Happy Thursday Cougs, as we barrel towards the holiday weekend and prepare for family get-togethers and such for most of you early next week.
So have you and yours been out to see Santa Butch? A little secret for you - believe it or not, one of our blogfathers who used to write here and there was actually Santa Butch for a number of years (true story). I am not sure if he is donning the suit this year, but hopefully you can get out and see him before it's too late (or maybe it is too late? I really have no idea). I won't spill the beans as to which of us was Santa Butch, but some of you long-time readers can probably figure it out.....
Alrighty then, on to the links.....
So yesterday was JC signing day, and the Cougs added to the roster with five new additions. No, it's not your typical signing day extravaganza but it's still important, as those who signed yesterday are set to enroll for classes starting January 7th. Per the WSU official release, three of them are brand new in Lyman Faoliu, Ivan McClennan, and Jacob Seydel. Two others were actually part of last February's class, in WR Robert Lewis and BJ Salmonson, and they have followed through on the whole gray shirt thing.
"We are excited about the start to this class," said Leach. "Our coaching staff has worked extremely hard over the past year and this class is going to be key for us in the future," said Leach. "Lyman and Jacob give us added size on both lines which is always a priority and Ivan gives us another athletic playmaker on defense. Robert will certainly add speed to our receiving unit and B.J. is a person who is physical and embraces contact.
"Having all five in school in January gives them an opportunity to adjust to a new environment and have the benefit of going through winter conditioning and spring practice."
I remember some hype surrounding Lewis after the Cougs nabbed him from LA after he decommitted from SMU during the June Jones-to-ASU-rumor-fiasco, and was somewhat disappointed he didn't make it in to school last year. But now you see some depth developing at WR, and you realize that delaying his arrival might have been a good idea after all. Now he can come in and work immediately, and with the graduation of Gino Simone, at least a slot position on the depth chart just opened up a bit? A lot can happen and we'll see how he develops, but it's good to see Lewis signed, sealed and ready to go in a few weeks.
There was also a little intrigue surrounding one of these guys in Ivan McClennan. Per Cougfan, seems the Miami Hurricanes came calling on him late in the game, and tried to get him to bring his talents to South Beach. But McClennan held true to his word, and now the 6-3, 220lb linebacker is headed to Pullman.
The very mention of Miami and a WSU commit might rub you the wrong way, after the Canes picked off Asante Cleveland from the Coug verbal list at the last minute a few years ago. Cleveland was a 3-star tight end coming out of Sacramento, but a lot of people believed he was a legit under-the-radar type with a seriously high ceiling. But he just hasn't exactly panned out in Miami, with 11 career catches in three seasons (wow, believe it or not Asante Cleveland just completed his JUNIOR season??).
Anyway, water under the bridge and all that, and it's a good feeling to know the Cougs hung on to a guy they wanted despite a late charge from a school like Miami.
OH, and adding a couple of O-linemen, like, RIGHT NOW in Salmonson and Seydel?? YES PLEASE. Salmonson didn't play last year, but Seydel sounds interesting, rated the #14 JC tackle prospect by one recruiting service. He originally went to UCLA but then left after one season, and now he will come in and compete immediately for playing time.
So all told, a pretty good day yesterday in terms of adding guys who might be able to help immediately. And while the roster was young last year and should return a lot of the same faces? Hey, when you're 3-9, players who can help right away are welcomed with open arms!
Moving on, Jeff Tuel classed up the Kevin Calabro show yesterday, hopping on the ESPN Radio airwaves with Jim Moore and Dave Wyman. Give it a shot, it's a good listen and a solid reminder as to why #10 will be missed in 2013.
I know we speculated a bit yesterday on the future of the QB position and all that, but I can't help but shake the feeling that Jeff Tuel will always be the "What IF?" player to me.
What if he had been healthy and was able to withstand the beatings he took all those years, sacked what, 119 times in his career? And what if he would have played at WSU in another era, such as the early 2000's? Would he have been another, say, Jason Gesser with his skill set if he were surrounded by a quality Pac-10 offensive line and a winning program overall? We all saw the flashes, we saw the talent, we had the HOPE that Tuel was the guy to turn it all around after falling so deep into the abyss. But it just wasn't to be. Thanks again to Jeff Tuel, he will certainly be missed in Pullman.
All for now. Enjoy your Thursday, and of course, GO COUGS!