Recruiting: Can WSU take 'em all?

THE COUGS’ 2015 commit list on Scout.com shows 26 names, with Texas DB Willie Sykes the last crimson verbal. That figure doesn’t take into account 2015 holdover CB/S Deion Singleton. Mike Leach is also still pursuing additional high-value targets with Signing Day just over two weeks away. But schools can only sign 25, there is no more oversigning. So how will Washington State juggle the numbers?

First off, WSU can’t count any midyear enrollees back towards the previous class. Schools can do that IF they had less than 25 initial counters put on scholie the previous year. But a while back WSU confirmed to CF.C they had 25 initial counters last year and therefore can't do so this class.

So, the Cougs presently have 27 to fill 25 spots -- and with possibly more verbals still to come. How does WSU get down to signing 25?

1. Others on the commit list, or one of the recent verbals themselves, could delay their enrollment until January 2016. This used to be called grayshirting but by definition grayshirting contained a signed Letter of Intent. With oversigning no longer allowed, the player and school can simply agree to delay enrollment until next January. WSU in these instances has had such players sign what’s been referred to as a grayshirt letter or grayshirt paperwork. But it’s not binding, neither for the recruit nor the school.

That said, if history is any indication, it’s ultimately going to play out according to plan far more often than not, with the recruit arriving the following January and Washington State welcoming him with open arms.

2. There could be more flipping to come. Since the open period began on Jan. 15, we've already seen a number of schools come charging hard at Cougar verbals like Kyahva Tezino, Thomas Toki, Kameron Powell, Jonah Moi -- and they won't be the last. Washington State, in turn, is still recruiting other schools' verbals who are open to the idea of donning the crimson and gray, and also a handful of high-value uncommitted targets (such as 4-star cornerback Marcus Lewis).

Add it all up and there could be some machinations to come on the WSU commit list and if history is any indication, movement could take place right up until and into Signing Day. Note: Recruits can first fax in their signed Letters of Intent to Washington State at 7 a.m. PST on Feb. 4 (yes, they still use fax machines!!)

There's another aspect to all of this, one we brought up in an article way back in February 2013 when oversigning first went away: There's always a possibility a recruits may not qualify academically. "Schools will need to be much more judicious going forward in signing academic risks than they previously had to be when oversigning was allowed," the article reads.

And if there's a considerable risk either in achieving a qualifying score or graduating, it only makes sense that some of those players could be asked to delay enrollment, and regardless of how good of a "get" they may be.

CougFans are familiar with the concept: Deion Singleton signed this past February but then did not qualify in time to join the Cougs this past fall camp. The silver lining is it gives fans an idea of how much Wazzu valued Singleton's potential and collegiate future in that they were willing to sign him when his ability to qualify by Fall 2014 was iffy and that he might not arrive until January 2015, which is what happened.

Now, all of that said with regard to the 2015 crop, this looks to be a very solid class academically, though the hard data points on that don't start to come in until June-July when (most of) the new class will arrive out on the Palouse. And we say "most" because some in the '15 crop are already at Washington State.

Washington State hasn’t put out a release officially confirming the midyear enrollees yet but independent sources on campus have told Cougfan.com that four have gone from being future Cougars to just Cougars -- 4-star DE Jeremiah Mitchell, 3-star QB Tyler Hilinski, Clemson WR transfer Kyrin Priester and Pasco's Singleton. Mitchell appears to be the last of the four to get to campus, tweeting out less than 24 hours ago that he has arrived to Wazzu. Classes for the term began on Jan. 12.

Washington State as of press time had 25 known verbal commitments, 1 transfer and 1 holdover for a total of 27: OL Joseph Price, DB Willie Sykes, WR Dahu Green, WR Kyle Sweet, S Shalom Luani, DE Jeremiah Mitchell, DE Jonah Moi, LB Kyahva Tezino, LB Logan Tago, OL Amosa Sakaria, DT Dillon Faamatau, LB Eddie Rudinski, DL Hunter Mattox, OT Davis Perrott, CB Treshon Broughton, WR Kyrin Priester (transfer), OG Noah Myers, K Matt Abramo, OT Cedric Bigge-Duren, WR Deontay Burnett, CB Darrien Molton, LB Aaron Porter, RB James Williams, S Kameron Powell, QB Tyler Hilinski, DT Thomas Toki and CB/S Deion Singleton (holdover).

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