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WSU Recruiting
Is WSU baseball built to last?
Written by OpenToClose   
Tuesday, 08 June 2010 06:27

I'm absolutely ecstatic about the WSU baseball team and their performance that past couple of seasons. Last year, they got it done finishing second in what was a considered a down year for the Pac-10. This year? Well, all they've done is finish third in a year where the conference sent eight of ten teams to the NCAA tournament. The previous best for the Pac-10 was five out of ten teams. Needless to say, the conference has been incredible this season and the Cougs really played well to finish near the top.


All the articles I've read this season started to get me thinking about whether or not this sort of quality is something we should come to expect every season. Then I read this quote from a Grippi article in the Spokesman External link, "Not that I wasn’t proud last year, but this year kind of put a stamp on (the program) because I kind of feel like we’re here to stay,” Marbut said of WSU, which has won 12 of its last 15 games. “I felt like we’ve built it right and we built it to last.”


That quote and two years of 30+ win seasons had me wondering one thing… it true? Has Marbut built something to last?


For some odd reason there is nothing on the WSU athletics site covering the 2010 recruiting class for baseball. So, I decided to embark on my own odyssey to see what we having coming into the program next year. Rather than just aggregate articles which are always rosy, I decided to look at Baseball America's player rankings for the upcoming draft. I wanted to see how many players are on the radar of professional teams.


Let's take a look:


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The WSU QB recruiting situation
Written by OpenToClose   
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 10:08

One position that is really interesting to follow every year is the quarterback. You usually only see one QB taken every recruiting cycle and it's obviously the most high profile of positions. Traditionally, WSU has always recruited the position well because of the offense we run.


In 2009, WSU picked up Jeff Tuel over the Summer before his Senior season. It appears to have paid off as he's already a starter and in position to be a solid performer this season. In 2010, Connor Halliday committed a little bit later than Tuel and he proceeded to have a tremendous Senior season and was widely regarded as the second best QB prospect in the Northwest behind Jake Heaps.


It now looks as if our QB situation is finally healthy with two scholarship players 1-2 on the depth chart and with an incoming freshmen likely to redshirt. Of course, that's provided we don't have the disastrous offensive line performance of the past two years in which we see players continually injured because of sacks.


So, that brings us to 2011. What quarterback is at the top of our wish list today?


Let's take a look:



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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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