WSU Recruiting Roundup

THERE'S BEEN LOTS going on in Cougar recruiting in recent days. And after a brief respite, things figure to heat back up again as Washington State gets ready to enter the stretch drive before Signing Day. Here's the latest in Coug recruiting news…

The first day of the mid-year junior college signing period begins on Wednesday. Two WSU junior college d-line targets, Chris Martin and Marquel Combs, reportedly committed to Kansas in recent days. Another, Sione Sina, also reportedly verballed to Cal. DL Lyman Faoliu committed to the Cougs earlier this month as did OL Jacob Seydel. Both are expected to sign with WSU on Wednesday.

We'll have more in the next few days on what to expect on Wednesday for the Cougs. The mid-year signing period runs Dec. 19 – Jan. 15.

Recruiting entered a dead period today that will last through Jan. 3. The term "dead period" is a misnomer in that prospects can pick up the phone and call coaches anytime they want. But things like in-home visits and official visits shut down until after the holidays are over.

WSU is expected to go with three more primary recruiting weekends in January -- though they could have recruits in on other dates if scheduling so necessitates.

Among the big names yet to commit that WSU is pursuing -- Taj Williams (6-3, 195). The 4-star WR from Tallahassee has his choice of schools and the distance from Florida probably makes him a long shot for the Cougs. Still, WSU's recruiting efforts have him considering the Cougs and if WSU can get him in on a visit in January, it would be a feather in their cap. And if he were to go crimson, it would me a major coup.

DL Paulo Lepua (6-3, 265) figures to take his decision all the way until signing day. He is scheduled to trip to WSU on Jan. 17 and the visit should go a long ways towards deciding if he'll pledge Wazzu.

Rod Crayton (6-1, 305) out of Dadeville, Alabama also intends to take his decision down to the end. He's already tripped to WSU. He is one of the most highly touted prep defensive linemen from the South with over 20 offers and told CF.C earlier this month that the Cougs remain high on his list.

Kyle Peko (6-2, 295) is another in no rush to make his decision. The JUCO DL prospect intends to make his decision in February and will graduate in May. He took the last of his five official visits to Oregon State this past weekend.

The personal trainer for OL Sean Dowling (6-6, 265) said he had decommitted from UCLA and had opened things back up. The trainer listed five schools Dowling was looking at but WSU wasn't among them. CF.C has left messages for Dowling, who tripped to Pullman earlier in the year, to inquire if WSU is still in the mix but had not heard back from the No. 31 ranked o-tackle prospect at press time.

O'Dea WR Tatum Taylor is fresh off a visit to Oregon State, but told CF.C on Sunday night that he didn't commit on his trip. Taylor recently trimmed his list down to WSU, Kentucky, ASU and OSU and said he isn't quite sure when he will make his final decision.

Florida DL Regie Meant was in Pullman on Dec. 7 for an official visit, raved about his trip to the Palouse and said he was though about committing while on his trip. However, he tripped to Kansas State this weekend and told CF.C that Iowa State still remains the top team in his recruiting. Two weeks ago Wazzu appeared to be close to his commit, now they appear to be a long shot – what will happen a couple weeks from now?

And then there are other prospects committed to other Pac-12 schools on taking visits to Pullman in January. This list, which will likely grow as we get into January, includes WR Darren Andrews (UCLA) and CB Darius Allensworth (Cal).

Washington State has 23 known commits including two grayshirts from the previous class. The Cougs could sign as many as 28-29 this class. the numbers should start to come into clearer focus as the calendar gets into January. Signing Day is Wednesday, Feb. 6.

A round of new rankings came in today from Among the new findings, River Cracraft moved from two to three stars, as did OL Matt Meyer. Gerard Wicks remained at three stars but jumped about 20 spots in the positional rankings, he's now at No. 54.

"Cracraft had a terrific senior season, especially given the loss of Johnny Stanton at quarterback," says Brandon Huffman. "He got bigger, but noticeably faster too, and showed he's not just a possession receiver, but has the ability to be a big play receiver and stretch the field some.

"Wicks was a guy who flew under the radar for much of the spring and summer, and early in the season, he was slowed by a moribund Poly offense. But just as he started kicking it into gear, the Jackrabbits' team did too, winning the CIF-SS Pac-5 title, the CIF SoCal D-I Regional and making it to the CIF State D-I championship. His speed really seemed to improve this season, and his physical makeup helped him become one of the tougher runners in California, doing a better job at getting yards after contact."

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