If you're wondering, those are the new suicide prevention fences installed on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle. It's a good thing they were installed, because I think it's saved a few of our purple friends from their demise. We are less than 24 hours away from LOI Day and there has been lots of changes since last week on the recruiting front.
Click the old jumparoo already, would ya?
First, a couple of housekeeping items.
If you haven't heard, the Crimson and Gray Game has been scheduled for Saturday, April 21st, at Spokane's Joe Albi Stadium. Last year the event was a smashing success, in fact it may have had more fans in attendance than our game with Utah last November?? The Blogfathers will be back at it this spring with Hawk's RV and a tailgate party, ready to ring in the Leach Era! So mark your calendars folks and make those hotel reservations today. Northern Quest Casino, anybody?
My second item before jumping to the nuts and bolts is to point out this great post from ESPN yesterday. It basically looks at the impact of social media in the recruiting landscape and highlights the idea that contacting recruits is a potential secondary violation to "NCAA Rules." The example highlighted in the article is former Seahawk and UW great Lawyer Milloy tweeting to Grant HS (Sacramento) Safety Shaquille Thompson how great he would look in purple and gold. I know a lot of you are on Twitter (ourselves included) and this kind of article basically serves as a cautionary tale not to interact with recruits. In fact, Hawk received a call not too long ago reminding us that we are not allowed to directly interact with "recruitable athletes" on Twitter and Facebook.
You've been warned.
Now onto the fun!
First, a great read from Bud Withers on incoming QB Austin Apodaca. The article talks about the arduous process he went through as Wulff was canned and the Leach staff was in place. Talk about a waiting game. The article also points out the Denver Post named Apodaca the All Colorado QB, which includes all classes (and yes, that means he beat out UW recruit Cyler Miles!).
As Brother Longball pointed out yesterday, we've recently landed a pair of DL/DE players from American Samoa. In addition, it's been reported by the fine folks at Cougfan that former verbal commit, Safety Taylor Taliulu has switched to the Hawaii Warriors and new head coach Norm Chow. While many were excited about how good he looked, it's got to be hard for a Hawaiian kid to turn down the home town offer. Could you imagine how costly it would be for his family to hit the mainland just once or twice each year to see him play? Hard to fault Taylor, and we wish him the best of luck.
Last night, Dorsey HS LB Jeremiah Allsion pledged Crimson & Gray. Allison chose Wazzu over Boise, Arizona, SMU, UCLA and Yale. A great student as well as a productive linebacker (23 sacks last year), Allison could be a fantastic fit as an athletic outside linebacker in the new 3-4 WSU D.
Allison's pledge brings this year's class total to three Top 100 Linebackers in the Scout.com rankings, in addition to a fourth, who likely will end up along the DL. This leaves me to believe we have spots open for Cedric Dozier, Raymond Ford, Alphonso Marsh, & Kenny Lawler if you do the scholarship math?
And speaking of Cedric Dozier - last night, Jake Worthen reported on Twitter that he believes Dozier is headed to Pullman. IF this is true and he does go Crimson (we should find out today at 2:30 PM?), I for one am glad Dozier saw through the muck of Sark's late offer to allow him to suit up at WR. Meanwhile, another report from ESPN's Greg Biggins states Alphonso Marsh is strongly leaning towards Utah, but WSU is still not out of it.
Which leaves us with Lawler. He's gone back and forth in showing the love, but a recent Hail Mary attempt from the Berkeley Bears may have swayed him to stay in-state (note the latest pic from Lawler on Twitter).
The Cougs still aren't out of the mix though, and some think WSU still has a great shot at him.
I haven't heard much lately on Ford, but I believe he played at the same high school as current Cougar DB Anthony Carpenter. Hopefully AC has been selling the idea to Ford, because we could sure use some more depth at CB!
If you're reading this post, it's likely you are aware that Dozier's teammate at Lakes, OT Zach Banner, committed to the USC Trojans yesterday afternoon. Banner had a Top 3 of Oklahoma, USC and UW, which led many local "experts" to believe he was staying home to be a Husky. His commitment set off a frenzy of complaints that a news conference at your local high school to announce where you're attending, when it isn't UW? Well, the complaint is that it is just rubbing it in the home team's face. You can check out former UW QB Hugh Millen's comments on the situation when he joined Ian and Jason yesterday at the end of their show.
Seriously, Hugh? I know your school got burned, but to complain about a kid who wanted to share his big decision with his classmates is just unprofessional. Millen likens Banner's decision to a kid in Ann Arbor hosting a news conference and choosing Ohio State. There is a big difference here, and it's two fold. First of all, 2) he wasn't a Seattle kid and secondly, 2) he didn't choose UW's main rival.
Then again, many UW'ers complained loudly when Jake Heaps flew to Utah to announce he was attending BYU. It's like OK, if you are from the area and you don't pick UW, you just can't win!
Well, as Sutra once said, we have plenty of Cougar Gold Cheese to go with that w(h)ine!
This type of behavior led both the Tacoma News Tribune and the Seattle Times to recently post articles that dealt with how poorly the Huskies have responded to the top in-state recruits who have spurned their schools. I'm happy to have seen very little venom coming from our fan-base when recruits don't choose Wazzu.
I don't have much else for you folks, like I said above, we're still in the hunt for Dozier, Ford, Marsh and Lawler, but don't be surprised if Leach has a Signing Day surprise or two up his sleeve! Lastly, be sure to tune in tomorrow, not only for Hump Day With Huddy, but up-to-the-minute coverage (or something like that) as the LOIs roll in from the fax machine!
Sorry, the picture below and title of this post have nothing to do with today's post itself, I was just looking for an excuse to search for this picture. Kind of reminds me when blog reader DFlynn dressed like this for Halloween in 2002. Classic.
Have a great day! Go Cougs!