Another signing day in the books. A success for the most part. If you ask Scout, we finished 45th overall. But don't ask Rivals.com. 92nd!? That's a pretty incredible difference of opinion. Like one of the stories said yesterday, someone is going to be REALLY off once things play out here.
We had a live blog update yesterday as the LOI's rolled in. We gave a quick rundown of each player, including their rankings and video, where it was available anyway. Check it out here.
Big thanks to "Soze" from our comments. Soze ventured out into the night last night to catch the Signing Day extravaganza. Sounds like a good time.
"Just returned from Northern Quest casino from the NLI Signing Day party. Definitely a great time and something I will return to next year. Looks like a great class, most of the guys completely dominated the high school level (which is expected in the Pac-10) but I've seen "highlight" videos in the past of guys, where you couldn't even tell who the recruit was."
"Some highlights of the videos (for me at least) were definitely Quayshawne Buckley on the OL who was tossing people around like rag dolls, Carl Winston, who was running around stiff-arming smaller guys to the ground and juking bigger guys out of their shoes, and Jamal Atofau, who looks like he delivers a concussion with each hit. Lastly, hopefully (Brandon) Rankin gets his academics in order, because he looks like a special player on the DE spot."
"I would "guesstimate" a few hundred people, maybe 500 in attendance (I'm not good at guessing attendance figures)? Quote of the night was definitely about the Cougs not having a good year, but "someone else finished in last place in the Pac-10."
Definitely looking forward to 2009 and 2010 with these kids."
Again, big thanks to Soze! Circumstances prevented making it over there, so thanks. Meanwhile, we should have a good recap of the Shelton dinner in the coming days, so stay tuned for that.
Moving on, of course there are links EVERYWHERE in regards to signing day. And everyone is thrilled with the overall look of this class.
The P-I ran an AP story on the class. Some good quotes in here as well. Wulff stressed that even with 25 spots, it still isn't enough, but at the same time it was a balanced class all the way around. Howie Stalwick also weighed in with some stronger recruiting quotes from Wulff:
Bud Withers of the Times had this strong story, including one of the most important things that might get lost on a day like this - WSU only lost ONE verbal commit the entire way, in Geoff Meinken. The rest of the kids held firm. Not only does that speak to some of the high-character kids who signed to be part of this thing, but the efforts of the coaches to keep giving them the love, even after they committed and with UW's new coaching staff circling the waters? A HUGE part of yesterday.
"Our coaches -- I couldn't tell you how proud I am of their effort, how good the job is they have done," Wulff said. "They battled and battled and never wavered.
"It was a great year for us."
The other thing to take from this is the details regarding the four-star JC defensive end, Brandon Rankin. We heard yesterday after he signed that a grayshirt was very likely here, and now you can see how long a shot he is to make it (as the story quotes, 24 hours by August is a pretty long shot). But they want to stand by this kid and see if it pans out:
Said Wulff candidly, "At this point, we don't believe he's going to make it. He'd be somebody we'd hope would enroll in January . He's a wonderful kid. As a person of character, he's somebody we'd be willing to work with."
Anyone remember the trials and tribulations of Leon Bender? How about Mark Fields? They were kids worth sticking with, even when they had grade issues that kept them off the field (or even out of WSU altogether). All we do know is Rankin was highly regarded, with a lot of big-name schools coming after him, but Wulff and company took the leap. Let's hope it is good news at the beginning of 2010.
As KJR's Ian Furness said yesterday, "EVERYONE is 6-3, 250 and runs a 4.3 40 on signing day!" Without a doubt, signing day is a rush, and they all look fantastic on Youtube or in their bio's. But we know the odds of every single one of these kids becoming All-Pac-10 are pretty long (if not impossible). But let's not worry about that. For now, enjoy the fact that you have the hardest working coaching staff in the conference, absolutely and positively committed to building this program into something we all can be proud of. Yesterday was a big step in that direction.
ENJOY YOUR DAY, and GO COUGS!