Friday, December 26, 2008

About That Commitment....

So UW has been trying to play catch-up in the recruiting world. Obviously Sarkisian (pictured above) has a lot of ground to make up in a very short time. He's pretty much in the two-minute drill for trying to cobble together a class for the 2008 season. I'm sure Paul Wulff could relate, given that Wulff had to do the same thing when took the job a year ago!

But while Sarkisian was hoping to make a huge initial splash with some big-name verbals, well, it hasn't exactly happened yet. Granted it is a quiet period right now, and things will heat up in January. Sarkisian is busy prepping his current team for the Rose Bowl. But they will fill their class, and they might even steal a few commits from Wulff. Remember, WSU took a UW commit last year in Cory Mackay. That's just the way it goes. We as Coug fans know this is likely, so we'll see what happens.

But UW made a few headlines this week in regards to the ever-confusing verbal commitment department. Basically a recruit who committed to UW post-Ty Willie but pre-Sarkisian, Grant Cisneros of Sumner, has been told to "explore other options". In other words, he might have committed to UW, but UW is no longer committed to him. As Jim Michalczik said, they are starting over from the ground up in their recruiting efforts, and it appears Cisneros isn't part of the equation.

Is this all that unusual? Not exactly. First of all, kids commit and de-commit all the time. We know that. It's the thing Doba hated most about recruiting, and it goes on at every major program in America. And, unfortunately it's a two-way street in this non-binding verbal world we live in. Schools can in fact change their minds too.

Remember the Michael Bumpus deal? USC had Dwayne Jarrett fall from the sky, backing out on a commitment to Ohio State in favor of the Trojans the last week of recruiting. However, USC was basically full at the time, and needed to find a spot in the class for Jarrett. They took a look at their WR situation, and decided at the last moment to pull the immediate offer to Bumpus and asked him to instead greyshirt, which means enrolling the following January and count against the next year's class. We know how that worked out.

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GO BUMP!

Anyway, this sort of thing has happened before at other schools, and it will happen again. It is always tricky with coaching changes, and while one staff might see the kid as a perfect fit? The new staff might not. Sometimes it's scheme-oriented, like trying to get a read-option QB to fit into a USC-style, west-coast offense. Or maybe it is an offensive line scheme, where one staff believes in huge, 350-lb uglies up front, where another staff likes the lean, athletic, 300-lb types who are in great shape and have some mobility.

Now we can be all high-n-mighty and say "Wulff NEVER did that to his recruits!"....until you consider that Wulff only had three commits to begin with when he took the job last year (Jared Karstetter, Tim Hodgdon, and Dan Spitz). What if he had a greater number, like eight or nine? What if there were some serious character risks in those commitments? Remember Calvin Schmidtke? What if there was a real square peg-round hole situation? Would Wulff had said "pass"?

I think the thing that could sting UW a little in all this is the manner in how this is going down. In the case of Grant Cisneros, he was told via a letter from none other than Scott Woodward himself that his commitment WOULD BE HONORED. Check it out:

Cisneros committed in mid-November during the time after former coach Tyrone Willingham had announced he wouldn't be returning and before Sarkisian was hired.

Cisneros said he was motivated to do so after receiving a letter from UW athletic director Scott Woodward that all offers would be honored.

Ouch. A letter from the AD saying that the offer would be honored, but now that they have Sarkisian in the fold, uh, never mind?? That, my friends, SUCKS. The article states that he's just hoping for a scholarship now, whether it's Portland State, Idaho, wherever. Good luck to Cisneros, wherever he ends up.

Enough of the UW talk. WSU is filling up, now with 16 known commits after three new verbals came in from JC tight end Peter Tuitupou, guard Sebastian Valenzuela, and Jordan Pu'u-Robinson, a tight-end/defensive end hybrid from Hawaii (thanks to Cougfan for the links). All the talk before is that we would likely see around 18 with this class, so things are tightening up. It should be an interesting sprint to the finish!

ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND, and as always, GO COUGS!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

psst, they are just words. We all say things we don't mean like "i love you" to my mother-in law or "honey it doesn't make you look fat". Who cares. I worry about WSU not UW.

BornCoug said...

Someone posted that Travis Long out of Mead (te/dl) committed to Coach Ball yesterday. He was a pretty important get.

Wulff still has his work cut out for him keeping the class together, getting another jc d-lineman, and picking up hopefully only a couple more high school seniors.

Lots of twists and turns to come.

BornCoug said...

Long is in!

Sedihawk said...

Great to hear that Long went crimson but we have a ways to go. Still he's a strong "get" as there is and was considered a player on the rise. Very cool though!