Athletes commit to EWU football class of 2015

By Fetlew Gebreziabher, Online Sports Editor

As a FCS powerhouse, it is not surprising EWU football had yet another successful year on national signing day, Feb. 4.

EWU’s class of 2015 will welcome in 21 new athletes next fall, including Ketner Kupp from Davis High School in Yakima, Washington, brother of wide receiver All-American Cooper Kupp, hometown defensive lineman Keenan Williams from Cheney High School and linebacker Trevor Davis Jr. from Tumwater High School.

Ketner Kupp will come in as a linebacker and head coach Beau Baldwin insisted the brothers are much different.

“Ketner [Kupp] was a team captain and is a tough, old-school type of player. He is one of those players who love the game, and it’s special what he brings to the table,” said Baldwin. “He’s a natural leader and doesn’t shy away from anything. I also see him contributing and being a big part of our special teams early in his career no matter what his role is on defense. He has that attitude and tenacity to both run and hit at a high level.”

Ketner Kupp finished his high school career with 61 solo tackles and 6.5 sacks. He was named by the Seattle Times as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington and was named to the AP all-state football team.

Much like Ketner Kupp and Cooper Kupp, whose great-uncle also played for EWU in the ‘80s, some of the signees have familiarity with family members and coaches who were once part of the EWU football program.

Out of the 21 recruits, the main concern was the offensive line, who will have seven seniors on next year’s roster. Baldwin said it was important to prepare for the future on their line.

“Like any year, we have holes to fill at every position,” said Baldwin. “But with most of those positions, you are talking about one to three recruits at the very most. Offensive line was the one area we set out to sign a large number of student-athletes.”

Stockton, California’s Tristan Taylor was one of the highly-recruited offensive linemen, according to Baldwin’s presser. The head coach described him saying, “He’s a big player who is very light on his feet in the mold of All-American Jake Rodgers.”

According to, Taylor was named the San Joaquin Athletic Association Offensive Lineman of the Year. He was also a first-team selection on the MaxPreps All-Sac-Joaquin Central Section team.

13 out of the 21 signees are from Washington state, but Baldwin and staff were able to garner out-of-state recruits as well.  Credit the Eagles program’s success that attracts California-native athletes to play for Baldwin in Cheney, Washington.

It also helps that quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., a Pasadena, California, native, in his 37 games as an Eagle has thrown 110 touchdowns for over 10,000 yards help running an offense. Also, former EWU and current Oakland Raiders cornerback Taiwan Jones, who is from San Francisco, is a former Eagle turned professional in the NFL.

“There’s some uniqueness with this class for us,” said Baldwin.