Coach Ian Shoemaker keeps bringing in bigger and bigger football recruiting classes at Central Washington University.
Part of that where-do-I-sign popularity has to do with the fact the Wildcats are the lone in-state NCAA Division II program. Some of that also is a bi-product of winning.
Of course, a $10.4 million athletics expansion, including the $4.4 million renovation of Tomlinson Stadium, doesn’t hurt, either.
“This (2019) class is kind of a big class, and we took on some walk-ons,” Shoemaker said. “It is a little bit bigger than we are used to.”
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Shoemaker is a passing-game guru, and likes stockpiling big-armed quarterbacks. He added two more in this class, including record-setting Steilacoom passer J.J. Lemming, who finished his career with more than 8,000 passing yards and 94 touchdowns.
“Central is getting a steal,” Steilacoom coach Colby Davies said. “At the D2 level, he should go into any room and be able to compete.”
It will also be a room full of opportunity starting this spring.
Reilly Hennessey, last season’s starter, will graduate. That leaves a trio of returners in redshirt freshman Christian Moore and true freshmen Tai-John Mizutani and Canon Racanelli as the contenders to earn the job.
Lemming is an interesting recruit in the fact that the day he steps on campus, he might potentially have the biggest arm of all.
But, the 6-foot-5, 220-pounder has been purely a pocket passer at Steilacoom, so he has some work to do to get ready for Central’s multi-faceted offense.
“One of the bigger things me and Coach (Shoemaker) have talked about is me learning how to run the ball a little bit more,” Lemming sad. “So I will be doing some speed workouts.”
Lemming trains in the offseason at the same place — Rise Football in Puyallup — as Moore, who is considered the favorite to win the Wildcats’ job.
“I’ve worked out with him since I was a sophomore,” Lemming said. “We have a decent relationship.”
Shoemaker loves the depth Lemming and fellow 2019 signee Quincy Gasper, of Stockton, California, give the Wildcats.
“I want the most competitive five guys in the quarterback room I can find,” Shoemaker said.
2019 CENTRAL WASHINGTON FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASS
OL Kian Abdalkhani, 6-7/305, Snohomish, Wash. (Glacier Peak)
DE Mejinta Adams, 6-3/205, Marysville, Wash. (Marysville-Pilchuck)
DE Mason Ahlemeyer, 6-3/250, Sammamish, Wash. (Skyline)
S Makai Anderson, 6-2/190, Vancouver, Wash. (Mountain View)
DB Jeremy Banks, 6-0/185, Kent, Wash. (Kentridge)
WR Hunter Campau, 6-1/175, Lacey, Wash. (Timberline)
WR Darius Carlson, 6-2/200, Wenatchee, Wash. (Wenatchee)
OL Isaiah Cook\u0009, 6-4/305, Oregon City, Ore. (Oregon City)
LB Tyler DeJong, 6-0/205, Vancouver, Wash. (Skyview)
WR Ethan Ellertson, 6-3/182, Enumclaw, Wash. (Enumclaw)
LB Jamin Fa’alogo, 6-2/245, Lacey, Wash. (Timberline)
WR Angel Farias-Ramos, 6-2/185, Royal City, Wash. (Royal)
S Genesis Finau, 6-1/194, Sacramento, Calif. (Luther Burbank)
DE Alan Fischer, 6-5/220, Lakewood, Wash. (Lakes)
RB Tyler Flanagan, 6-1/185, Woodland, Wash. (Woodland)
QB Quincy Gasper, 6-3/170, Stockton, Calif. (Bear Creek)
RB Micah Holmes, 6-2/195, Spokane, Wash. (Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls)
CB Darius Kubalanza, 6-1/170, Bothell, Wash. (Bothell)
QB J.J. Lemming, 6-5/220, Steilacoom, Wash. (Steilacoom)
LB Evan Mannes, 6-4/200, Snohomish, Wash. (Snohomish)
TE James Marsh, 6-4/225, Lynden, Wash. (Lynden)
LB Danny Metsker, 6-3/210, Woodinville, Wash. (Woodinville)
WR Jonah Miyazawa, 5-10/170, Moanula, Hawaii (Iolani)
WR Darius Morrison, 6-3/175, Puyallup, Wash. (Puyallup)
LB Riley Noah, 6-1/210, Kelso, Wash. (Kelso)
OL Riley O’Rourke, 6-5/260, Vancouver, Wash. (Skyview)
WR Drake Owen, 5-11/180, Camas, Wash. (Camas)
OL Kent Powell, 6-4/330, Lodi, Calif. (Lodi)
OL Davion Pruitt, 6-2/295, Pasco, Wash. (Pasco)
LB Sekai Samuleu, 6-5/230, Fife, Wash. (Fife)
WR Cody Sanderson, 6-2/195, Richland, Wash. (Richland)
OL Malachi Saunders, 6-4/295, Mount Vernon, Wash. (Mount Vernon)
DT Bailey Sparks, 6-2/260, Zillah, Wash. (Zillah)
OL Jaiden Thomas-Fuentes, 6-2/285, Spanaway (Spanaway Lake)