• Blair Angulo @ 247sports.com

WSU lands hard-hitting safety


Washington State has made another big splash out on the Hawaiian islands. The Cougars on Friday kept their recruiting pipeline to the 808 flowing, landing a commitment talented Punahou School safety Alaka'i Gilman. The three-star prospect tells 247Sports he has built a very strong relationship with the coaching staff since landing the scholarship offer earlier this month. Gilman, a Polynesian Bowl all-star selection, is excited to know where he'll be playing his college ball. “I felt like I could connect well with the coaching staff and I could develop well under coach (Kendrick) Shaver, the safeties coach there and head coach (Mike) Leach,” Gilman said. “They play with a nickel, so almost three safeties on the field and I know that there will be opportunity to compete. I’m excited to do so in the Pac-12 because the ball is in the air a lot. “Washington State had an amazing year last year and I’m excited to be able to add to it. Also, just to have the opportunity to play this game on a high level similar to what my brother (Alohi) is doing [at Notre Dame] — we’re both heading in the same direction and we are going to take the scene by surprise.” The 5-foot-11, 190-pound prospect becomes the 11th player in Hawaii's 2020 class to commit to a Power Five program. He also held offers from five other Pac-12 Conference schools at the time of his announcement, including Cal, Oregon and USC. Gilman, whose brother is entering his senior season at Notre Dame, is a highly instinctive defender who can read quarterbacks and cover a ton of ground to close quickly on the football. He does well to track the ball, shows a knack for breaking up plays and roams the back half of the secondary with confidence, displaying a terrific feel in his backpedal while dissecting plays as they develop. The feisty defender is also a capable run stuffer who can creep into the box or help closer to the line of scrimmage. Gilman intends to take his official visit to Pullman at some point during the season. He became the first player from Hawaii to commit to the Cougars in the current recruiting cycle. WSU has landed at least one player from the Aloha State in five of the last six class, most recently reeling in Kapolei three-star linebacker Peni Naulu. Leach and Co. now hold seven pledges in the 2020 recruiting class and two at the safety spot after the recent addition of Californian three-star Hunter Escorcia. Gilman is the nation's No. 48-rated safety and No. 9 overall prospect in the Aloha State for the 2020 class, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite rankings. He checks in at No. 33 at his position and No. 5 in the state, according to 247Sports

WSU lands hard-hitting safety

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