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Who are the WSU recruiting targets for January?
Written by OpentoClose   
Monday, 04 January 2010 07:59

We are now less than one month from national signing day and things are down to the wire for WSU. Paul Wulff and the staff have been nothing short of phenomenal in pulling together this class. To acquire and hold together a class of this quality given our record is astonishing. We are continuing to see Pac-10 teams make runs at our guys and so far with zero success.

Halliday, Dunn, Cleveland, Oertel, Bucannon and Ratliff have all been offered or asked to visit by the likes of UCLA, ASU, Miami and Cal….all have so far shut them down and re-affirmed their commitment to the Crimson and Gray. The only person that we've heard of thus far that is possibly wavering is Brandon Golden. A corner commit we picked up a while back has taken one trip to Colorado with several teammates. Although we've not seen any direct quotes attributed to him, his teammates have mentioned that they are talking about all playing together if they all wind up being offered at the same school.

We've already got four players coming in to start school (hopefully) on January 8th and they ALL play along the offensive or defensive line. The two JC offensive linemen we signed chose us over Arizona and Tennessee while the defensive end we have coming in was considered one of the top five JC dends in the country last year.

All told we are sitting at about 22 players in this class. That leaves us with at least three spots and the likelihood of a few more with the likelihood of Wulff oversigning to protect against non-qualifiers academically and with possibly asking a few to grayshirt if they secure some last minute marquee players.

So, now we are down to the musical chairs portion of our recruiting. We have a limited number of seats and several offers out. Who jumps in will dictate how the board plays out. I would be surprised if you see us take any more than five guys based on numbers currently. That could change if any of the four January enrollees don't make it to Pullman.


Alright, let's take a look at who is left and who the staff is going to really save a chair for as we get closer to February.


Top of the heap:

Fred Thompson (Defensive Tackle): Stock has been soaring and has offers and intense attention from just about the entire Pac-10 except for USC. He's already tripped to both Arizona schools and UW. Has scheduled his final two for Oregon State and then WSU on the 22nd. Huge that we get his last visit and he seems quite interested with several players from his area already committed to us and his teammate (Ryan Murphy) with a WSU offer in hand. Oregon State and UCLA are both coming hard with offers out to him and Murphy. I would imagine that Thompson is likely at the top of the board for WSU.


Erick Dargan (Safety): We've already got a couple of his teammates committed but Dargan looks like a longshot at this point. He's a national recruit so they would make room for him even if he committed on Signing Day. If we got him it would be a surprise like landing Michael Bumpus was several years back.


Adonis Smith (Running Back): WSU has already secured the running back that was likely #1 on their board in Ricky Galvin. However, Adonis Smith isn't far behind. He's down to us and Northwestern and it truly looks like a coin toss. He is likely to decide any day now. If WSU lands Smith it likely closes out their running back recruiting unless they are thinking of a grayshirt for someone. With Arthur Burns moving to linebacker it's important to have two quality running back recruits in this class.


David Mahoney (Defensive Tackle): This guy might fall into our lap and he could possibly be an immediate contender to start. He's down to WSU, Tennessee, Texas Tech and Florida International. We all know the Texas Tech situation has become very sketchy and he could struggle to get into Tennessee with some of his credits unable to transfer. He's got a little bit of academic concern attached to him but he's another guy that could be a game changer next season.


Ryan Murphy (Athlete-WSU recruiting as safety): This guy has blown up over the past month. He's now sitting on offers from all over the Pac-10. Of course, WSU has been on him for awhile. He's already taken his visit and he loved WSU. This guy is a loose package deal with Thompson. The key date to watch early will be January 8th when Murphy and Thompson both visit UCLA. The other danger date will be the week after when both head to Oregon State. It's going to be an absolute dogfight to the end for both of these guys. It wouldn't surprise me if Murphy was #2 on the board among remaining prospects.


The next set:

Scott Crichton (Defensive End): A Tacoma product that has emerged late. He's sitting on offers from WSU and Oregon State. He's visited Pullman and loved it. He goes down to Corvallis on the 15th. He's also camped down there so they might have an edge. It would be excellent to land another Washington State product.


Sean Bacon (Defensive End): Bacon seems to be just on the edge for a lot of Pac-10 teams. WSU has offered him late and he is tripping out on the 15th. He went to ASU but didn't come away with an offer. They are likely waiting on someone else before they offer. He's also headed to Arizona later in the month and it could be the same situation. It will be real interesting to see what happens after the 15th with Crichton headed to OSU and Bacon headed to WSU to visit. There is likely one seat between the two.


Charles Garrett (Cornerback): Of course, another early offer from WSU and now Pac-10 teams are arriving late. Might be a guy that they make room for regardless but the corner class is pretty full and this guy hasn't seemed super interested in the WSU offer. I wouldn't be surprised to see him go somewhere else in the Pac-10.


Kristoff Williams (Wide Receiver): A receiver that seems like a bit of a specialist. Big body and hands without elite speed. He's sifting through some additional Mountain West level offers along with an offer from WSU. Should be interesting to see how hard WSU comes after Williams towards the end of the month. Might be an interesting indicator of how they've closed on some guys higher up the board.


Jacon Ehm (Offensive Line): Sitting on a WSU offer is an accomplishment as he's a guy that blew a knee in Game 2 this season. Smells like a possible grayshirt candidate to me but that might be impossible with several Mountain West schools that have offered now. He's another guy that will be tripping up mid-month.


The field:

Jeremy Ioane (Corner)

Kyle Middlebrooks (Running Back)

Brett Kirschner (Athlete)

Garrett Gilliland (Middle Linebacker)


So, there you have it. Hopefully this gives you an idea of priority and who the key names will be over the next four weeks. Of course, there is always the possibility of a total surprise showing up on the radar. Realistically, it's already an excellent class but if they can close on 2-3 from the "top of the heap" group then you are likely looking at the top class we've pulled in several years.



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Comments (3)
1 Monday, 04 January 2010 11:31
As usual, looks like OSU is the other school working on a lot of the recruits against WSU. Thompson is a dream right now as he would help immediately. I have hoped for Dargan and with his teammates heading to WSU thought he would pull the trigger. But looks like he will go elsewhere. I love the way our staff is working these recruits early and staying on them. That goes a long way in keeping them when the likes of USC and Cal come calling late.
I thought earlier this year...
2 Tuesday, 05 January 2010 21:46
that a JC quarterback was a no-brainer in this class. Clearly, the staff is banking on a few assumptions. A. A JC quarterback trying to learn the system may be a tall order if we're looking for an immediate contributor. B. Tuel will stay healthy with a vastly improved offensive line and running game. C. Marshal is a serviceable back-up. I don’t know. Granted, I am overly skeptical because the injury bug has been so ridiculous in the past two years. But I am convinced that a Tuel injury will be devastating because we really don't have much of a back-up. Everything hinges on significantly improved line performance.
3 Tuesday, 05 January 2010 22:17
I'm really about Tuel staying upright. If we have to watch 1/2 a season of the Lobster I might gouge my eyes out. We gave up 50+ sacks last year. We need to cut down on that number by 20 full sacks if we want to plan on Tuel playing all season. I would have been more comfy with a JC QB in this class as well.

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