Projecting WSU '15 recruiting needs, numbers

WITH RECRUITING NOW front and center, one of the more fascinating aspects is always the numbers/needs vs. talent decisions that take place. If the Cougs fill their needs at a certain position, but then another star prospect decides he too wants to come on board, WSU isn’t going to turn him away. So how might that work this recruiting class? Here’s how we project that, the numbers/needs and more.

Based on the talent pool at each position and our lay of the land, the two positions WSU is most likely to add to below are cornerback and wide receiver.

In other words, below we project WSU to take three wideouts. But if a fourth star receiver surfaces, then WSU would pull from another position to make it work (and other than corner.) Schools can longer oversign, you can ink 25 and no more on the first Wednesday in February.

When it comes to the corners and safeties, we project WSU to take 4-5 defensive backs total. And we project the CB/S breakdown to be a fluid situation, ultimately determined by WSU’s evaluation on the most talent/upside.

We also project for Mike Leach to take more defensive players than offensive ones in the 2015 class.

This is not a comprehensive list of every remaining target on the WSU radar but rather, a snapshot look at how each position is shaping up here in the first week of December.

Projected to sign: 1
Verbal Commit: Tyler Hilinski, 3-stars.

CF.C snapshot:Hilinski signed his financial aid agreement and plans to graduate high school at the end of this month, enroll at WSU in January and participate in spring ball. Hilinski led Upland High deep into the playoffs, coming up short in the semifinals. He finished his season completing 68.2 percent of his passes. He was 165 of 242 for 2,738 yards with 22 TDs against five interceptions. He’s not a running QB but he had 94 carries for 166 yards (including sack yardage) and four rushing touchdowns.

Projected to sign: 1
Verbal Commit: James Williams, 3-stars
CF.C snapshot: Williams tore his ACL in the first game of his senior season, tweeting last week his surgery was successful and he’ll enroll at WSU this summer. Williams is an all-purpose threat. As a junior, he racked up 2,350 all-purpose hashes (1,503 rushing; 491 receiving; 185 on five kickoff returns; 171 hashes on 12 punt returns.) “Please believe I’m going to work harder than ever and I will come back stronger than ever and get to Wazzu and ball,” he told CF.C recently.

Projected to sign: 3
Verbal Commits: Deontay Burnett, 3-stars; Kyrin Priester, PG (post-graduate)
Among the remaining WSU targets in the mix: Isaac Whitney (6-4, 200); Dahu Green (6-3, 185); Desean Holmes (5-9, 151); George Wilson (6-3, 180); Kanawai Noa (6-0, 170).
CF.C snapshot: Burnett is no longer listed as a soft verbal on after but his recruitment still bears close watching based on a Wednesday text conversation with CF.C. He visited WSU this past weeken and afterwards told CF.C he remains solid with WSU. On Wednesday, he texted CF.C he doesn’t have any other official visits scheduled as of now – so that removes the soft verbal. But, and this is why it remains potentially fluid, in that text conversation when asked if he was still considering other schools, he said; “Right now I’m committed, but if something else comes we would have to see.” Whitney is arguably the top rated JUCO prospect in the nation this year but time is running out for him to trip to WSU before he is expected to sign Dec. 17 as a midyear transfer, though he could take that all the way until Jab. 15. Green is a three-star soft verbal to Louisville with double-digit offers ranked No. 58 nationally. Holmes is a four-star prospect who just decommitted from USC with his prep coach saying USC couldn't wait any longer for Holmes to achieve a qualifying mark on his SAT. He has a great burst and can be used in a variety of ways. Wilson is a three-star soft verbal to Utah and a Top 150 wideout. Noa is an inside receiver with 4.41 speed who holds offers from Cal, Utah State and others. (Dominic Davis was a verbal pledge earlier this season to WSU before flipping to USC.)

Projected to sign: 5-6
Verbal Commits: Cedric Bigge-Duren, 3-stars; Noah Myers, 3-stars; Austin Maihen, 3-stars
Among the remaining WSU targets in the mix: Davis Perrott (6-5, 270); Pesi Savea (6-7, 305); Viliamu Auwae (6-5, 265); Darrin Paulo (6-6, 320).
CF.C snapshot: Maihen (6-5, 285); Myers (6-5, 300) and Bigge-Duren (6-6, 295) all have the size, frame and athleticism Leach looks for in an o-lineman operating in his wide-split formation. Perrot has one more trip to take to Indiana this weekend, with a possible decision by mid-December. Hawaiian three-star prospects Savea and Auwae are expected to visit Washington State in either mid-December or in January. Paulo the younger brother of WSU senior-to-be DL Darryl Paulo, is rated three-stars and has offers from virtually the entire Pac-12.

DL *Updated
Projected to sign: 4
Verbal Commits: Thomas Toki, 4-stars
Among the remaining WSU targets in the mix: Tim Settle, T.J. Fehoko (pictured above) Dillon Faamatau, Mufi Hunt, Jeremiah Mitchell, Jonah Moi, DeVante Wilson, Brendon Hayes, Simi Moala.
CF.C snapshot: Settle (6-2, 339)) would be a monster get. (Adam McLean informed CF.C Friday afternoon staying close to home was the most important thing for him and that he has verballed to Maryland. Settle visits this weekend (and has called an end to media interviews). He is built low to the ground and has been virtually unblockable this season at the high school level. Fehoko (6-1, 250) is rated three-stars, a soft verbal to Colorado and holds rides from WSU, Oregon State, Colorado, Utah, Utah State, Pitt, Vanderbilt, Hawaii and others. Faamatau (6-4, 280) a three-star prospect could be making his decision sometime this month between WSU, ASU, Utah and others. Hunt is long and lean at 6-6, 225 and the three-star prospect holds offers from the majority of the Pac-12. Mitchell is a three-star JUCO product (6-5, 260) who racked up 13.5 TFL this season. The two-star prospect plays very well in space and posted 82 tackles this season. Wilson (6-5, 245) is a three-star prospect also out of RCC and holds Pac-12 offers from WSU, ASU and Cal. Hayes has not been ranked by but holds double-digit offers out of New Orleans. Simi Moala is another three-star prospect. Out of Los Angeles he checks in at 6-7, 245 and at last report held rides from Washington State, Utah, Miami and Illinois.

Projected to sign: 4
Verbal Commits: Aaron Porter
Among the remaining WSU targets in the mix: Kyahva Tezino, Gabe Reid, Jonah Moi, Eddie Rudinski
CF.C snapshot: Tezino is rated four stars and highly versatile, the 6-0, 200-pounder is expected to take more visits in January and make his decision close to Signing Day. Also from Riverside CC, Moi (6-4, 235) is classified as a two-star d-end but might be a linebacker at the next level. Reid is a load at 6-2, 240-pounds, has offers from most of the Pac-12 and is rated three stars. Rudinski is quick, with good lateral movement that allows him to cover a lot of space at 6-2, 220-pounds. He is rated three-stars.

Projected to sign: 4-5
Verbal Commits: Kameron Powell, 4-stars; Darrien Molton, 3-stars
Among the remaining WSU targets in the mix: Austin Joyner, Shalom Luani, Mohammed Berry, Javari Anderson, Ron Smith, Kareem Orr, Marcus Lewis, Darreyl Patterson, Cameron Haney, Treshon Broughton.
CF.C snapshot: Powell has great hips and is one of those fews who could be a safety or a corner at the Pac-12 level. Molton is a natural cover corner who clocked a 4.03 shuttle and a 38-inch vertical this summer. Austin Joyner decommitted and opened things back up this week. The 4-star prospect is waiting (along with CougFans) to find out who his position coach and DC will be in Pullman. He is scheduled to visit WSU on Jan. 23 and this one is likely to go down to Signing Day (but then again, don’t they all.) The guess here is Leach will wait to use his one in-home visit around that time. Luani (6-1, 200) is a soft verbal to Oregon State. Lewis is a 4-star corner out of Washington D.C. who would be a big-time get. Patters is a three-star corner out of Oklahoma, Haney is a three-star CB out of Los Angeles with seven offers at last check and Broughton is another three-star prospect who is verbally committed to Oregon State.

Projected to sign: 1
Verbal Commit: Matt Abramo


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