Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Ready to watch Pittsburgh and Arizona settle things on the field? And as a Seahawks fan, this is a tough one, and a question that has been sportstalk-fodder the last two weeks - who do YOU root for today? Do you root for your divisional rival in Arizona, a team that was a complete joke until just a few years ago, often times compared to the LA Clippers in terms of losing as well as ownership ineptness? But as Hooty wrote recently, do you really want to see the Arizona Cardinals with a Lombardi trophy before our beloved Seahawks??
Meanwhile, as Matt Hasselbeck said in a radio interview this week, how can Seahawks fans root for Darth Vader in the Pittsburgh Steelers? I stumbled upon the 2006 NFL Films production of the Seahawks - Steelers Super Bowl last night on ESPN2, and about 30 seconds was all I could stomach before flipping it off. I forgot about how sour that game tasted.
Besides, there isn't a rooting interest from a WSU angle, as neither roster has a WSU player to be found, not even on practice squads or injured reserve. So it might be a weird feeling today.
But whatever. Enjoy the unofficial national holiday today, wherever you are.
Anyway, with signing day nearly upon us, some more "best of the west" recruiting lists have hit cyberspace. Where does WSU fit with these new lists? How about the "other" BCS school in the state?
Leading off with the good news, Scout.com has released their final Best 150 in the West list. Good news because WSU weighs in with ten recruits on this list, good for third in the PAC-10 behind UCLA and USC, seven of which are in the top 100.
Gino Simone - 44
Darren Markle - 57
Travis Long - 70
Arthur Burns - 84
Nolan Washington - 89
Jamal Atofau - 97
Chris Mastin - 100
Anthony Carpenter - 117
Jeff Tuel - 137
Andre Barrington - 141
As Scout.com says, all are three-star players, except for Simone's four star rating.
I think this list says it all. Not so much that we're getting the best of the best talent ala USC. But it speaks to the depth of this class and the potential it has to really build a strong foundation going forward. Getting seven of the top 100 alone speaks volumes for the kind of progress Wulff and the staff are making out on the trail. And the high-character stories on a lot of these kids is probably the best thing of all.
UW landed seven verbals on the list, but not a single one in the top 100. The highest-rated kid is none other than Desmond Trufant, coming in at 108.
Moving on, the News Tribune has their 2008-09 Western 100 out today. As the TNT says:
The Western 100 are the top 100 high school football recruits in the West (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming), as selected by The News Tribune, which polled college coaches and various media outlets.
WSU finished with only THREE players on this list - Gino Simone, Darren Markle and Travis Long. Quite a difference compared to Scout.com. Washington? Um, zero. Even in a transition year with the new coaching staff, a zero? Really? I don't remember the last time they didn't even have one player in the top 100 in the western states.
The TNT also had this comp article with Wulff and Sarkisian. It's a good look at the different states of the recruiting process for both coaching staffs. Wulff's staff appears to have their footing, while Sarkisian is still scrambling to cobble something together before Wednesday.
One thing I found interesting about Sarkisian in that article is the idea of them selling the players on playing in the NFL. That somehow his system is going to prepare them for playing in the league, better than the other schools around. That's an easy thing for him to sit in living rooms and tout all the players he's helped coach up to play on Sundays.....while wearing a USC sweatsuit. Will he be able to say the same thing after a few years in Seattle? We'll see. But somehow I doubt he's going to have the same success in getting kids into the league...ya THINK?
Now I don't want to sit here and tout a whopping three players for WSU either. While we do believe this WSU class is looking strong in terms of overall depth, filled with high character, high-ceiling types, it's safe to say we still have a ways to go before we are challenging the upper half of the conference. But it's been preached since Wulff was introduced in December, and that is that this thing is going to take a while to build. As Wulff himself said all season long, we have to build layers upon layers upon layers of depth, so you aren't forced to throw the young out into the wild. But I am also confident in saying that IF Wulff can sign at least two more recruiting classes like this one, the ideal program Wulff is shooting for will be much closer to reality.
That's it for a super Sunday. ENJOY YOUR DAY, and GO COUGS!