So we know that this year's Cougar recruiting class has been highly thought of within the WSU program. Coach Wulff has stated on several occasions that this class "has the potential to be one of the best to ever come through Washington State", per his weekly radio show last fall. Looking at some of the vitals on many of these kids, it's easy to understand the enthusiasm. No lack of speed, size and athleticism in this group, a collection of versatile athletes headed for Pullman
in a program that desperately needs layer after layer of young, athletic depth!
What's interesting though is the recent jump in the recruiting rankings. I'm referring specifically to Scout.com, where the Cougs now sit at #35 in the country
. This is a class that was in the high 40's/low 50's nationally for several months, yet now today, they are #35 and ahead of other strong programs like Arizona, Cal and Oregon State. This is foreign territory, and as the article points out, this class is on pace to finish as one of the highest rated in WSU history when signing day finally arrives.
But why the jump? What exactly has changed in the last few months? Did all these commits suddenly improve their games in December and early January? Of course not. Instead, it's safe to say that the biggest reason is simply because Scout.com and Cougfan.com have actually taken the time to review the tape of these WSU commits and analyzed their potential impact at the next level. Unfortunately you can't always say that about some of the other recruiting services, where it's fairly typical to see a lower rating, and maybe even completely unranked altogether by the different sites, when it comes to WSU commitments.
One could argue that the higher ratings are given to BCS school recruits, simply because they are going to a BCS school. Others might argue that some recruits are given an extra "star" by some of the sites in order to drive up their subscriptions for premium content. Who knows if that's the case, and you hope things are on the up-and-up. But I give Scout and Cougfan credit for taking the time to analyze the incoming talent and provide a realistic view of the class. And in looking at their track record, it's again hard to argue their ability to figure out what kind of class is on the way:2009: 43rd in the country
in a year that saw several true frosh play immediately. One of the most promising classes in some time, led by Jeff Tuel, Gino Simone, Travis Long, Brandon Rankin (*now enrolled).2008
: tied for 74th
. Tough first class on paper for Wulff, who had roughly 6 weeks to put together a full class. But some good depth has already emerged, like Louis Bland, Skyler Stormo, Mike Ledgerwood, etc.2007
: 54th in the country
. Doba's last signing class, only a handful of players are left (Lobbestael, Mitz, Nwachukwu). Highest rated player was Terry Mixon, the 5-star JC safety who never showed up.2006
: 45th in the country
. Toby Turpin, Andy Mattingly and Kevin Kooyman were the most productive from this class, but several names on the list never made it or left very early.
Let's hope they can stay the course down the stretch, now less than 3 weeks until signing day. The trends are good with Wulff's first two classes in terms of players getting to Pullman and, so far, the vast majority staying in the program and adding to the depth. Help is already here, but it's clearly on the way as well!
Enjoy your morning, and as always, GO COUGS!