherits a team that finished 9-4 last year and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs. The Eagles lost only 10 starters from last year's team and expect to return nearly 30 players with starting experience.
By offering partial scholarships, Baldwin was able to sign more players.
"There is a little attrition, but the benefit of being at this level is that you are able to sign players to partial scholarships," he explained. "So even though you may lose 10 you are able to turn around and sign 15-20. A lot of those players over the course of time will earn a full-ride scholarship. It allows you to sign a decent-sized class by breaking up scholarships."
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School)
Codee Allen LB 6-2 235 Spokane, Wash. (University HS '08)
Josh Antonson OL/DL 6-4 250 Kennewick, Wash. (Southridge HS '08)
Erich Armstrong DB 6-1 185 Parkland, Wash. (Franklin Pierce HS '08)
Darius Banks QB 6-2 190 Culver City, Calif. (Culver City HS '08)
Scott Burgett QB 6-1 210 Peoria, Ariz. (Centennial HS '08)
Bryant Cameron WR 6-5 210 Des Moines, Wash. (Thomas Jefferson '08)
Evan Cook DL 6-3 270 Federal Way, Wash. (Todd Beamer HS '08)
Koreye Dixon DB 5-10 180 Lakewood, Wash. (Lakes HS '08)
Ikaika Gleason WR 5-9 175 Spanaway, Wash. (Bethel HS '08)
Rusty Haehl LB 5-11 205 Bellevue, Wash. (Bellevue HS '08)
Brandon Jimenez DB 5-10 180 Tacoma, Wash. (Lakes HS '08)
Bryan Karwacki LB 6-1 210 Spokane, Wash. (Gonzaga Prep HS '08)
Chase King RB 6-0 200 Federal Way, Wash. (Decatur HS '08)
Jeff Minnerly QB 6-1 185 Spokane, Wash. (Ferris HS '08)
Will Post OL 6-6 285 Portland, Ore. (Southridge HS '08)
Sylas Rohner DL 6-4 230 Colfax, Wash. (Colfax HS '08)
Jamar Smith RB 5-11 180 Oakland, Calif. (Berkeley HS '08)
Nick Stewart OL 6-5 275 Vancouver, Wash. (Columbia River HS '08)
Jordan Tuia LB 6-0 215 Beaverton, Ore. (Westview HS '08)
Tyler Washburn LB 6-0 215 Bellevue, Wash. (Skyline HS '08)
Grant Williams LB 6-1 225 Puyallup, Wash. (Rogers HS '08)
Antonson - An-ton-son
Erich Armstrong - Eric
Burgett - Burr-jet
Haehl - Hale
Jimenez - Him-uh-nez
Karwacki - Car-wauce-key
Earned second team All-Greater Spokane League honors in his junior and senior seasons. He had 120 tackles with five sacks and 18 tackles for loss in 2007 as he helped University to a 6-4 record. Personal: Born 3/10/90 in Oceanside, Calif. Intends to major in exercise science.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "Codee is a tough, hard-nosed and strong player who will give us great presence at inside linebacker. When we met him and spent time with him, there was no doubt in our minds that he will fit into our program well. He will compete early in his career at linebacker as well as on special teams."
Was selected by the Tri-City Herald as a second team All-Area selection. Earned first team All-Columbia Basin League 3A honors as a defensive lineman. As a senior, he helped lead Southridge to the quarterfinals of the WIAA State 3A Playoffs where it lost to Bellevue 37-10. Southridge finished the season 7-5 after starting the season 0-4. He also earned second team all-league honors on the defensive line as a junior and senior. In 2005, Pasco won the Big 9 Conference title. Antonson also played basketball and competed in track and field at Southridge. Personal: Born 9/4/89 in Pasco, Wash. Intends to major in math education.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "Josh was a late recruit for us, but once we saw him on film and met him in person, we knew he was player that can fit right in. We don't know if he'll play on the offensive line or defensive line, but he will have an impact somewhere. He has the right mentality and toughness -- you can see that when you meet him and you can see it on film."
The Tacoma News Tribune selected him to its All-State team as a defensive back. He also earned first team 3A All-State honors as a defensive back from WashingtonPreps.com. The TNT also picked him as first team All-Area quarterback and its co-Offensive MVP. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer also selected him to its All-Area team but was its Defensive MVP. Named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. Was a first team All-South Puget Sound League 3A selection as a quarterback and defensive back, and was the league's Most Valuable Player on both sides of the ball. Including playoff games, he had 17 interception as a senior and eight as a junior. He completed 155-of-287 passes for 2,410 yards, 36 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in the regular season as a senior. He also rushed for 491 yards and four touchdowns. He led Franklin Pierce to a 12-0 record before losing to eventual champion Skyline 48-14 in the semifinals of the WIAA State 3A Playoffs. As a junior, Armstrong suffered a concussion and lost his job as quarterback at Franklin Pierce. His position coach at Franklin Pierce was former Washington State quarterback Jason Gesser. The head coach at Franklin Pierce, Howard Lutton, compares Armstrong's athletic ability to former Franklin Pierce and EWU standout Eric Kimble. Kimble was a two-time All-American and finished his career with a school-record 253 catches and a Big Sky Conference record of 4,140 yards. His 46 career touchdown catches were second in NCAA Football Championships Subdivision Playoff history behind the 50 of legendary Jerry Rice. Armstrong will finish his high school career with four letters in baseball and three in basketball. He earned second team All-State accolades as a sophomore and junior as he helped lead Franklin Pierce to the quarterfinals of the WIAA State 3A Playoffs in 2007. He earned honorable mention All-State honors from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer as a center fielder as a junior. Personal: Born 7/25/89. Intends to major in business.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "He's a center fielder in baseball and that's how he plays football. He has an incredible nose for the football -- I don't know if I've ever seen a player with a two-year total of 25 interceptions. He will be a tremendous safety in our two-high scheme we play here. He understands the game and playing the position of quarterback has helped him understand how to read where a quarterback is going to go with the football."
After throwing for nearly 10,000 yards, rushing for nearly 1,000 and accounting for 122 touchdowns in his career, Rivals.com ranked him as the 16th-best dual-threat quarterback in the country and as the 66th-best overall prospect in California. He also earned third team All-State honors from CalHiSports as he led his Culver City High School to a 27-6-1 record in three seasons. As a senior, he completed 55 percent of his passes (183-of-335) for 3,030 yards and 27 touchdowns while rushing for nearly 540 yards (4.6 per carry) and 13 more scores. He led the school to an 11-1 record and the semifinals of the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Playoffs where it lost 32-26 in double overtime. His top performances of the season were efforts of 445 and 428 yards as he had four touchdown passes in each. He passed for 4,115 yards and 51 touchdowns as a junior, completing 67 percent of his passes (253-of-379) with just 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 169 yards and three touchdowns. Culver City finished 9-2-1 that season, including a 56-all tie against Beverly Hills in which he threw for career highs of 451 yards and seven touchdowns. As a sophomore, Culver City was 7-3 as he completed 58 percent of his passes (150-of-258) for 2,211 yards, 26 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He also rushed for 228 yards and two scores. In his 34-game career at Culver City, Banks was 586-of-972 (60 percent) for 9,356 yards, 104 touchdowns and 22 interceptions while rushing 230 times for 937 yards (4.1 per carry) and another 18 scores. In all, he was All-CIF and his league's MVP twice, and three times he earned first team all-league honors.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "Darius is an incredible talent. He has the ability to run and throw the ball within our scheme. His numbers, particularly as a junior, were off the charts. He will be playing in a similar offense as what he was accustomed to in high school. That will make the transition to college football smoother."
As a senior, Burgett completed 55 percent of his passes (109-of-200) for 2,017 yards and 26 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. He quarterbacked Centennial High School to a 13-1 record and a second-straight 5A Division II championship as a senior. He also rushed for 285 yards and eight scores. His top performance of the year came in a 48-0 victory over Sunrise Mountain when he passed for 279 yards and four touchdowns. As a junior, he had a completion rate of 62 percent (119-of-191) to finish with 1,803 yards, 26 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He had 261 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-0 rout of Sunnyside to complete a perfect 14-0 season and with the 5A Division II title. In three seasons, he helped lead the Coyotes to a 38-4 record.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "Scott is an incredibly talented football player. He won back-to-back state titles which also shows that he's a winner. He does all the little things right -- he's smart in the classroom, he's competitive and he has good size. A lot of quarterbacks coming out of high school aren't as strong. He has a good base and strength needed to be ready for the college game right away. It's never easy to play early in your career, but he has the frame, smarts and tools to hit the ground running. We expect big things from Scott."
Was a second team All-Area selection by the Tacoma News Tribune as a wide receiver after catching 118 passes in his career for 1,758 yards and 20 touchdowns. Named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. Was the MVP of the South Puget Sound League 4A North Division and earned first team all-league honors as a wide receiver. He caught 71 passes for 1,018 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior, with a total of 16 touchdowns and four two-point conversions scored (100 points total). He also had 50 tackles with three interceptions. As a junior, he earned second team All-SPSL 4A North Division honors as a wide receiver when he finished with 36 catches for 537 yards and four touchdowns. He also had 37 tackles as a junior, and as a sophomore he had 11 catches for 203 yards and a pair of scores.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "He is a tall, rangy, athletic receiver. With time in the weight room and strength training, he has a chance to explode in this offense and be a huge presence as an outside receiver. He's one of the tallest receivers we've recruited at Eastern -- even an inch or two taller than Aaron Boyce. I believe Bryant will make huge strides each year and will be a great fit in our program."
Was a first team All-Area selection by the Tacoma News Tribune as a defensive lineman and a second team choice as an offensive lineman. Named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. Was Defensive Lineman of the Year in the South Puget Sound League 4A South Division as he earned first team all-league honors as both an offensive lineman and defensive lineman. He had 50 tackles with two sacks as a senior in 2007. Cook was also honored on both sides of the ball as a junior, earning first team All-SPSL 4A South Division accolades as a defensive lineman and second team honors as an offensive lineman. He also played basketball in high school. Personal: Born 11/19/89 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Intends to major in broadcasting.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "Evan joined Erich Armstrong as one of our first commitments. He may be considered a little undersized in the minds of the larger schools, but what you are going to see is a player with incredible quickness and athletic ability. He's a great football player, and with our situation of having four senior defensive linemen, he has a chance to play really early in his career."
Named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. Was a second team All-Area selection by the Tacoma News Tribune as a defensive back. Earned first team All-Western Cascade Conference honors as a wide receiver. He had 40 receptions for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior. He also had eight interceptions, 30 tackles and averaged over 20 yards per kick return. Lakes was 10-0 before losing to eventual champion Skyline 39-20 in the first round of the WIAA State 3A Playoffs. Dixon's Lakes teammate Brandon Jimenez also signed with Eastern. Another Lakes graduate, Jesse Hendrix, was an All-Big Sky cornerback for the Eagles. Isaiah Trufant, also an All-Big Sky player who has since gone on to play in Arena Football, graduated from Wilson High School in Tacoma.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "We saw Korey'e in our summer camp the past few years, so we had a chance to develop a relationship and see him up close. With his tremendous athletic ability and knack for the football, he is going to be a great cornerback for us. In the past we've had a lot of successful corners come from the Tacoma area, and we expect Korey'e to be right there with the rest of them."
Was a second team All-Area selection by the Tacoma News Tribune as a wide receiver. Named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. He was a first team All-South Puget Sound League 4A South Division selection on special teams and was a second team selection as a wide receiver. He caught 26 passes for 284 yards as a senior, and also rushed for 305 yards and a pair of scores. He had a 30.8 average on 12 kickoff returns.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "We watched his highlight film and he was all over the place. Whether it was returning kicks, running down on punt coverage, taking sweeps, playing in the slot or playing outside receiver, you could see his talent. I think he'll be a great fit as a slot receiver, but he has the ability to do many other things."
Was a second team All-KingCo 3A League selection as an outside linebacker. He led Bellevue to an 11-2 record before losing to unbeaten O'Dea 27-17 in the semifinals of the WIAA State 3A Playoffs.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "He will be a weak-side linebacker in our scheme and will compete right away. He's also going to be an incredible player on special teams. He's another one of those guys that bigger schools may not like his size. But when you watch him play the game of football. We've had a lot of success over the years with players that come to us that way."
Named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. Earned second team All-Western Cascade Conference honors as a defensive back. Lakes was 10-0 before losing to eventual champion Skyline 39-20 in the first round of the WIAA State 3A Playoffs. He transferred to Lakes after attending Mt. Tahoma High School where he played quarterback and defensive back. He earned first team All-State honors from WashingtonPreps.com as a defensive back in 2006. He was also selected to the All-Narrows League team. His Lakes teammate Korey'e Dixon also signed with Eastern.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "He was also in our summer camp last year with Lakes High School. He's played quarterback, cornerback and safety and is an incredible team-oriented player. He is a smart, hard-working and tough football player. He will fit in well at the safety position and compete right away. He also has the ability to be a great special teams player for us early in his career."
Named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. Earned second team All-Greater Spokane League honors as a quarterback and also played linebacker. He helped lead Gonzaga Prep to a 7-3 record. As a junior, he earned second team All-State honors from WashingtonPreps.com as a linebacker after earning second team All-GSL honors. Personal: Born 3/2/90 in Richland, Wash. Intends on majoring in business. His father, Bill, played baseball at Eastern from 1982-85 after leading Moses Lake, Wash., High School to the WIAA State AAA title as a senior catcher in 1981. Bill graduated from Eastern in 1986. His mother, Ramona also attended Eastern.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "We see him as a middle linebacker in our 4-3 scheme. He's a true middle linebacker and has the ability to read his keys, play downhill and tackle well. He can do all the things you want in an inside linebacker. We're excited and it's always nice to sign local players with great talent."
Was a second team All-Area selection by the Tacoma News Tribune as an all-purpose player. Was a first team All-South Puget Sound League 4A North Division selection as a running back and was the league's Special Teams Player of the Year. He rushed 166 times for 951 yards 951 yards (5.7 per carry) and seven touchdowns, and caught 10 passes for 24 yards. He earned honorable mention All-SPSL 4A North Division honors as a junior.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "He's big already, but once he gets into our program he has a chance to become a 220-pound running back. The thing that impressed me about Chase was his feet for a big back were incredibly good. That's not always an easy combination to find in players coming out of high school. Usually your bigger backs are not as light on their feet. Chase is very light on his feet but at the same time bigger than most players you see. You need a mix of smaller scat backs to go with bigger backs, and he'll add to that mix."
Earned first team 4A All-State honors as a quarterback from WashingtonPreps.com. Was the Offensive Most Valuable Player in the Greater Spokane League after throwing for 27 touchdowns and just one interception as a senior. He completed 65 percent of his passes (171-of-264) for 2,438 yards, and also rushed for 394 yards and three scores. Minnerly earned Seattle Times Player of the Week honors after he led a remarkable comeback in a 28-27 playoff win over Moses Lake. He completed 19-of-31 passes for 224 yards, and scrambled 49 yards to the 1-yard line with 16 seconds left to set up the winning score. Ferris finished the season 12-1, losing to Bothell 17-14 in the semifinals of the State 4A Playoffs. As a junior, he earned first team All-GSL honors after completing 126-of-191 passes for 1,631 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also rushed for 266 yards and a score. He plays basketball on the reigning WIAA State 4A Champions, who are now 19-0 (through games of Feb. 5) after going 29-0 his junior season. He was a 4.0 student in high school. Personal: Both of his parents, Jeff Sr., and Kathleen, attended EWU.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "Jeff is a great leader and has done an outstanding job for Ferris in every way. The more I watched him and looked at the things he was doing, the more I liked him. He's a 4.0 student and also a great player on their incredible basketball team. His 27 touchdowns and just one interception says a lot right there. We're excited to sign Jeff and to be able to recruit another local player to Eastern. Because of his understanding of the position and intelligence, he has a chance to jump right in and run our offense."
Post earned All-Metro League second team honors as both an offensive lineman and defensive lineman as a senior. He helped Southridge High School to a 6-4 finish.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "Will is a tall, rangy offensive tackle. Like a lot of guys coming out of high school, he still has the capability to put on 25-30 pounds. In our situation on the offensive line with a lot of young players, he's going to have a chance to compete right away. I expect Will to play a lot of football here. Before all is said and done, he will add to the long list of great offensive linemen that have come through Eastern Washington."
Was selected as a first team 1A All-State selection as a defensive lineman from WashingtonPreps.com. Earned first team All-Northeast 1A League honors on offense and defense. He finished his senior season with 62 tackles, six sacks and four passes broken up. As a junior, he earned All-NEA League first team honors on offense and second team on defense. He will end his high school career as a four-year letter winner in football and three-year letter winner in basketball. Personal: Born 4/111/90 in Pullman, Wash. Intends to major in computer science.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "We fell in love with how hard he plays. For the size he carries he can still run people down. He is one of those players when you get a chance to see them and meet them in person, you really know they are going to fit into this program. Sylas is going to come in and have an immediate impact on our team. We will be a senior-based defensive line next year, so Sylas will have a chance to compete right away."
Smith was the Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League MVP. He also earned third team All-East Bay honors from the Contra Costa Times, which also selected him as to its "Top 20 Cream of the Crop" squad. He rushed for 1,170 yards (9.5 per carry) with seven touchdowns as a senior despite missing three games with an injury. Personal: Born 2/21/90 in Oakland, Calif.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "Jamar is as fast and as talented a running back as I can remember recruiting here. We're excited to see what he will bring to our offense. When we spread it out it's going to create running lanes for him. He's not only going to wiggle and make guys miss, but he has the top-end speed to hit the home run as a running back. He's an incredible athlete and we're excited about what he can do. We have a lot of seniors at tailback, so there will be an opportunity for him to compete and play very early in his career."
Selected by Associated Press as a 3A All-State selection as a defensive lineman. He also earned second team 3A All-State honors as a defensive lineman from WashingtonPreps.com. The Columbian selected him to its All-Region team as a defensive lineman. Named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. Stewart was the Greater St. Helens League Defensive Player of the Year. He finished his senior season with 45 tackles, including seven for losses and three sacks. He also had nine quarterback hurries and one forced fumble. Columbia River finished 6-4 and won the GSHL title. He also earned first team All-GSHL honors as a junior when he finished with 13 sacks. As a sophomore, Columbia River was 8-3 and he earned honorable mention All-GSHL honors. He also competed in track and field and advanced to the WIAA State 3A Championships in the discus in 2007. Personal: Born 5/9/90 in Vancouver, Wash. Intends to major in sports medicine.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "He will be a tremendous talent on our offensive line. He has a great frame on him and came from a great program. With the proper strength and weight training coupled with his natural size and ability, the sky is the limit for him. He has a chance to come in and add to the legacy of great offensive lineman we have had at Eastern."
Selected by the Oregonian as a first team 6A All-State selection as a linebacker. He also earned first team All-Metro League honors as selected by the league's coaches.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "He plays with a lot of emotion and is a true linebacker. He flies around and loves playing the game of football -- you can see that on film. To go with that he has talent and he is going to bring a ton of energy to our team. When he came for his visit, you could tell that Jordan is a natural leader. You can't have enough players like him in your program."
Named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. Was a first team All-KingCo 3A League selection as a running back. He rushed 212 times for 1,388 yards (6.6 per carry) and 21 touchdowns. He also caught nine passes for 78 yards and a score. He helped lead Skyline to a perfect 14-0 record and the WIAA State 3A title with a 42-35 victory over O'Dea in the championship game. His top performance of the season was 190 yards in a 28-0 victory over Mount Si. He earned honorable mention All-KingCo 3A League honors as a junior when he had 59 carries for 335 yards (5.7 per carry) and five touchdowns. He also caught six passes for 60 yards.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "He's not only a great football player, but he has that intensity that you want in a linebacker. We watched him on offense carrying the football and saw his athletic ability. Some of your best linebackers in college were great high school running backs. He has that linebacker mentality and we're excited about him being a part of our program. We expect Tyler to play a lot of football for us during his time at Eastern."
The Tacoma News Tribune selected him to its All-State team as a linebacker. He was also a first team All-Area selection by the TNT as a linebacker. Named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. Was a first team All-South Puget Sound League 4A South Division selection as both a tight end and linebacker. Rogers won the SPSL South Division title his senior season and finished 7-3. His team held opponents to an average of less than 10 points per game as he had 86 tackles (12.3 per game). He also caught 16 passes for 332 yards and four touchdowns and was selected as a team captain. As a junior, he earned second team All-SPSL 4A South Division honors as a linebacker. He earned honorable mention all-league honors as a sophomore. He was also played basketball and baseball at Rogers, earning second team All-SPSL 4A South Division honors in 2007 as an outfielder. Personal: Born 11/25/89 in Fayetteville, N.C.
EWU Head Coach Beau Baldwin: "Grant is a bigger linebacker. He has a chance to come in here and be a presence as an inside linebacker. He's tough, he's hard-working and he has the right mentality. We're excited to have him and he's excited about coming here. For as big as he is, he runs incredibly well. We saw him make an interception over the middle and out-run everyone."