Rahmel Dockery needed a few extra minutes to make sure he was making the right decision.
While four of his classmates were being introduced during a signing day ceremony at Curtis High School, Dockery was huddling with his parents outside the staff development room running through a list of pros and cons for Washington State University and Oregon State University.
“It was a last-minute thing,” said Dockery, The News Tribune’s all-classification state football player of the year in 2010. “We talked about the schools and it was a 50-50 thing on where I was going.”
Minutes later, Dockery, with his mother Leata Alaalatoa standing next to him, told the packed room that he would sign with WSU.
The announcement drew cheers and loud applause. Curtis has something of a pipeline to Pullman. Teammate Max Hersey also signed on Wednesday to play football at WSU, while Jordan Copeland (baseball) and DaVonte Lacy (men’s basketball) committed to the school in the fall. Joining Dockery and Hersey in signing on Wednesday were football players Cornelius Edison (Portland State) and Derek Berrey (Idaho State), and Colby Carr, who will play lacrosse at the Air Force Academy.
Hersey, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound senior, said where Dockery would commit had been a big topic of discussion lately at Curtis, not to mention among fan bases at WSU and OSU.
“It’s been crazy all day, all week,” said Hersey, who will play tight end or in an H-back role. “None of us knew where he was going to go.”
Dockery took an official visit to WSU last week. While in Pullman, he roomed with Clover Park senior and cousin Tana Pritchard, who signed Wednesday afternoon to play at WSU.
“It was a great visit,” said Dockery, who also took official visits to Hawaii and Oregon State. “I liked all the players and coaches.”
Dockery and Pritchard went to the WSU basketball game on Sunday evening and rushed the court at Beasley Coliseum with hundreds of others after the Cougars toppled No. 18 Washington 87-80.
Dockery said WSU coaches told him he would play receiver and be a big part of special teams, returning kicks and punts. Dockery totaled more than 2,600 all-purpose yards as a senior. He caught 73 passes for 1,443 yards and 17 touchdowns, and ran for 713 yards, averaging 14.6 yards per carry. As a junior, he scored five touchdowns on punt and kick returns, but few teams kicked to him in 2010.
“They said I fit well with their offense,” the 5-foot-10, 160-pound Dockery said. “They want to set up some plays for me.”