Sports

Wilson High’s Billy Greer signs with Central; Eastern signs three from Lincoln High

By Billy Greer’s admission, he was losing his mind.

Greer is normally a level-headed, sure-tackling member of the Wilson High School football team — built like a boulder, and just as solid mentally, too.

But in the final weeks of the recruiting period, his head was spinning on what to do.

“My parents (Patti and Mike Greer) wanted to talk to me about what was going on,” Greer said. “But I was freaking out. So much was going through my head.”

In the end, when it came down to accepting a scholarship to play at NCAA Division II Central Washington University, or walking on at FCS powerhouse Eastern Washington University, he tried one tiebreaking tool.

Visualization.

And he saw himself fitting in better with the Wildcats, with whom he signed Wednesday on national letter of intent day.

“I tried to put myself at Central, walking around the campus and playing with those guys,” Greer said. “And there it felt better to me.”

This season, Greer — a News Tribune All-Area linebacker — received his first offer from Saint Francis University in October, but really narrowed down his focus to the two in-state universities.

He liked the fact that Eastern saw him as a middle linebacker, and he liked the Eagles’ recent run of success. Still, Eastern already had verbal commitments from three other linebackers, and had no money.

Greer wasn’t keen on being a defensive lineman like Central wanted, but on his official visit Jan. 17-19 to Ellensburg, coaches defined his role as an “outside edge rusher.”

“He was one of the top kids we had on our board,” Central coach Ian Shoemaker said. “We need someone on the edge who can be disruptive for us.”

A few days later, Greer committed to Central — and signed Wednesday.

“It was the biggest roller coaster of my life,” Greer said.

EASTERN SIGNS 3 ABES

Eastern Washington University goes big — and targets the Lincoln Abes.

With seven senior offensive linemen set to graduate at the end of next season, Eagles coach Beau Baldwin made a concerted effort to restock for the future.

He signed six high school offensive linemen Wednesday, including Lincoln’s Ben PuaPuaga.

“(Having seven senior linemen) does not happen very often,” Baldwin said. “You have to make sure and fill your cupboard and prepare for 2016 — and beyond.”

It’s also not very often for a university to sign three recruits from the same program. Baldwin did, signing PuaPuaga, safety/defensive back Dehonta Hayes, who has a big frame with the skill set to cover slot receivers, and wide receiver Jayson Williams, who will start his career as an outside receiver, but has the versatility to move anywhere with his route-running ability.

“It was one of those situations that early on we saw their talent. And we saw what (former Lincoln) coach (Jon) Kitna was doing in terms of teaching and developing them, and what it took year-round to be successful.

“They all had an opportunity to play at a higher level than Eastern … but all felt here was a great fit.”

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