Tuna Altahir talked to three Eastern Washington football players who graduated from Kamiakin in recent weeks. He talked to his two teammates and close friends Woodley Downard and Messiah Jones, both of whom were already committed to EWU.
In each of his conversations with the five of them, who were all ostensibly recruiting the star running back to join them at Eastern, Altahir sensed a throughline: each of them told him to enjoy the recruiting process, and whether it’s Eastern or not, to make the decision that is best for him.
“And that’s how I ended up making my decision,” Altahir said.
The 6-foot, 210-pound burly force of a running back announced his commitment to Eastern Washington on Tuesday, joining his two class of 2021 teammates who verballed to the program over the summer. (Pasco’s Des Licon also committed to EWU in September, bringing the program’s in-state 2021 commit total from the Tri-Cities to four.)
Altahir was SBLive‘s 27th most impactful high school football player in the state of Washington as a junior. As a junior, he rushed for 1,406 yards and scored 20 total touchdowns — a Mid Columbia Conference high. Coaches voted him the league’s offensive player of the year. Recruiting site 247 Sports lists him as a three-star prospect.
He’d known in his heart Eastern was his choice for about a week, but Altahir officially told EWU coaches he was committing on a zoom call. He was the program’s first offer from the class of 2021 — a source of pride for Altahir. It was his second of what ended up being nine programs to offer him — many of them Big Sky schools. Running backs coach Kevin Maurice one of the first coaches to build a bond with Altahir.
“I’ve had a great relationship with almost the whole staff, literally,” Altahir, who teammates call “Big Tuna,” said. “They’ve been showing me love since day one.”
Downard was on the phone with Altahir Tuesday counting down the seconds before his teammate was set to send his tweet announcing his commitment. He could hardly contain his excitement — so much so, that the speedy wideout preempted the news with an ominous tweet the night prior.
“Three-headed snake baby,” Downard said in a text Tuesday night.
The list grows, too, for in-state 2021 standouts who have committed to play at Eastern ahead of the Dec. 16. Altahir joins Federal Way’s Ronald Davis, who committed last week, as well as Bethel QB Kekoa Visperas, Peninsula’s Sean Skladany and Hazen lineman Chad Vidican.
Kamiakin went 7-3 and lost in the 3A state regional round in 2019. It now competes in 4A due to how the WIAA’s classifies schools in its four-year classification cycle.
(Lead photo by Noelle Haro-Gomez)