ANALYSIS: The ever-changing WSU commit list

THE OLD PHRASE "you can't tell the players without a scorecard" would seem tailor made for Washington State's 2012 recruiting class. Verbal commits are coming and going at a breakneck pace. Since Mike Leach took the helm in Pullman six weeks ago, WSU's list of pledges has undergone a massive transformation.

In all, nine of the 19 verbal commits Leach inherited are no longer in the Cougars' plans.

In their place are nine new verbals, maintaining WSU's commit list at 19 with three weeks left before letters of intent are signed. The Cougars are expected to sign 25.

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The latest names to leave WSU fold are Woodland, Calif., receiver Dalen Jones, who is now headed to Fresno State, and defensive tackle Maurice Bennett, who will weigh options with Jackson State and others.

Bennett, from Mississippi, had verballed to WSU in August. He was very forthcoming in an interview with's Steve Robertson yesterday, saying, "Washington State called me and they told me that they don't think I fit what they are looking for in the new defense. That's fine. That's life."

Jones, who verballed to WSU back in March, was believed to be on the bubble, or at least not as high a priority, because Leach has secured verbals from three other wideouts in recent weeks and continues to court a handful more.

Bennett being cut loose is unexpected because WSU has a need at defensive tackle and Bennett was the lone commit listed at that position. But clearly the Cougars under Leach have other d-tackles in mind and aren't going to use a spot for a guy they don't feel confident can have an impact.

Jones and Bennett join seven other pre-Leach WSU verbals who were believed to have been told their skill sets didn't match up as well with the new staff's Xs and Os. They are:

  • RB Terrell Davis of Victoria, B.C., who has since verballed with Arizona State.

  • RB C.J. Brathwaite, who is tripping to North Dakota State next weekend.

  • OL Fernando Villanueva, who has committed to San Jose State.

  • LB Jordan Pulu of Federal Way, who is weighing an offer from Wyoming.

  • WR Travis Gardner of Chula Vista, Calif.; and

  • DBs Rashad Jackson and Vershad Jackson, twin brothers from Texas who have offers from UTEP and North Texas.

    NEW TO THE WSU COMMIT LIST since Leach became head coach are:

    on offense: WR Gabriel Marks (5-11/175) of Los Angeles; WR Brett Bartolone (5-10/180) of La Habra, Calif; WR Alex Jackson (5-10 1/2 -175); RB **Teondray Caldwell (5-11/205) of Los Angeles; K **Mike Bowlin (6-4/204) of Mission Viejo, Calif.
    on defense: LB Kache Palacio (6-2/225) of Gardena, Calif.; OLB Khalil Pettway (6-4/205) of Culver City, Calif.; S Feddie Davey (5-11/190) of Miami; and DE Keith Ewing (6-1, 215) of Bellaire, Texas.

    OF PAUL WULFF'S WSU VERBAL COMMITS for 2012, the 10 who remain in the fold are: RB Theron West (5-7/170) of Wilmington, Calif.; OLB Jacob Tuivaiave (6-4/240) of Tacoma; OT Pierson Villarrubia (6-4/275) of Mandeville, La.; OT Eduardo Middleton (6-5/280) of Oceanside, Calif.; OG **Denzell Dotson (6-2/315) of Glendale, Ariz.; OT Sam Flor (6-4/285) of Seattle; OT B.J. Salmonson (6-5, 265) of Everson, Wash.; S Taylor Taliulu (5-11,175) of Aiea, Hawaii; QB Austin Apodaca (6-3, 185) of Longmont, Colo.; and S David Bucannon (6-2, 180) of Fairfield, Calif.
    (** -- already enrolled at WSU. In addition, 2011 holdover Rahmel Dockery has also joined the Cougs and is taking classes.)

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