Cougar recruiting: An ongoing study in math

WITH 19 VERBAL commits on the books, the numbers would suggest Washington State has just six slots to fill before hitting the maximum allowed, 25, for one class of recruits. Given that LOI signing day isn't for another three-plus months, the Cougs are in great shape. But the numbers by themselves don't tell the whole story - a story that suggests there's much work, and lots of intrigue, left.

Foremost in the equation is that three of the Cougars' known 19 verbal commits are officially or effectively soft. Linebacker Darryl Monroe of Orlando says he's now leaning toward Kentucky. Cornerback Spencer Waseem of Apopka, Fla., says he plans to take official visits to Michigan State, Mississippi State, Wake Forest and Marshall. And Spokane running back Bishop Sankey, who pledged to the Cougs back in December, has made no secret of his attraction to Minnesota and Washington.

Sources in Spokane say Sankey, who spent his childhood in the Midwest, truly yearns for offers from Ohio State and Notre Dame. At this late date, it would seem unlikely for that to happen but the odds of him signing with WSU sound 50/50 at best according to GSL sources. CF.C was unsuccessful in reaching Sankey for comment.

So while the Cougs technically appear to need just six more players to hit the 25 max for this recruiting cycle, the fact is that the real number is far more difficult to determine.

How so?

For one, other verbals could waver, boosting the still-needed total further, though the grapevine at this point isn't pointing that way. Also potentially affecting the numbers is the over-signing option, in which two or three kids above the 25 are signed as grayshirts or potential grayshirts.

And then there are the grayshirts from the previous recruiting class that can affect the numbers. While they signed the previous year, grayshirts are counted in the subsequent recruiting class. For the Cougs in this current recruiting cycle, that means two signees from last year – defensive lineman Xavier Cooper of Tacoma and running back Devontae Butler-Booker of Sacramento – will, if all goes as planned, be included in the 2011 class because they won't enroll until spring or fall.

Now if we roll up all these factors together, what's it tell us is left on the Cougars' to-do list for the 2011 class?

On the conservative end -- meaning none of the soft verbals defect, everyone else in the class is solid, both Cooper and Butler-Booker enroll, and there are no oversignings – then the Cougs are looking to fill just four more spots in their new class.

On the other end -- meaning all three soft verbals defect, not everyone else in the class is solid, academics conspire against the grayshirts, and there are some oversignings -- the Cougs could still need to pick up another 10 players.

All of which gives greater understanding to two phrases you often hear associated with college recruiting:

  • It's an art, not a science, and
  • It's like shaving – you have to do it everyday or you look like a bum.

    Regardless of what transpires the rest of the way, the simple fact is that WSU is looking very good at this point in time. currently ranks WSU's 2011 class at No. 44 in the nation, ahead of such luminaries as Miami and Penn State, as well as Pac-10 foe UCLA, Arizona, Oregon State, Colorado and Arizona State.

  • Cougfan Top Stories