Now that we are past Spring drills it's time to focus on the Summer and Fall. Much has been made of the incoming recruiting class and their ability to possibly help immediately. Particularly prominent has been the wide receiver position as it only has four scholarship players currently. Out of necessity, the new guys are going to have to play next year. In that spirit, we've put together the top five recruits that we need to help immediately. This is not meant to stack rank talent. It's meant to put together the puzzle of the position they play and the need there, the skillset they reportedly bring, and if they are physically ready to handle reps in the Pac-10.
I'm not including Wad Jacobson, David Gonzales, or Brandon Rankin in the list as we've already seen them filter into the roster this Spring.
Hit the read more button to read on who we think you should keep an eye on early:
1) Isiah Barton (Wide Receiver): The guy measures out like a clone of Sammy Moore. Barton is listed at 6'1" and 190 pounds with a 4.40 forty. Moore was listed at 6'0" and 180 pounds with a 4.40 forty. It just so happens that we could badly use a Sammy Moore type of player at receiver. Right now, we have four possession first guys without gamebreaking speed. If Barton turns out to be a player that can make guys miss then it will do more for our offense than additions to any other position. I don't think Barton will turn out to be the best receiver in this class but he might be the guy most equipped to help quickest and with a skillset that is different than what we currently have. Unfortunately, I'm also a little skeptical based solely on the fact that this is a guy that was signed very late without any interest from a BCS school other than WSU. Hopefully that's an indication of the staff's ability to uncover gems in areas undiscovered and not an indication of Barton's true skills.
2) Marquess Wilson (Wide Receiver): This is the guy that gets my vote to be the best receiver to come out of this class eventually. I'm intrigued by Kristoff Williams as well simply because what I saw on film was that he was a freak physically but I question whether he will be a receiver or pass receiving tight end and he's not a guy that will stretch the field which is what we need. So, I'll go with Wilson. He's smooth and with long strides. Seems to be steady catching the ball and has the frame to create match-up problems for a lot of corners. Frankly, we have to get lucky for him to come in immediately ready to contribute at a high-level but if he can….it would change the complexion of our receiving corps entirely.
3) Rickey Galvin (Running Back): What you saw this Spring is exactly why you should be hoping that Rickey Galvin comes in and pulls a Quizz Rodgers. Injuries and marginal talent lead to everyone talking about a guy like Chantz Staden. I would love nothing more than to be totally wrong about Staden's abilities this season. I would love it if he became a upper level Pac-10 running back….I just don't see it. He's a tweener sort of running back without one great attribute. When WSU is fully functioning he would get about as many reps as John Tippins used to get when he played. A depth guy that pushes others and is capable of helping in spurts. Placing our hopes on his ability to carry the rock 25 times a game is scary. Winston, Mitz, and Richmond really didn't step-up to own that spot even this Spring and that turns our attention to Galvin or James Montgomery. The positive view is that of the six running backs you would figure that two will shine and play well for us. Maybe Galvin is that guy.
4) C.J. Mizell (Outside Linebacker): I have to be honest. Linebacker is starting to shape up pretty nicely. I'm just damned excited to see what this guy is all about. If he is able to wrestle away a starting spot it's not going to be out of desperation, it's going to be because he is just that talented. He brings the hype and pedigree and he's supposedly going to be in Pullman over the Summer which is great. If he's a true sideline to sideline attacking linebacker it would be the first we've seen of that kind in a long time.
5) Aaron Dunn (Tight End): This is another spot where our success at this spot will depend on whether or not Aaron Dunn can play right away. We've got adequate players at tight end and several of them. None of them really bring the dimension of pass catching that Dunn will eventually bring to the table so you might see him play in certain situations this year to make our offense a bit more dangerous. It should be interesting to see how well he acclimates to a season of playing Pac-10 football in the trenches. This is the spot I would have put Asante Cleveland but Aaron Dunn is absolutely nothing to sneeze at. He could turn out to be the more complete tight end when all is said and done. Ideally Dunn would redshirt this season so it will be interesting to see whether he will play this year.
In truth, the big players we needed to come in immediately and help arrived in January. Wade Jacobson, David Gonzales, and Brandon Rankin have been absolutely huge for the program. They all have immediately wrestled away starting spots or are in position to do so this Fall. The fact that they all got a set of Spring practices in before starting their eligibility clock can't be understated. If you combine those three JC guys and the first three guys on this list and you likely have the group that really must help early for us to be successful this season.