He sounds like a good "get", and a good, smart QB to boot. I guess when you complete 76% of your passes in a spread offense that averaged over 500 yards per game you are doing something right. You have to like what they are saying about Calvin Schmidtke, the latest Wulff recruit and first (and only?) QB for this year's class. He sure sounds excited to become a Cougar on signing day:
"I was upstairs and my dad came up and said that (WSU coach) Paul Wulff was on the phone," Schmidtke said Friday. "Right then I knew it was just a little bit more than a weekly phone call. I went downstairs, and they told me they were offering me a scholarship. I said 'Yes, I want to be a Cougar.' Then I could hear all the coaches cheering in the background."
Also looks like the relationship Wulff has with Lakes head coach Dave Miller paid off here, for sure. If you remember, when Wulff was hired by WSU, Miller was actually quoted in the press release about what a great choice it was. That's one huge thing that I don't think we'll ever appreciate enough, and that's Wulff's strong relationships among the in-state high schools. While this year's class will be rated on a less-than-stellar view based on stars and rankings, well, you just never know what the future may bring. We may get some big surprises in the near future once Wulff and company get established.
Meanwhile, Chris Ball is back! Wulff just hired him to be the secondary coach after a stint at Alabama and Pitt. Boy what a strong background too. Remember, Ball was in Pullman under Price during the best run of secondary talent, maybe in school history, from 2000 - 2002. Lamont, Tru, David and Coleman, all guys who play on Sundays, all were there under Ball. Strong, strong addition to the defense.
Big game tonight, eh? Huge. Is this just another road game for a team that's already had 8 out of 12 away from Pullman? Is this the night that the 5-game winning streak comes to an end against an angry, fired-up UW team that is tired of losing to WSU? I guess if you looked at the schedule, you might put this one in the "logical loss" column. Hey, I'm not saying we are going to lose, I mean what the hell do I know? But on paper anyway, when you look at it, you have to wonder if we are due for a clunker of a game.
Now UW has gotten better of late, winning 5 straight after starting 4-4 and the return of Appleby at shooting guard is a big boost for them. But let's see how the Pistol-Pete-Wannabe with the six-shooter pistol salute does tonight when Weaver swarms him out on the perimeter. Weaver might be the best defensive player in the conference, and in the discussion for one of the best defensive players in America. We already saw him destroy Gonzaga's Matt Bouldin into an 0-fer night that morphed into Bouldin being so frustrated that he restored to circus-like underhanded lay-in attempts just to get a shot off! I think no matter what, Bennett at least won't let Appleby beat them tonight. If UW is going to win, they are going to have to get a big one out of Brockman, of course, but also someone like Dentmon or Pondexter or someone of that ilk is going to really have to shine.
But just remember, Coug fans. This is only 1 of 18 Pac-10 games. There's such a long road to hoe still you can't even glimpse the finish line. In other words, win or lose tonight, and there's still a TON of season left. Teams can recover from early losses, and I think the key for our lads is that they are playing well towards the end of the season. Don't drop that load too early! So while tonight is important, and it would be fun to talk about 6 in a row over them, and 9 out of the last 10 overall in terms of football and men's hoops combined, it isn't the end of the season if they lose. Big-picture rant, I know, but enjoy this ride no matter what!