The number may move up or down a bit between now and Wednesday night but at the moment, Mike Leach's 2013 recruiting haul is ranked No. 41 in the nation by Scout.com.
That's in the range of where WSU typically lands each February, in the 40 to 55 range. But this 2013 class is not only on the upper end, but poised to be among the top three finishes since 2002.
For Leach, who had only weeks to put together his first recruiting class at WSU last year after coming on board, a full calendar year's worth of effort, planning and execution has resulted in a 12-point bump in the rankings over last year.
WHERE COUG CLASSES|
• 2012 -- 53rd, just behind Indiana and just behind Syracuse.
• 2011 -- 57th, just behind Maryland and just ahead of Indiana.
• 2010 –- 40th, just behind Arizona and ahead of Georgia Tech
• 2009 –- 43rd, just behind Clemson and ahead of Baylor
• 2008 –- 74th, tied with Vandy, just behind UTEP and ahead of Troy
• 2007 –- 54th, just behind Connecticut and ahead of Kansas State
• 2006 –- 45th, just behind Boston College and ahead of BYU
• 2005 –- 47th, just behind Kansas State and ahead of Georgia Tech
• 2004 –- 21st, just behind North Carolina State and ahead of Washington
• 2003 –- 58th, just behind West Virginia and ahead of BYU
• 2002 – 48th, just behind Illinois and ahead of Oregon State. The first year of Scout.com.
• 2001 –- Unable to locate
• 2000 –- Unable to locate
• 1999 –- 39th, just behind Kentucky and ahead of Illinois
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And consider that the 1999 WSU class -- while No. 39 nationally -- was rated between eighth and tenth in the Pac-10 by the recruiting services of the day -- and that turned out to be an underrating on a massive scale. That class went on to be the backbone of three WSU teams that finished in the Top 10 three straight years.
One of the big difference-makers in a class ranking are the number of four- and five-star prospects. WSU historically has few of those, and this year is no exception with QB Tyler Bruggman the lone four-star headliner. If the Cougs had a couple more of those guys, they'd likely be in the 20's.
But the Cougs have a large cache of three-star prospects on scout.com's list. There are 16 three-star commits -- more than usual -- and WSU's star rating average is 2.72.
That 2.72 average is higher than every year except for 2010 (2.76) -- yes, higher than even the 2004 class average (2.68).
NO ONE CAN really say with certainty how good a class is going to wind up, not when these players have yet to even suit up on a college practice field. But that doesn't stop us, and every other media outlet, from ranking the classes from top to bottom.
And that's because intrigue around it all really is too much to pass up. Imagining the potential of an incoming class is an intoxicating endeavor.
Just wait until Thursday, when we all start seriously delving into the 2014 crop of future Cougs.