All HS linemen in '12 class, envisions Wulff

SEATTLE–When Paul Wulff was hired he pointed towards Mike Price's recruiting strategy of signing primarily high-school prospects after WSU's 1998 Rose Bowl. The initial result was one of the worst stretches in program history — a 3-21 Pac-10 record from 1998-2000 — but that was followed by three consecutive 10-win seasons. What about the 2011 JUCO class numbers (and 2012)? CF.C asks Wulff..

The Cougars became more heavily entrenched in junior-college recruiting after Price departed at the end of the 2002 season. In 2007, former coach Bill Doba signed 10 players from that level.

WSU signed six junior-college transfers in the '08 transition class from Doba to Wulff -- but only had seven combined in the last two years.

THE COUGARS, HOWEVER, are expected to match that number in this class alone, taking seven JUCOs -- all offensive and defensive linemen -- after d-ends Niko Aumua and Eli Edwards sign their Letters of Intent, possibly as soon as today.

(Note: Sources tell CF.C regarding Aumua and Edwards that it's a matter of the Clearinghouse, which reopens today, having been closed due to the storms of last week.)

So what gives, why seven JCs in this class?

Paul Wulff told CF.C the high-number of junior-college recruits "really wasn't by design." But he said, and many analysts concurred, that the West Coast was light on high-school linemen, and given WSU's need for an immediate infusion of experience after this season, especially on the offensive line, he said it made sense.

"I think what this class will allow us to do is come back in a year and sign nothing but high-school linemen," Wulff said.

Rich Rasmussen added that it does not mean the Cougs will ignore the junior-college ranks, though.

He said the coaches will evaluate areas where they potentially have immediate needs throughout the season to determine whether they pursue players there.

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