How does Cougar recruiting class stack up?

AFTER USC, OREGON, Washington and Cal, you can rank Washington State's newest recruiting class with any of the rest of the Pac-12. That's a great accomplishment considering the extent of the rebuild over the last few years. The class has depth, balance, an emphasis on defense, and some early enrollees to help get things going right away -- all very good signs of a solid class.

The first question to ask any coach is whether all needs were met. Paul Wulff in his various interviews Wednesday sounded very confident about it. A run down of his list shows that you can tick off a lot of boxes.

Clearly they needed to address building depth along the lines. Check. I'm counting 13 linemen, and others -- like Max Hersey, Logan Mayes, Brock Lutes, Tana Pritchard and Darryl Paulo -- could certainly grow into quick ends or LEO-type 'backers and cause a lot of havoc along the line of scrimmage. I'm waiting for the day when WSU gets back to having those crazy-quick DEs like D.D. Acholonu and Isaac Brown. There might be some guys like that in this class. And with six OL from the last two classes - including two immediate impact players Wade Jacobson and David Gonzales - things are definitely solidifying themselves in the trenches. Add to that the fact that Wulff signed three mid-year linemen, and you know he means business. He knows he needs to upgrade the lines, and he got right to it.

What's the next box? Quarterback? Check. Cody Clements looks to be a very solid addition.

Speed? With Spencer Waseem, Marcus Mason, Rahmel Dockery and Henry Eaddy clocked at under 4.5 for the 40, they bring wheels, so check.

Immediate impact guys? Eaddy could be, as well as Darryl Monroe, simply because they'll get a chance to get a leg up during spring football. Linebacker Chester Su'a is the real deal and seems almost certain to play immediately. With two-third of the class on the defensive side of the ball, it's clear Wulff is looking high and low for players that can upgrade a defense that was last in the Pac-10.

Hidden gems? Well, he may not be a hidden gem to WSU fans now, but Su'a from Kaimuki is going to be a stud who is compared with the great recent WSU linebackers. Wulff said as much in his interviews. Physically, he's built a lot like Notre Dame standout Manti Te'o, and he's just as aggressive on both sides of the ball. The Cougars will immediately be better the moment Su'a enrolls in school. Another player that might not be known nationally (yet), but has that wow factor for WSU fans is Logan Mayes, son of former WSU great Rueben Mayes. He's athletic, versatile and aggressive - three traits you love to have in a player that could ultimately play any of the linebacking positions.

In terms of comparing this Cougar class with the last two, which have been quite solid, I think this class compares favorably with both. Moreover, it falls right in line with both when it comes to building up depth along the two lines and having a nice mix of immediate impact guys with guys that will redshirt.

The biggest thing yet to be seen, as it is with every program, is how many guys wash out of the 2011 class right away. By my count, the 2009 and 2010 WSU classes have suffered roughly 20 percent attrition, which is not an acceptable trend line over the long term. If all the players in the 2011 class enroll at WSU and stay enrolled, that would go a long way toward making it the best of the three. I know Wulff has placed a big emphasis once again on academics, so this is the class that will show whether that movement toward recruiting strong student-athletes pays off.

In the Pac-12,'s final rankings at the end of Day One of the signing period was as follows: USC first (No. 5 nationally), followed by Oregon (10th nationally), Cal (14th), UW (19th), Stanford (22nd), OSU (44th), Utah (46th), Washington State (53rd), UCLA (54th), Colorado (60th), ASU (67th) and Arizona (68th).

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