Saturday, December 15, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Wulff Lands First Recruit; Rick Neuheisel Wanted WSU Job?; When Will Derting Attacks

You may remember me from such incidents as "I'll take U-Conn for $7000 please" and "FOR THE LAST TIME, I'm not interested in the San Francisco job!"

BREAKING NEWS as of 3:00 PM 12/15 - Wulff has landed his first commit of his tenure at WSU. TE prospect Skylar Stormo from Kamiak has verballed to WSU. Stormo is a big kid at 6-4, 220, and is a hoops player as well. A 2-star prospect, but a potentially nice addition to the class. Picked WSU over the NW Pac-10 schools.

That appears to be the rumor coming out of LA anyway. I guess trying to coach up Kyle Boller in wonderful Baltimore has become tiresome. Scott Wolf is pretty reputable, so I would think there's something to this. However that's already a couple of days old. The new hot topic is Neuheisel returning to his old haunts at UCLA.

The last we saw of Neuheisel after the '02 AC, he was dodging bottles of 151 as he ran off the field, flipping off the student section in the process. I am pretty sure I yelled something at him as he went to the tunnel, but I really can't remember. It's all such a blur. Given all the bad blood and the way Neuheisel went about his business, I can't fathom Sterk had any reaction other than "pass" when he called for an interview.

UCLA and Neuheisel, what a perfect fit. A soft coach who wins with the previous coach's players and everything's great at first. Then you realize he recruits 20 wide receivers, running backs and QB's every recruiting class and basically ignores offensive and defensive linemen. All for a program that traditionally starts out hot and then fades into mediocrity, year after year after year? We've got a match!

But seriously, does the thought of Neuheisel returning to the Pac-10 at UCLA worry you? I mean he was 33-16 at UW and led them to a bowl game in all 4 years at the school. He got himself in a lot of hot water by pissing on the NCAA rule book, time and again, and just couldn't stay out of the coaching rumor mill whenever a hot job opened up. He takes the brunt of the blame for UW's situation, and his passion for finesse really turned the team into a shell of what they used to be in the 90's.

Meanwhile, recruiting is starting to make a little news. Apparently Paul Wulff was out on the road Thursday night, in the home of Redmond's Cody Mackay. Mackay is a UW commit right now, but he showed a lot of interest in WSU before the Doba firing. He is still considered a UW commit, but he wants to take a visit to Pullman in January to reassure himself of his choice. We heard rumblings from Paul Sorensen about this, that Wulff and company were going to take a run at some kids who have already committed, and they are all fair game at this point.

Now will it lead to anything? We'll see. All I know is, from following this recruiting thing for many years now, you NEVER know until signing day what's going to happen. I mean Michael Bumpus was a strong USC commit all the way until the week before signing day, when Dwayne Jarrett dropped from the heavens on USC and suddenly they wanted him to greyshirt. Next thing you know, Bam! Bumpus signs with WSU. Anything can happen between now and early February.

There is still some confusion over the coaching staff, and as Vince mentions today, it might be another week or two before things are settled. Right now we know that Levy is back, and Bruiser has been retained as well. But what about Rosey and Peterson? It appears that they haven't officially been let go, but it's really not clear at this time if they'll be part of the new staff either.

Interesting tidbit that Vince mentions talk of Wulff trying to get a veteran defensive coordinator instead of giving the job to Jody Sears. I had assumed, like many others, that if Sears was coming he was coming to be the DC, but that looks like it's not yet settled. I also wonder about Sturdy coming as the OC when the EWU job is sitting there. Sturdy is regarded as a spread offense guru, and how can anyone argue with the kind of numbers they put up this year. But Sturdy was a head coach for many years before that, and he may choose to throw his hat in the ring for the EWU head job vs. being an OC at a BCS school. Who knows. Maybe this could be part of the reason Rosey is still part of the program, as a fall-back in case Sturdy gets the EWU job? Again, this will all clear up in the next week or so, but it's nice to see some things coming together.

Moving on, the new Big Cat, Wulff, was on KJR again this week with who else, Elise and Ian. Another good interview, give it a listen here.

Tip of the hat to Brandon Gibson. Not only was an first-team All-Pac-10 in a conference that is always full of excellent WR's, but he's now been named to Phil Steele's All-American team. Here he is making yet another great catch on a fluttering Brink go-route that was wildly off the mark. Gibson was a 3rd team selection, but still, nice to see some national recognition for one hell of a WR. Let's hope he returns next year to put up sick numbers in this WR-friendly offense! It's easy to say that Gibson is probably the #1 recruit on Wulff's radar right now. We pointed it out yesterday that an unknown sophomore WR at EWU named Aaron Boyce hauled in 85 balls for over 1300 yards last year. Just think what Gibson could do in '08!

Finally, for not much of a reason.....WILL.....DERTING! This is a little clip from the '03 Notre Dame game, where he tried to put QB Carlyle Holiday in the morgue. God how I miss that guy. Enjoy:



BigDawg said...

Mackay is in play for WSU. Serious gal-pal in Pullman is one main reason but he always liked you guys. You can have our two-star leftovers if you want.

kaddy said...

We love taking 2-star players and coaching them up to beat uw in the Apple Cup...never gets old!

Sedihawk said...

Signed, Brandon Gibson (who just WHOOPED UW in the AC).

On a side note, Kaddy, check out the KJR link to the Wulff interview. It's a good, updated listen.

Coug97 said...

Don't you just love the arrogance coming out of Montlake? Two-star recruits (not that it means anything) aren't good enough for the Dawgs, you know, because of Husky tradition! Which is what exactly?

Wulff should print off some of this B.S. and hand it out to MacKay and others. See what the Husky faithful think of you? They think you aren't good enough for them. Come to Wazzu and we'll work everyday to prove them dead wrong.

I wasn't quite sold on Wulff initially, but his press conference changed some of that. I've always thought Doba downplayed the rivalry too much. When Wulff said I hate purple, he won me, and hopefully a lot of others who were on the fence over.

Beat Washington, GO COUGS!

Sedihawk said...

Coug97, couldn't agree more. Some of the UW fans that I know personally are just fine and very realistic about where they are. But the dawgman crowd is insane. When they aren't busy devouring their young over the Willingham debate, they get a few big names to verbally commit in December and they can't contain themselves. It's all they can do to troll on Cougfan and CROW about how "they're back" or whatever.

All I know? Don't let facts get in the way of perception. In other words, let them piss on WSU. They've done it their whole lives. But they conveniently ignore reality. They ignore that WSU has finished with a better record than UW for SEVEN CONSECUTIVE SEASONS. From 2001 through 2007, WSU has been better every flippin' year. Yet you still hear about UW being so superior. This isn't a one, two or even a three-year fluke. Seven straight years is seven years.

We fired Doba for going 30-29. Willingham is 11-25 and has been retained. Willingham would have to go 19-4 just to "catch" Doba and be 1 game over .500! This is a superior program??

They have fired their AD, who was Willingham's biggest ally and public apologist/supporter. But everyone knows what will happen next year if Willingham doesn't at least win 8 or 9 games.

Their stadium is a mess, with foundations cracking, exposed wiring, you name it. Forget about a true remodel plan right now, with the light rail construction that is needed first and is the priority of the state in the Montlake area, they won't even get started on a major remodel until at LEAST 2014. But aside from that, they need to spend a ton of money just to get the old building repaired. To put it in context, the figures that have been floated for them just to fix husky stadium is almost as much as we are spending on our TOTAL overhaul of Martin!

OK, off the soap box. Sorry. But I'm just tired from the UW sniping over some verbal commitments in December and the hyping that goes on by dawgman on these recruits. Every year it's the same thing. I'm not saying we're a BCS worldbeater and that we're going to run the table or anything close to that. But I guess sometimes old attitudes and perceptions never die.

Coug97 said...

I agree, I know plenty of Huskies that hold no misconceptions regarding just how bad they are. But on the other hand, there's the group that is in complete denial. That's the same crowd that says our basketball team won't make it to the NIT (which is pretty ironic) and that - and this is my personal favorite - the football team is on the verge of its "return to dominance". Yeah, it's right around the corner...

You know what message board is absolutely brutal? Bob Condotta's Times blog. It's hilarious.

It's going to be an interesting year, the hoops team is damn good. If they can get a handle on the turnovers, this is a legitimate final four contender. Which is just insane. Spring practice is going to be real interesting as well, I can't wait to see how this whole no-huddle offense shapes up.

What's your thought on the QB sitch? I kind of get the feeling that Rogers isn't going to be the guy. With the new system and all, maybe putting more of a premium on mobility, it might make more sense to go with Lopina or Lobestall (sp?). Of course I didn't watch EWU play at all either..

Sedihawk said...

Enough about UW.

Wow, the QB question is a great one. If you listen to the KJR interview posted today, when asked about the QB's Wulff mentions Rogers first, but in no way does he proclaim him the starter. I think that when push comes to shove, Wulff will go young at QB. Now Rogers may come out in the spring and totally take to the spread, and he is regarded as quicker and more athletic than people think. But in a brand new offense, and given Rogers is going to be a senior, I at least think they should go young and build the foundation. But it really feels wide open!

I just love the idea that it'll be an open competition, the first time we've had something like that in a while. I'm excited to see not only a new offense, but also a breath of fresh air at the QB position. I'm glad we chose this year to "reboot" the program, because we really did need it in so many ways.

kaddy said...

That said, I really hope Rogers gets the nod. He stuck with WSU and has more than paid his dues, so I'd like to see it work out for him, ala Matt Kegel. However, the best man should get it.

Sedi - you plan to be at the game Thursday?

Sedihawk said...

I go back and forth on Rogers. You are right, he has paid his dues and there's more than a few people who felt he should have had a better crack at it. But Kegel made sense because of the team that was in place, and handing that thing off to him was the right choice. But since we're starting over with a new offensive staff and a non-bowl team, well, I don't know. Maybe he'll go out and grab it though! It sure sounds like the best man will win, no matter who it is. Boy do I NOT want a QB controversy. Enough of that crap.

YAY hoops! Kaddy, as much as I want to go it's up in the air for Thursday. We'll see if I can pull it off.

Sedihawk said...

BREAKING NEWS - New commitment to the WSU family. Welcome Skylar Stormo!

E said...

Another significant difference between Kegel and Rogers is the amount of "real" game experience that Kegel had going into his senior year. Unfortunately for Rogers, Brink was an iron man at the QB position and our staff absolutely refused to put him on the bench, even in massive blowouts. Whereas Kegel benefited from Price's strategy to platoon him in for a series in the second quarter of pretty much every game during his junior season.

SWVCoug said...

Newcomer here, but I must say that I am already addicted to this blog. The passion for the Cougs is evident so keep it up. Paul Wulff is my early Christmas present. I expect all good news as he & his staff hit the recruiting hard.

As for the QB question, I do think Rogers should get a shot but there should be no obligation there for him to be the man. WSU has history of poor years where they go with the "nice guy" who has stuck it out behind a long time starter - see Mike Pattinson. If it is a dead heat between Rogers and a young guy, they should go young and build for the future. Even if they go with Rogers, I'd like to see the whole 2nd quarter platoon system come back to build depth in case of injury and prepare for the post-Rogers era. I was really dissapointed that they did not build any experience on the bench this year behind Brink.

Again, I'm glad I found a blog where the authors have the same or more passion about the WSU Football program. Nice work and I look forward to many happy reads until Wulff & the gang kick it off in 8 months. Thanks.

SWVCoug said...

Oh yeah, 1 more thing. The Will Derting video brought tears to my eyes. What a stud!

longball said...

Umm, swvcoug, i hate to question your grip on Cougar history, but if you ever took the time to actualy look back at Pattinson's year you will see we were actually awesome until he was injured. In fact, we may have been 5-1, or something like that, then lost the rest of our games WITHOUT him.

Sedihawk said...

Longball is right, or at least pretty close. We were 4-2 when he got hurt in that Cal game, but we won that game to get to 5-2 and #25 in the nation. Of course we lost out and finished with a 5-6 record. I was at that Cal game when he broke the collar bone and walked off the field with a towel over his head. That was too bad, and who knows what could have been with Patti the rest of the way.

longball said...

I always thought of that season as a repeat of the year when Gossen was leading the world in QB rating and had us on a roll until he got hurt too and we lost out. Those two seasons were awfully close to adding to Price's legacy of bowl games and great QBs, but a lot of folks either werent fans back then, or have forgotten.

Sedihawk said...

No doubt. Price even won COY honors that first year, even though we lost out! One more win there, one more win in 93 and we could have had two more bowls. Oh well. No time to dwell on those days. Onward and upward with Wulff.

Sedihawk said...

Welcome SWVCoug. And even though I might not agree on Patti, I do agree that if push comes to shove, go with the guy who's going to get you some wins. If it's Rogers, then fantastic. Kegel was the right choice after Gesser, and Patti the right choice after Bledsoe. Now, Birnbaum after Leaf??? Uh, er, well, I uh....never mind. That said, I don't think Rogers is another Birnbaum. He's shown a high ceiling, but this coaching staff made their bed in '04 with Brink and they rode it until the end, and he just happened to be in the mix. But it's his chance now!

swvcoug said...

I guess my point with the jab at Pattinson was that the Cougs seemed to victim to some pretty bad luck in those years that followed the great ones and they seemed to have the same QB theme. Long time backup gets hurt and season goes down the drain. I've seen potential in Rogers. He did well at Auburn when he got a shot. I just wish that the '07 coaching staff would have took a little more time to give someone experience going into '08, especially when the starter was throwing picks like a mad man vs. Oregon State.