WSU's 2011 recruiting class: Lots of misses

WASHINGTON STATE is on pace to sign a star-studded class on Letter of Intent Day in February -- and much will be said about the future Cougs between now and then. But the true measure of a class can't be known until at least a few years down the road. So let's go back four years and see how the Cougs' 2011 class, the last class Paul Wulff assembled at Wazzu, panned out.

Back when schools could still oversign, this 28-member WSU class was built around linemen (8 DL, 4 OL). Wulff said he focused "so heavily" on the offensive and defensive lines to address depth issues.

On balance, Wulff termed it a quality class that didn't look as flashy as one stuffed with skill players, though he also said it was a poor recruiting year overall for linemen on the West Coast.

The Cougs signed four players from Orlando, looking to prime a new pipeline to the Sunshine State. There were three from Texas, three from Oregon and three from Washington. Eleven Cougar signees hailed from California.

The class previous to this one had an excellent 70-percent stick rate (i.e. how many made it on campus and then stuck around long enough to make a decent-to-great contribution. This 2011 class would turn out far differently.

AT THE TIME THE CLASS was unveiled, the three biggest catches were thought to be LB Chester Sua (pictured above), WR Rahmel Dockery and QB Cody Clements. Meanwhile, a two-star running back, a two-star wide receiver, a pair of two-star linebackers and a three-star wideout with no other Pac-12 offers were among those who passed them by.

Those five players -- Marcus Mason, Isiah Myers, Darryl Monroe, Tana Pritchard and Dom Williams -- serve as some of the top performers from an uneven 2011 class.

Here's the complete run down, alphabetically, on all 28:

DE Niko Aumua: The JUCO transfer did not qualify and never made it to WSU. He played at New Mexico Highlands for a season, (a D-II school), posting 30 tackles in 10 games in 2011. He doesn't show up on their roster or stats pages after '11.

DT Demetrius Cherry: Coming out of prep school, Cherry failed to qualify and didn't make it to Pullman. He went the junior college route (Contra Costa College), posting 29 tackles and 10.5 tackles-for-loss in his second season at 2012. He signed with Arizona State in 2013 and then redshirted. In 2014, he played in 11 games, starting five with the bulk coming at the end of the year, posting 15 tackles all told, nine solo.

QB Cody Clements: Clements did not see action in his two years at WSU and transferred to Cerritos College. In 2013, he completed 58 percent of his passes for 1,953 yards for 16 TDs against seven picks and then signed with Alabama-Birmingham this past December. As a junior this season at UAB, Clements was 183-275 with 14 TDs and eight interceptions. UAB went 6-6 but the school announced they were shutting down the football program recently. Adding insult to injury, UAB was not invited to a bowl despite being eligible.

DT David Davis: Davis left after two years at WSU, unable to crack the two-deeps during his time in Pullman. He transferred to Long Beach City College and this past February signed with Cal. He is listed on the Cal depth chart as a backup DT and appeared in 10 games in 2014, recording three tackles on the season.

WR Rahmel Dockery: Dockery failed to initially qualify but made it to WSU in 2012. He came in as a wide receiver but was moved to corner by the new staff. Unable to climb the depth chart at either position, he grew frustrated with the move. He left WSU in 2013 having never played in a game. He was officially cleared to join Oregon State just before the 2014 season began. He played in 11 games as a wideout, starting one (against WSU), with seven catches on the season for 184 yards, along with three carries for 18 hashes. He returned five kickoffs for 115 yards (23.0 ypr) and eight punt returns for 49 yards (6.1 avg) for the Beavers on the season.

WR Henry Eaddy: Tabbed by Wulff as one of the fastest players on the team, he appeared in 10 games his true freshman season with one start. He caught four passes for 35 yards and recorded three kick returns for 57 yards that year. After redshirting the following season, he left the program after being unable to climb up the depth chart. His Twitter page indicates he's a student at Central Florida but not a member of the football team.

DE Eli Edwards: Edwards signed in the spring of 2011 but a torn ACL late in his 2010 season resulted in a plan to delay his enrollment at WSU until 2012. He never made it to Pullman, instead joining Colorado State. In 2012, he played in 12 games and posted 14 tackles. As a senior in 2013, he played in 14 games, starting nine, and recorded 29 tackles.

RB Marcus Mason: After touching the ball only 25 times for 65 yards in 2012, Mason led the Cougars the following season in rushing (429 yards), was second in receiving (52 catches) and led the team in touches and all-purpose (non-passing) yards with 882. With the emergence of Jamal Morrow and Gerard Wicks in 2014, Mason played in all 12 games but primarily on special teams with five tackles on the year. He started two games at running back (Arizona, Oregon State) and rushed five times for seven yards, had one reception for two yards and returned three kicks for 67 yards.

DE Logan Mayes: The son of CouGreat running back Rueben Mayes, Logan played two years at WSU before using his redshirt year to transfer to Cal Poly after being unable to make a starting push at either the Buck or DE. In 2012, his near-sack of Husky quarterback Keith Price that led to Toni Pole's game-changing interception in overtime cemented his place in Apple Cup lore. At Cal Poly this past season, Mayes played in 10 games, posting 14 tackles with one tackle for less and 0.5 sacks. He was listed as the No. 2 left d-end on the final game depth chart at Cal Poly.

C Taylor Meighen: Arriving with 3-to-play-2, he appeared in three early season games in Wulff's final year against Idaho State and UNLV and started the San Diego State game. As a senior in 2012 in Leach's first season, Meighen was unable to crack the two-deeps and his disappearance from practice the last month of the season remained unexplained by WSU. He did not appear in a game his senior season.

OL Alex Mitchell: signed with WSU out of Jefferson High in Portland but failed to qualify in both 2011 and 2012 for WSU. He eventually went the junior college route, winding up ultimately at Fresno City College. He found a home in 2014 at West Texas A&M and as a junior, started all 12 games at right guard as the Buffaloes went 6-5 this season.

LB Darryl Monroe: After posting 80 and 94 tackles his first and second seasons at WSU, he recorded 70 stops in 2014 as a redshirt-junior. Monroe's first two campaigns were impressive - he was named Pac-12 honorable mention in 2012. He was expected to soar to new heights this season after starting the previous 25 contests but from the opening game, he didn't look like the same guy. His father said that in Week Two he suffered an injury that affected the rest of his season. Monroe lost his starting job midway through the 2014 season and never regained it but still saw considerable turns - his 70 tackles were third-most on the team. Following the season, Monroe told the WSU coaches of his decision to transfer and was weighing his future options at press time.

WR Isiah Myers: Having never redshirted, Myers blossomed as a senior. As a true freshman, he caught seven passes and played mostly on special teams. As a second-year sophomore in 2012 he was fourth on team with 42 receptions and 438 receiving yards; his four touchdown receptions tied for second-most on team. In 2013 he appeared in all 13 Cougar games and started nine; with 37 grabs for 425 yards and three TDs. The rap on Myers the first three seasons was that he would explode one game and then disappear. While there was a little of that in the middle of '14, his numbers can't be argued with: 78 receptions, 972 yards, 12 TDs. His receptions were second on the team behind Vince Mayle and third-most all-time at WSU. His 12 TD catches were tops on the Cougs this season and tied for second all-time.

Sizing Up Other Cougar Recruiting Classes


2010: Lots of notable talent

2009: Cougs' 2012 problem is '09 class

2008: Hastily put together, surprisingly productive

2006: Turpin's exit caps '06 talent bust

2005: 16 either washed out or never made it to campus

2004: Cougars' Achilles is '04 class

2000: More misses than hits
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MLB Darryl Paulo: He emerged as a fourth-year junior in 2014 on the defensive line, particularly in the latter half of the season, after originally coming to WSU as a middle linebacker. Something of a tweener his first season after redshirting, Paulo did not appear in a game in 2012. He saw action in 11 games in 2013, with nine tackles and 3 1/2 for loss. This past season Paulo played in 11 games with three starts, racking up 7 1/2 tackles-for loss along the way with two sacks. Though he posted but 18 tackles, his contribution was far more than the numbers suggest via a good number of QB hurries and disruptive plays.

DT T.J. Poloai: After redshirting his first season, he was dismissed from the program less than two months after Mike Leach took was hired for an unspecified violation of team rules. A check of various junior college and college sources came up empty on Poloai after his dismissal from Washington State in January 2012.

LB Tana Pritchard: After starting the 2014 season as the starting WILL, Pritchard lost the job to Jeremiah Allison and seemed to play more sparingly as the year went on. Still, he played in 11 games and posted 23 tackles (11 solo) As a third-year sophomore in 2013, Pritchard appeared in all 13 Cougar games, starting the final three and recorded 55 tackles, fifth-most on the team, including four for loss. As a second-year freshman in 2012, he appeared in 11 games, mostly on special teams, with eight tackles. He was the 2011 Scout Team Defensive Player of the Year at WSU during his redshirt year.

TE Mansel Simmons: Simmons was knocked unconscious and suffered serious facial fractures and head injuries in an altercation with an Idaho football player in 2013, retiring from football a short time later. A 6-4, 214-pound tight end who was trying to make the transition to a Leach-style offense or find a home on defense, Simmons redshirted his first year and did not appear in a game the following year. He accepted a medical hardship scholarship from WSU.

LB Chester Sua: He was dismissed from WSU by the university's conduct board for undisclosed actions that took place last spring after his appeal was denied. He was beat out this past fall camp by Pritchard at the WILL for a starting job but played the first two games before either being sidelined or absent the rest of the season in practice. His career began positively, as he worked his way into the starting lineup as a true freshman by Week Six of the 2011 season. He appeared in 24 games his first two years, with six starts, and posted 56 tackles. But an injury (an unconfirmed back injury) shut him down in 2013 and he was unable to practice for about a year before returning to action this past spring.

OT Wendell Taiese: He failed to qualify academically at WSU and went the JUCO route, first at Arizona Western and then Laney. He signed with Iowa State this past February and although he did not start a game this season, the junior was listed as the No. 2 left tackle on the season-ending depth chart.

WR Dom Williams: Williams was fifth on the Cougs in receptions this past season as a fourth-year junior, with 46 catches for 653 yards. He tied for second-most TD receptions in 2014 with nine. He became a reliable touchdown maker as a third-year sophomore in 2013, scoring seven times on 40 receptions and was second on team in reception yardage with 647. He appeared in 11 games as a second-year freshman in 2012, starting the final five and finished with 34 receptions for 536 yards and three touchdowns.

DE Lenard Williams: He arrived at WSU in 2011 out of Iowa Western JC but as WSU transition to the 3-4 in 2011, the 6-2, 253-pounder was never able to find a spot despite a number of injuries up and down the line in his final fall camp nor during the first half of his senior season. He left the program midway through the season.

CB Spencer Waseem: Waseem played in one early game his true freshman season before injuring his knee and redshirting. He departed the program during his redshirt freshman season in 2012 for undisclosed reasons. He was a "school start" for the 2012 fall camp, meaning he was not one of the 105 players deemed eligible to participate by WSU until rosters expanded with the first day of classes. A check of various junior college and college sources came up empty on Waseem after his departure Washington State.

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