IF THE FOOTBALL recruiting season ended today, Washington State's crop of commits would rank No. 46 nationally, just behind Virginia and just ahead of Iowa State, in Scout.com projections. It'll take another standout or two to eclipse last year's ranking of No. 38, which was WSU's best showing since 2004.
Interestingly the Cougars have no 4-stars in the current class. If that trend line holds steady through letter-of-intent signing day next week, it will mark the first time in the Scout.com Era, which began in 2002, that the Cougs haven't landed at least one 4- or 5-star recruit in a class. The last three been Tyler Bruggman
in 2013, Gabe Marks
in 2012 and Chester Sua
Of remaining prospects believed to be on the Cougars' radar, Fife offensive lineman Kaleb McGary
is the only 4-star left. Bellevue defensive tackle Marcus Griffin
, who doesn't plan to announce his school of choice until LOI Day, is also rated 4 stars and says the Cougars are one of his finalists, but CF.C's analysis of available slots by position suggests WSU no longer has room for him.
IN TERMS OF THE PAC-12
schools, WSU's current national rank places them seventh in the conference – one spot better than last year.
Right now, the two Arizona schools leads the way, with the Sun Devils at No. 10 nationally and the Wildcats at No. 16. They're followed by UCLA(19th), Stanford (20th), Oregon (26th), USC (28th) and Cal (42nd). Then come the Cougars, followed by Washington(50th) and Oregon State (54th). Colorado and Utahbring up the rear, tied for 65th nationally.
2014 COUGAR VERBALS
For the complete WSU recruiting class list, CLICK HERE.
And for a look at the prospects who still could join them in the class, CLICK HERE.
The numbers could fluctuate dramatically between now and Signing Day for two simple reasons: 1) verbal commitments are non-binding; and 2) many schools have a handful of slots open.
WSU's current class falls about where the program's typical national placement is on LOI Day. If you throw out the aberrations at each end -- No. 21 in 2004 and No. 74 in 2008 -- you'll find that the 40s and 50s tend to be crimson country during the first Wednesday in February.
And for the record, that touted 2004 class turned out to be a bust of seismic proportion, illustrating one more time how this whole thing can be more crapshoot than science.
Indeed, the 1999 WSU class -- while universally rated in the 30s nationally -- was also pegged by most observers as between eighth and tenth in the Pac-10.
That class wound up being the backbone for the Cougars' three consecutive 10-win seasons from 2001-03.
WSU'S NATIONAL RECRUITING RANKING HISTORY:
2013 –- 38th, just behind Wisconsin and ahead of Kentucky
2012 –- 50th, just behind Nebraska and ahead of Penn State
2011 –- 57th, just behind Maryland and 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
2001 –- Unable to locate
2000 –- Unable to locate
1999 –- 39th, just behind Kentucky and ahead of Illinois
WSU's largest-ever haul of 4-star players was in 2002, when seven signed. Four came from the JC ranks (Sammy Moore, Jermaine Green, Jonathan Smith and Kevin Sperry) and three from the preps (Cody Boyd, Jesse Taylor and Carl Bonnell). Scout.com in the years since has reevaluted how they rank junior college players, with far fewer 5- and 4-star rated prospects coming from the JC ranks these days. In 2002, there were 34 5-star JUCO prospects. In 2014, there are three.
Of the 27 4-star players WSU has signed in the Scout.com Era, Michael Bumpus and Jerome Harrison (both in 2004 class) were far-and-away was the most productive. Each concluded his WSU career with a boatload of records.
The only 5-star recruit WSU has landed in the Scout.com Era was JC All-America safety Terry Mixon, who was dismissed from the team shortly after arriving for fall camp in 2007.