When Washington State linebackers coach Jeff Choate arrived on the Port Arthur (Texas) Memorial High School campus, strong safety Darius Lemora immediately was drawn in. It didn’t take long after chatting with Choate to know that playing for the Cougars was what he wanted to do.
Lemora, a 6-foot, 180-pound safety, verbally committed to Washington State on Monday and let the majority of the public know about his decision on Tuesday. Lemora became the 15th commitment of the Cougars’ 2013 recruiting class, and he’s the fourth Texan of the class.
Lemora chose Washington State over offers from North Texas, UTEP and Texas State, in addition to interest from Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Texas Tech, Illinois and Missouri.
“I asked [Choate] how their team was and what kind of defense they ran. They run the same defense as we do in high school,” Lemora said. “He said they were looking for safeties, and they loved my film.
“They caught my eye soon as I first got to the fieldhouse to meet with him. I knew I wanted to go there.”
Lemora has been able to bounce back well after suffering a broken leg last season. He helped Memorial advance to the Texas Class 5A Division II semifinals in 2011 -- Memorial’s best postseason run in school history. This year’s Memorial team is 6-1 through seven games.
Lemora said he is excited about playing football in the Pac-12 Conference and added that Washington State’s affiliation with the Pac-12 assisted in his final decision, particularly with him getting the opportunity to line up against high-octane offenses such as Oregon and USC.
“I always wanted to go to a school where I knew the teams would compete,” Lemora said. “It makes me a better player and a better athlete. A lot of people feel the SEC is the best conference, but the Pac-12 is right up their alley.”