Cougs' LB & RB classes among nation's best

FOR THE THIRD-straight football recruiting cycle, Washington State is on a glide path for a top 45 national ranking. Perhaps more interesting, though, is the fact the group of linebackers Paul Wulff has lined up for Signing Day is rated the sixth-best in the nation by analysts, while his crop of verbally committed running backs checks in at No. 13 nationally.

It's mostly passed without notice this recruiting season, but Washington State's 2011 class of linebackers and running backs are shaping up as one of the most notable footnotes to West Coast recruiting this season.

Led by Honolulu's Chester Sua, rated by as the No. 18 outside linebacker in the nation and No. 238 in the top 300 overall, the Cougars' four 2011 ‘backers are ranked tops in the Pac-10, and rubbing national shoulders with the likes of Alabama, Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin and North Carolina.

The other three oral pledges in WSU's linebacker corps are Tacoma's Max Hersey, Eugene's Logan Mayes, and Floridian Darryl Monroe.

Hersey is rated the No. 40 MLB prospect in the country, while Mayes is the No. 49 OLB. Monroe, a middle linebacker, is not in Scout's top 100 at that position.

A couple caveats are in order. Monroe is listed in the Scout database as a soft verbal and Hersey's best position at the next level might well be at tight end.

WASHINGTON STATE also has the No. 13-ranked crop of running backs in the 2011 recruiting cycle, according to

The Cougs have just two running back verbals, but Bishop Sankey of Spokane and Demarcus James from Alabama have powered WSU up the rankings. Bishop is the No. 12-rated back in the country and James is No. 102. Sankey is also pegged as the No. 107 overall prospect in the nation.

Washington State's class of 19 known verbal commitments is currently rated overall at No. 42 in the nation by, and sixth in the Pac-10. WSU's 2010 class was ranked No. 40 in the nation and the 2009 class was No. 43.

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