Aaron Best and EWU Lock in 2017 Recruiting Class

EWU football signs 19 players to letters of intent on national signing day

By Riley Baker, Staff Writer

New head football coach Aaron Best coined the phrase “EKG”–”Eagle Kind of Guys” at his introductory press conference.

Those are the type of players Best and his coaching staff signed to letters of intent on national signing day, Feb. 1.

“When we set out, we are looking for the total package – Eastern kind of guys who are good people, good students and good players,” said Best. “When you mix those things together, we’ve coined the phrase EKG. Every one of them fits that mold based on what we’ve seen thus far.”

Despite the departure of previous head coach Beau Baldwin, all 19 commits signed letters of intent on Wednesday.

Of the players signed, 15 are from Washington state and two are from the same California high school as former EWU quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. One of the signees was a local kid from Gonzaga Prep, defensive end Matthew Simpson. He was the co-defensive MVP of the 4A Greater Spokane League his senior year.

“He comes from a highly-touted high school program at Gonzaga Prep, so the locality of Matt excites us,” said Best. ”We’re looking for good players who are good students and make good decisions, and he’s on his way to doing that.”

In total, EWU signed a well rounded bunch. The class consists of three wide receivers, three linebackers, three defensive ends, two quarterbacks, two offensive linemen, two cornerbacks, a defensive back, a defensive tackle, a safety and a tight end.

“The one position we didn’t feel like we needed to address in the now was the running back position,” said Best. “We feel we have young players there who are going to be very effective moving forward, and we’re excited at that position.”

Last year, the Eagles signing class included five offensive linemen and three running backs, including Antoine Custer Jr. and Tamarick Pierce who both saw a good amount of playing time in 2016. But despite the difference in acquired talent this year from those prior, EWU recruiting coordinator Cherokee Valeria says it is always hard to tell where this class will end up comparing to years past.

“This class turned out to be exactly how we expected,” said Valeria. “Unfortunately, that is extremely rare in recruiting.”

With the first big day under his belt as EWU’s head coach, Best continues to work towards his first game come summer’s end.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” said Best. “I’ve been excited every single minute along the way.”