Decades after Derting, WSU sets sights on another Okanogan recruit: Carter Kuchenbuch

Will Derting signed with Washington State out of Okanogan, the tiny town in north-central Washington, but Carter Kuchenbuch (pronounced Koo-Ken-Boo) could be en route. The 6-5, 235-pound class of 2025 tight end/defensive end was offered by WSU last week, and he tells he is more than familiar with Derting, and the connection between Pullman and Okanogan.

“Will Derting is a good friend of ours,” Kuchenbuch tells CF.C. “We’re in the cattle industry and so is Will. We’re very close with their family so I know all about his history at WSU. Every time I see Will he is talking up WSU.”

Decades after the successful recruitment of standout linebacker Will Derting, Washington State University (WSU) is once again turning its attention to the Okanogan region, this time targeting promising talent Carter Kuchenbuch. Kuchenbuch, a standout athlete with notable versatility and skill, has captured the attention of the WSU coaching staff, drawing comparisons to past Okanogan greats like Derting. This renewed focus on Okanogan reflects WSU’s commitment to identifying and nurturing local talent that can make a significant impact on their football program.

Carter Kuchenbuch’s rise to prominence has been marked by exceptional performances on both sides of the ball. As a versatile athlete, he has shown prowess in multiple positions, making him a valuable asset to any collegiate team. His ability to adapt and excel in various roles demonstrates a high football IQ and a strong work ethic, qualities that the WSU coaching staff highly values. Kuchenbuch’s athleticism, combined with his dedication to the game, has positioned him as a prime candidate to follow in Derting’s footsteps and leave a lasting legacy at WSU.

The recruitment of Kuchenbuch is not just about his individual talents but also signifies WSU’s strategic approach to tapping into regional talent pools. By focusing on local prospects, WSU aims to build a team with players who have a deep-rooted connection to the area and a strong sense of school pride. This approach has proven successful in the past, with players like Derting, and WSU hopes to replicate this success with Kuchenbuch. Recruiting locally also fosters a strong community bond and enhances the support from local fans, which can be a driving force for the team’s morale and performance.

WSU’s interest in Kuchenbuch also highlights the importance of scouting and developing talent from high school programs that may not always be in the national spotlight. The Okanogan region, while not traditionally known as a hotbed for football talent, has produced exceptional players who have gone on to excel at the collegiate level. By recognizing and investing in these hidden gems, WSU demonstrates its commitment to comprehensive and inclusive recruitment strategies. This approach not only strengthens the team but also provides opportunities for deserving athletes who might otherwise be overlooked.

The pursuit of Carter Kuchenbuch by Washington State University represents a strategic and heartfelt effort to reignite a successful recruitment pipeline from the Okanogan region. Decades after Will Derting’s impactful career at WSU, the Cougars are poised to bring another Okanogan standout into their fold, hoping to replicate past successes and build a strong future. Kuchenbuch’s versatile skills, local roots, and potential to excel at the collegiate level make him a perfect fit for WSU’s long-term vision. As Kuchenbuch considers his options, the support and tradition of WSU offer a compelling case for continuing the legacy of Okanogan talent at the university.

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