High School Sports

Corbin Hartsock didn’t play his senior year. He signed a football scholarship with Eastern on Wednesday

Despite missing his senior season with a knee injury, Olympia High School football standout Corbin Hartsock has secured his college football future.

Wednesday morning, on the first day of the NCAA’s newly created early signing period, Hartsock signed his National Letter of Intent to play at Eastern Washington University.

“This was huge for me, because not only did I not get to play my senior year, and this locks in a spot for me to play again, but it has always been my dream to play college football,” Hartsock said.

Hartsock, 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, is projected to play defensive end for the Eagles. He was a two-way starter (defensive end and tight end) for the Bears as a junior before tearing his ACL in June at a Division 1 camp.

He committed to EWU in August, and is listed as the No. 58 prospect in Washington in the 2018 recruiting class by 247Sports.

“We were excited enough about him as a junior that we felt he would make us better not only on the field, but in the locker room,” EWU coach Aaron Best said in a release issued by the school.

The former Olympian All-Area player and Class 4A South Puget Sound League first-team selection hauled in 15 catches for 264 yards and two touchdowns as a junior, and was an essential blocker for an offense that rushed for more than 2,000 yards.

On defense, he tallied 66 tackles (18 for losses) and nine sacks in one of the toughest 4A leagues in the state, and matched up against Division I talent like Graham-Kapowsin offensive lineman Foster Sarell, who is now at Stanford.

“We’ll start him on the defensive line and see where he goes from there,” Best said. “He was a very versatile player as a junior, and we like what he looked like on video. He has length and flexibility, and still has room to grow physically.”

His junior season, Hartsock was praised by local coaches for his quickness off of the edge on defense, and how dynamic he was on both sides of the ball. He spent his senior season mentoring teammates from the sideline.

“Credit to Eastern for recognizing his talents and abilities, and seeing his work ethic to stay loyal to him through the whole process,” Olympia coach Steve Davis said. “They’re going to get a really special football player and young man, because his work ethic is second to none.”

Hartsock said rehabilitation with his knee is going well, and he thinks he can fit in at EWU wherever he’s needed.

Olympia reached the district playoffs all four years Hartsock was at Olympia — three under former coach Bill Beattie, who is now at Tumwater, and this year under Davis.

“He’s very driven having lost his senior year because of an injury, but he was basically an assistant coach for his teammates during the 2017 campaign,” Best said of Hartsock. “He’s won a ton of games in his high school career, so we don’t have to teach him how to win.”

Hartsock was one of seven players — six from high schools in Washington and one Navy transfer — to sign with EWU during the early period.

He was the only player from the South Sound to sign with the Eagles, but will join three former Bears in Cheney next season. Mitch Fettig (2014 Olympia graduate), Brett Thompson (2015) and Amir Matheney (2016) all play at EWU.

About 150 supporters joined Hartsock at Olympia to celebrate his signing.

“It’s cool when all of your family, friends, coaches and all of those who helped you through the years are there to see you at the end of the road, and see where you’ve made it,” Hartsock said.

Lauren Smith: 360-754-5473, @smithlm12