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A look at 2011 recruiting prospects for WSU
Written by EC Rules   
Saturday, 06 February 2010 22:01

The recruiting wars wait for no man. WSU already has 10+ offers out for 2011 and they've secured the commitments of two players in-state already. Over the past six years we've averaged just over six guys per class from the State of Washington.

 

The myth of "owning" the State of Washington for us to be successful should be put to rest. We have always flexed between 5-10 players from Washington. What we need to do is fill out about 1/3 of every class with players from the State of Washington. I think the WSU staff intuitively understand this and that's why they've worked hard to close down Spokane. The past three Wulff classes have averaged just over two players from Spokane. The formula starts to become simple. Close down Spokane then pick off a few more from around the State to get to your seven. This is the way Washington State recruiting has always worked. Interestingly, when we are trending positively in wins we uptick slightly to about 8-10 recruits from the State. When we are down we trend slightly lower.

 

That brings us to the 2011 recruiting class. History tells us that this coming season we will likely secure about six to seven recruits from Washington when signing day arrives. I've always thought it's a waste of time to spend energy fixated on players that we aren't going to get. So, I'll try something different. This is my wish list of nine players that I think we legitimately can "win" come Signing Day. That means no wasted time fixated on Austin Seferian-Jenkins or Kasen Williams. They simply aren't coming to WSU so let's focus on players that fit our program and Pullman.

 

Here we go:

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The Geography of WSU Recruiting
Written by magic   
Thursday, 04 February 2010 08:21

The Seattle Times published a Google Map of the geographic location External link of all the WSU and UW commitments. One look at that map and its obvious to see how the strategies and networking connections of the two schools differ.

Everyone knows the Cougs cleaned up in the Bay Area and locked down Spokane recruits. It is almost reminiscent of the pipeline that WSU fans thought was developing under Bill Doba from Texas.

But why?  Looking at the heavy Los Angeles draw from Huskies, it seems apparent that Sarkisian heavily relied on his existing network from his USC days, and left the rest of California untouched.

So, Paul Wulff had his staff emphasize the Bay Area knowing that Sarkesian would be spending his efforts in LA.  If Wulff can establish a pipeline in the Bay Area to compete with Sark's pipeline in LA for the recruits which want to go out of state, we could see a two-sided geographic distribution like this for several years.

And the Bay Area is perfect for Wulff and WSU.

The two local Pac-10 schools, Stanford and Cal, are both excellent programs-- but they are also more demanding academically.  That means that there's more talent which is likely to not have access into Stanford or Cal that might have an easier time at other Pac-10 schools.

Also, for a player who wants to get away from home a bit, maybe to grow up some, get the college experience, or just stretch his legs out of the reach of Mom and Dad, the Washington schools have got to appeal more to those in NorCal than moving in-state to LA or a closer north to Eugene or Corvallis.

Of course Wulff and WSU will still have to compete with the rest of the Pac-10, Mountain West, and WAC schools for recruits.  But by emphasizing the Bay Area with the knowledge that UW would be emphasizing LA, Wulff's strategy at least eliminated some competition from his in-state rival, a school which to some California recruits might have similar geographic appeal despite their vast differences in locale.

 

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Pop the Champagne Coach
Written by EC Rules   
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 23:53

Signing Day has come and gone with 22 newly minted WSU Cougars. The class is a really good one. The staff had a plan for areas that they could attack and they executed to near perfection. 13 of the 22 recruits came from Washington State or the area between the East Bay and Sacramento. Let's  take a look at the composition of this class and who they best compare to.

Everyone is doing some sort of recap that references where we finished in the "rankings". I think the so-called rankings are garbage. Rivals doesn't update their player ratings on the West Coast more than once or maybe twice a year. The Scout network is incredibly responsive but they suffer from serious bias. For example, the Northwest recruiting coordinator is a relentless Husky fan and actually is part owner of the Husky fan site.

Rather than go by team rankings let's take a look at who our nearest competitor was and what sort of Cougar great this player profiles as. I've grouped the players into four categories:

1) The Drew Bledsoe Category (player could have gone anywhere he wanted)

2) The Gino Simone Category (player could have gone to most Pac-10 schools)

3) The Marcus Trufant Category (player had limited BCS opportunities but had limitless lower conference opportunities)

4) The Will Derting Category (kid was an hidden talent that WSU secured with little fanfare.)

 

Let's take a look!

 

The Drew Bledsoe Category (player could write his own ticket)

1) Aaron Dunn

Nearest competitor: Cal

Likely position in college: Tight End or Tackle

Player comp: Mark Bruener

 

2) C.J. Mizell

Nearest competitor: Florida State

Likely position in college: Outside Linebacker

Player comp: Mark Fields

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23 and done! A few surprises along the way....
Written by EC Rules   
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 12:52

We'll have a full summary later today on the 23 signees but there are a couple of surprises to the class that we want to talk about immediately. The biggest one is C.J. Mizel. We broke this name for you on Tuesday as someone that was kept very quiet but a likely late arrival.

 

Here are the details! 

 

C.J. Mizel- A really intriguing signing. He's got some red flags. Academic risk as he fell short of qualification last year when he signed with Florida State. He's also had some legal issues that kept him from playing football in Georgia. The word is that he was looking for a place to extricate himself from bad influences locally. The upside on this guy is HUGE. Both big scouting services had him among the Top 25 linebackers in the country last year and Scout had him as high as #5. He's got size and speed to burn. The guy measures out like a Mark Fields type of player. He's the only listed true linebacker in this class and he's one of the most talented guys in the class in terms of raw ability. It will be an interesting storyline to watch all Spring to see when he makes it to campus and if the academic hurdles are truly cleared or if this is more of a Brandon Rankin/Quayshawne Buckley scenario.

 

Devontae Butler-Booker- This is the replacement for Adonis Smith. Smith de-committed last week and went to Northwestern. He's got some academic risk and that might have had several schools back off of him. His high school numbers are off the charts and he's a reputed hard worker so hopefully he turns out to be something a little more than a depth guy.

 

Maxx Forde- This is a bit of a surprise. Forde went to Idaho at the last minute. He thins out the line depth we have in this class. He's always seemed to be a very laid back kid and lukewarm on the recruiting process. It will be interesting to see if he pans out over the next couple of years or if football is a hobby rather than a passion for him. He's got prototypical guard body and athleticism so the potential is there to dominate the WAC if he wants it.

 

In my mind, Forde and Booker cancel each other out a bit in terms of upside. The Mizel signing is a wild card. If he's qualified and on campus by Summer this could be an incredible late signing for us. Our total is at 23 with the mid-year transfers and it looks like the staff might be fishing for a few more (read: Julious Moore) in the coming weeks. It's a really good class overall and we just missed on making it stellar by losing out on Cleveland, Goggins and Dargan in the end. Full wrap-up coming later today!

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How is the recruiting class looking so far?
Written by Jerret West   
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 09:43

Well, the good news is that we haven't lost anyone that was "solidly" WSU up to this point. It appears that Brandon Golden might be the only surprise de-commit. We are about 13 LOI's in to the office which makes us 50% of the way finished. Let's a take a look at how we're doing so far.

Here a breakdown of the good, bad and ugly a few hours in to this crazy day:

 

The Good:

Deone Bucannon- He's probably the signature secondary guy in this class. Heat from ASU late but he stuck with WSU. He should be very good for us as a run stuffing safety that plays sideline to sideline.

Aaron Dunn- Has a chance to be a Mark Bruener type of tight end for us. A top ten tight end nationally and we kept him home despite pressure from Cal. He could be a starter by the middle of this season if he takes the weight program seriously from now through start of the season in August.

Connor Halliday- We've got our QB for this class. He's bumped all the way up to #25 in the nation on Scout. Throw 30 pounds on the kid and he's got all the tools to be a fantastic player for us. Again, Cal came late but he was set on WSU.

Marquess Wilson- He was being pressured by UCLA but stuck with WSU. He is likely to be a guy that will play this season given our depth at wide receiver. Probably our best all-around receiver recruit this class and one of the best on the west coast.

 

The Bad:

Asante Cleveland- He went to Miami. The kid has the looks of being an elite pass catching tight end on Saturday's and possibly on Sunday's down the road. It's a shame we lost out on this guy at the end.

Deon Goggins- He went to Syracuse. A kid that USC wanted to bring in late and the kind of player that could have started for us this coming season. We've got issues at defensive tackle and it doesn't look like much help is coming for this season.

Erick Dargan- Looks headed to Oregon. Both his teammates have signed/sent their LOI's to WSU. Combine that with Dargan unannounced and the fact that UO is holding their announcements until 1PM and you're likely looking at Dargan's letter sitting on a fax machine right now in Eugene.

 

The Ugly:

David Mahoney- He signed with New Mexico State. Wow. I have to believe we backed off of him towards the end. His list was pretty wacky so it wouldn't surprise me if the real decision for him came down to Florida International or New Mexico State.

 

So far, the morning probably isn't turning out like Wulff had hoped with the 50/50 guys. We've missed on virtually every one of them. There has been a late surprise with a lightly recruited running back out of Sacramento but that's little solace in comparison to losing Dargan, Cleveland, Goggins and Mahoney.

Nevertheless, the heart of this class is built on guys that were solidly with WSU for the past several months and even with some of those misses late we are seeing a class that is the best WSU has seen over the past several seasons. If they all qualify you are looking at a class that should take us to a bowl game down the road. Go Cougs!

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