THE COUGARS HAVE just two known state of Washington commitments in the 2014 class, one a verbal commit from the current cycle and one a holdover from last year's class. But there also looks to be a pretty good reason why that's the case.
The state historically produces roughly 25 to 40 FBS scholarship footballers a year. But this time around the talent pool isn't even close to that range.
Consider the following:
Only 16 in-state prospects have verbally committed to FBS schools so far, and just 21 total when adding in FCS schools.
Of those 21, only nine are committed to Pac-12 schools while a whopping 12 have pledged to either FCS or smaller conference schools such as Idaho, South Alabama, UNLV.
There is little "elite" talent in the class according to scout.com, with only three players in the state rated 4 stars and none 5 stars. Two of those 4 stars, by the way, are still available and both have WSU on their short lists (OL/DE Kaleb McGary and DL Marcus Griffin).
There's a paucity of both o-linemen and cornerbacks in the class, which tend to be two coveted positions.
That's not exactly the recipe for a banner crop.
HOW DOES THE '14 crop from the Evergreen State stack up?
Last year, in a class that was considered decidedly average, the state produced 17 Pac-12 signees out of 46 total FBS and FCS signees. Washington State inked five of them last February.
As for the future, the (too early) take on the 2015 in-state crop is that it will be a good deal deeper, though much is still to be determined.
There are already six in-states in the Scout 2015 Top 300. The 2015 in-state class is unlikely to have big numbers of elite-type talent when all is said and done -- but quality depth looks to be decidedly above average.
WSU has a verbal pledge from Woodinville OL Andre Dillard this class. Eastside Catholic corner Markell Sanders from the '13 class officially joined the WSU football program this week.
Eastern Washington and Oregon State lead all comers this recruiting cycle with three state of Washington verbal commits apiece.
Washington has three in-state commitments as well but two come with caveats. One is a post graduate holdover from last year's UW class who doesn't plan to enroll until the spring. The other (Drew Lewis of Redmond) is a soft verbal visiting USC, the new home of the former UW coach he originally verballed to at Washington.
Interestingly, there are six QB verbals from the state in Mt. Si's Nick Mitchell, Oregon State; Skyline's Kilton Anderson, South Alabama; Camas' Reilly Hennessey, EWU; Marysville-Pilchuck's Jake Luton, Idaho; Auburn-Riverside's Kevin Thomson UNLV; and W.F. West's Tanner Gueller, Idaho State. (Click here for the state of Washington verbal commit list, does not include holdovers from previous classes.)
South Alabama (go figure, as none of the coaching staff appear to have obvious ties to the state of Washington) boasts two verbals from the state: Anderson and WR Josh Smith (Cascade).