Granted, there are no All-Americans here, but the report card is surprisingly good.
"I'd say the output from this class far exceeds what could realistically have been expected -- consider how many guys were no longer available, having verballed months ago, when Wulff came on board," says CF.C recruiting analyst emeritus Jack Evans.
"When you factor in the dead periods, these coaches really only had maybe four weeks to pull this group together. So what you saw was head-to-head battles with schools like Portland State, UC-Davis -- schools you don't compete against for talent. So you'd expect that tier of athletes to turn into a bunch of special teams performers at this level but not much more -- only two in the entire class, Cory Mackay and Bernard Wolfgramm, had offers from other Pac-10 schools," added Evans.
"But Wulff and his staff really did a better than expected job with the 2008 class given they had not time to do it. I don't think anyone would have blinked if this class had turned into a completely lost cause, but it's not that by any stretch. This is a fairly athletic and productive group."
In fact, three members of the class were this week named honorable mention All-Pac-10 performers: receiver Jared Karstetter, safety Tyree Toomer and center Zack Williams.
Two others (cornerback Daniel Simmons and defensive tackle Bernard Wolfgramm ) were full-time starters this season, as was linebacker Myron Beck, who joined the '08 class as a walk on and later earned a scholie.
Four more were part-time starters (defensive tackle Anthony Laurenzi, linebacker Mike Ledgerwood and tight ends Skylar Stormo and Andrei Lintz) this season. Plus there was senior back Chantz Staden, a good utility man coming off a knee injury in 2009. In 2010, he rushed some, caught some and returned some.
That's 11 (not counting Beck because he was a walk on) out of 25 signees in the class who proved their mettle.
Now factor in linebacker Louis Bland and offensive tackle Alex Reitnouer -- two guys who played a ton in 2009, redshirted this season, and will be back in action in 2011 – and you're at 13 out of 25 guys who have made or are making some waves for the Cougs.
There are another five guys on which the jury is still out. Through some various combination of redshirting, grayshirting, injury, off-field problems and need to gain weight, they haven't emerged. At least not yet. They are linemen Hodgdon and Dan Spitz, defensive backs Jay Matthews and Terrance Hayward, and defensive end Adam Coerper.
That boosts the list to 18 out of 25 who are present and accounted for.
Two more members of the class were claimed by heartbreak. They were perhaps the most promising athletes of the 2008 recruiting cycle -- defensive back LeAndre Daniels and defensive end Cory Mackay -- but had their careers ended prematurely. Daniels sustained a freak neck injury in practice and Mackay was paralyzed in a car accident. Both are still at WSU.
That leaves six players out of 25 who didn't pan out:
"As averages go, Wulff and his staff did pretty well for themselves in 2008," said Evans. "The attrition has been minimal, which is critical to a program depleted by disastrous recruiting results in 2004, '05, '06, '07. This is no class of superstars, but they are a very solid foundation to build on. I tip my hat to Wulff and his staff on what they were able to do with so little time, and with such a small starting pool to begin with."