Biggest 'star' of WSU class gets no love

HAD HE CLIMBED on board last year at this time, he would have been hailed one of the greatest "gets" in Cougar recruiting over the last 15 years. Explosive and polished, the wideout from southern California had offers from Ohio State, Oklahoma, virtually all of the Pac-12, and others. He signed with Texas A&M and redshirted this past season. Last month, he enrolled at Washington State.

And today, Sebastian LaRue is part of the Cougars' 2014 class.

But if your world is limited to the database, or this morning's Seattle Times for that matter, you won't see his name at all, even though he's an immense talent who was rated one of the 150 top overall prep prospects in the nation by ESPN last year. He puts nothing less than a giant exclamation mark on the Cougars' 2014 class.

But he won't appear on the WSU commit list that appears here on, and he won't count toward the star system that determines how each school's recruiting class is ranked nationally.

The reason is because of's policy in how transfers are treated. They only want a player counted in the recruiting database one time -- in this case, that would be a year ago when LaRue was coming out of Santa Monica High. So because he is listed in Texas A&M's 2013 class, he won't be listed in WSU's 2014 class -- even though he's one of the 25 scholarship recipients in this recruiting cycle from WSU.

What makes his omission from WSU's recruiting list even more head scratching is the fact junior college transfers get ranked and assigned stars, and the vast majority of them will have less eligibility remaining than does LaRue.

LaRue will participate fully in WSU's spring practices, which start next month, but won't be able to play in a game this season under transfer rules. He'll then have three years of eligibility left.

Or maybe not.

LaRue is appealing to the NCAA to waive the requirement that as a transfer he must sit out a season. If he wins, he'd have four to play four at WSU. The grounds for his appeal are thought to have to do with the illness of a family member. The NCAA has a mixed track record in such cases, and it's hard to always see how they came to a favorable decision in one case while declining another. (See notable note at bottom.)

In any event, LaRue is one heck of a pick up for Washington State.

Last year he was rated one of the top 10 receivers in the land by ESPN and one of the top 50 by Over his junior and senior seasons of high school he caught a collective 111 passes for 1,749 yards. He also played cornerback in high school. In fact, he played it so well, there was uncertainly among analysts whether he'd head to college at a receiver or corner.

He's ticketed for receiver all the way at WSU, where he will be joined in the 2014 class by an impressive collection of fellow wideouts in Calvin Green, Zaire Andre, Keith Harrington and Barry Ware.

A year ago, that haul at wideout, with the highly touted LaRue leading the way, would have attracted serious attention, and given WSU's national recruiting rating a nice boost.

Not this year. And Mike Leach, no doubt, could care less. Because the true measure of a recruit is always what happens on the field, not on a rankings page.

In one case this past September, the NCAA initially declined a transfer's waiver request after the player's father and brother had died in the space of two months. So, you know, if DEATH isn't a good enough reason for the NCAA...

After the ensuing outcry, the NCAA reversed their decision and allowed the player to transfer closer to home so he could lend support to his mother without having to sit out a season. The NCAA added that they would add a new guideline so that the rule didn't only include immediate family members who were ill, but ones who had also passed away. Because apparently that needed to be spelled out. Brilliant.

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