Will Clements follow the Wulff QB trend line?

SEATTLE -- In his 11 years as a college head coach, Paul Wulff has made a habit of filling the highest-profile position on the field with prospects who are undervalued or overlooked by others. The results have been impressive. Wulff recently talked with CF.C about his latest QB in that mold. He also dished on early playing time for Rahmel Dockery and others.

While at Eastern Washington, Wulff signed a pair of California quarterbacks, Erik Meyer (2001) and Matt Nichols (2005), who became record-setting signal-callers for the Eagles. And in the 2007 recruiting cycle, Wulff for the longest time was the only coach in the land who saw fit to extend a scholarship offer to a kid from Prosser named Kellen Moore who was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy this past season.

At WSU, Wulff signed another under-the-radar QB in Jeff Tuel in 2009. Tuel, who enters his second full season as a starter this spring, did not even start until his senior year at Clovis West High School in Fresno.

WSU recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen said Meyer was the same way, not earning the starting job behind center until his senior season of high school. In those situations, Rasmussen said, coaches must evaluate those players during summer camps and learn about their intangibles.

Wulff referred to his latest quarterback recruit, Clements, out of La Habra, Calif., as a "hidden gem." He believes Clements, who tore a pair of ligaments in his right knee as a sophomore, was overlooked by some because of that injury.

"He's got all of the intangibles that great quarterbacks have," Wulff said. "He's ultra competitive, he can throw the football, he's athletic and tough. Those guys find a way to get onto the football field.

"He blocks out all of the peripheral stuff. It's all about his team and the game. That's what I like about him."

With Tuel, Lobbestael, and the highly-thought-of Connor Halliday, plus walk-on David Gilbertson, all returning, Clements will redshirt this season.

And while many of Clements' mates in the new recruiting class will also redshirt, others could be in line for instant PT. Rasmussen said he expects several to contend right away, including wide receiver/cornerback Rahmel Dockery, receivers Henry Eaddy and Isiah Myers and linebackers Darryl Monroe -- whom he said studies video in the office daily -- and Chester Su'a.

"That's what it's all about," Rasmussen said. "Creating depth at positions and creating competition. That forces players to rise to the top."

Wulff agreed.

"There's going to be a lot of competition this spring," he said. "For the first time, we're really going to have competition at every position. You really can't relax if you want to still be the starter."

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