Forde fits the profile of the type of player the WSU coaches are after these days - big, strong athletic types with room to add muscle while maintaining some serious upside/athleticism. He has been clocked at a 4.8 in this 40-time, which isn't too shabby for a likely defensive line position waiting for him at the next level. But you look at his size and frame now - 6-4, 245 - and it isn't hard to see him adding 30 or so LBS, suddenly becoming an explosive pass rushing d-tackle? I know it's early to project, probably too early, and who knows where he ultimately ends up. But he sure seems to be a fit in terms of what they are looking for.
While Forde wasn't exactly the superstar recruit in terms of sheer rankings, he does come in as a three-star type and ranked in the top-100 for his position (#91 defensive end per Scout.com). And the buzz on Forde all along was that he is a pretty athletic kid. How athletic? Let's just say athletic enough to go out and play hoops against all-state WR Kasen Williams of Skyline and more than hold his own! Per a poster on a Cougfan message board, this article from NBC Sports.com from last summer:
“You’d figure a big guy in hoops compared to a guard, yeah, maybe he’ll lose a step or so because he’s quicker at the perimeter,” Woodinville coach Wayne Maxwell said. “But with Maxx’s athleticism and his range, it was pretty impressive to see him shut down Kasen like that. He was all over him that game, and Kasen didn’t have a whole lot of opportunities that he normally does because of Maxx’s athletic ability."
And further down the article:
“You look at him, he’s got a big frame,” Maxwell said. “He’s got these long limbs, and he’s got some weight to put on still. The recruiters are looking at him, and they’re looking d-line now with the possibility he could move to the other side if he continues to grow. They’ll start him on the edge. If he could get bigger, they could possibly move him to the inside.
“You’ll have to ask him what his 100-meter time is, but it’s a pretty impressive sight to see his big butt in the starting blocks. He’s always going against all the sprinter kids. Maxx holds his own there. There’s some different coaches coming out that watch him run and are very impressed. He’s still kind of like a blank canvas as a football player, but he’s got a lot of things that others don’t have – pure athleticism.”Nice!
If you are keeping track at home, that's now 20 commitments or early signees in the case of the two JC tackles signed on Wednesday. Not many spots left, but still some work ahead. Recent recruiting rankings have been updated at Scout.com, and now WSU is ranked 7th in the conference, 38th in the country in this year's recruiting class. Yeah yeah, you NEVER want to get too geeked out over verbal commits, nor should you get too "star struck" by the ratings. We've been hearing that for years, you know? But you have to be impressed by what Wulff and the rest are putting together for this year's class. To think what he's doing with the recent struggles of the program, yet he's still out there selling WSU as hard as he possibly can with a pitch that seems to be working. Note that this is a link to a premium article, but it is a really good read on just how hard Wulff is working to get this thing done.
Well done coach Wulff. Now reel these guys in on signing day, and keep building this thing out!
Moving on, today's a big day for Phase III.
We don't need to rehash all of the details, as you know them by now. But if we had hopes of breaking ground next spring, and having Phase III in place by the start of 2011, today is a landmark day for down payments on the various luxury seats. There is a lot of information out there right now, some of it accurate, some of it, well, not so much. The only thing I can say is that we've heard we had a LONG way to go as of a month ago, but they have made up a lot of ground in that time. But is it enough progress that they can begin construction? I guess we'll find out soon enough.
Lots of Pac-10 realignment/expansion talk lately, what with Sir Ted Miller's informative article the other day causing a splash around the Pac-10 blogosphere. There are a lot of interesting possibilities, and they certainly seem more willing to at least consider the idea than they did in the past under the old Pac-10 regime. We've got some ideas too, and we'll probably share them as a post in the next few days.
Finally, congrats to Gino Simone, Travis Long and Skylar Stormo, as they have been named to the Sporting News All-Pac-10 freshman team for 2010. Simone and Long aren't exactly shockers, but I was pleasantly surprised to see Stormo get in there. Simone was second on the team with 36 catches, while Long was seventh with 47 tackles, but a team-high 6.5 tackles for loss and tied for tops with two sacks (wait, TWO sacks led the team this year?? BOY do we need a pass-rush!). Stormo didn't do much in the receiving department, just 3 catches for 39 yards, but he still made it. Congrats to all three of them!
Looking at that all-frosh list, boy, there are some good young players in this league right now. LeMichael James, Andrew Luck, Vontaze Burfict, wow that's a lot of talent. This is a good league that is only going to get better.
That's it for now. Enjoy your Friday, and as always, GO COUGS!