Jase Butorac, a 6-foot-3.5, 280-pound offensive lineman from Skyline High School in Sammamish, Wash., verbally committed Monday to the Eagles, and he let us know that his teammate, 6-foot-2, 250-pound defensive lineman Evan Day, will be joining him in Cheney, Wash. for college.
It was an interesting recruiting process for Butorac, Monday named to the No. 14 spot on Scout.com's final top-25 for the state of Washington. He was the highest-ranked uncommitted player for about 12 hours. "BYU, they filled up too quickly for me," he said. "They got a center and they told me they filled up. That was my fault I guess. And Air Force, they were talking to me, but I wasn't into the military aspect of it. It wasn't what I was feeling."
So that left three FCS programs from the Big Sky Conference: Portland State, Montana State and Eastern Washington. He wanted to take visits to all of them before deciding. He first visited Portland State, before the shakeup that eventually saw Nigel Burton take over as head coach. And then he visited Cheney.
"Eastern had been recruiting me the longest and I really had a great relationship with the players, coaches and the other recruits while I was on my visit," said Butorac. "I had a great time. I kind of knew right there they were the school for me.
"I went there with an open mind, and the feeling I got from the coaches and players is that they are one huge family. It really is. They are all in it together; there's no individualism. It's all about team, it's all about football, it's all about making sure you do good out there. I really got a great feel when I was out there from everybody."
Then came the best part for Butorac - calling the EWU coaches Monday to let them know of his choice. "When I talked to coach (Aaron) Best, the OL coach, he just started yelling," he said with a laugh. "I had to take the phone away from my ear. And then I talked to coach (Beau) Baldwin and he starts yelling too. It was great. It was awesome. I got my commitment in and I'm pumped!"
As far as where Butorac will play in college, he thinks he'll end up on the interior of the offensive line. "Coach Best told that if I'm adamant about playing tackle, I'll give you the opportunity to play tackle until you prove to me that you can't play tackle. Then I'll move you inside.
"I'm just excited to play for them. I'll try it out, but if they think I'll be a great center, I'll play center. If they think I'll be a great guard, I'll play guard. I'm not going to really argue with them about it."