BARRING A SERIES of major surprises, Washington State isn't going to have the top 25 recruiting class that was shaping up until a series wrong-way flips, but the Cougars are in line for their best national showing on LOI day since 2004 and second-best since the fabled 1999 class. Scout.com currently ranks WSU's expected class of 2015 at No. 33 in the country and No. 7 in the Pac-12.
The 1999 class, which fueled WSU’s three-straight 10-win seasons from 2001-03, was 39th in the land but at or near the bottom of the Pac-10. And, much like this year’s WSU class, it was actually rated much higher for much of the recruiting cycle.
The only other WSU class since then with a higher national finish came in 2004. That group was rated No. 21, but it devolved quickly into a monumental bust that helped set the table for the decade of field woes that would follow.
This year’s Cougar class, at No. 33, ranks just behind Nebraska and just ahead of Miami and Virginia Tech, who are currently tied at 34th. DT Thomas Toki
is one of five 4-star Cougar pledges (Jeremiah Mitchell
, Shalom Luani
, Kameron Powell
, Taeon Mason
Six Pac-12 teams are currently in the top 30 in the nation with their 2015 recruiting classes:
The Cougars are next, followed by Arizona at 36th, Cal 43rd, Utah 47th, Oregon State 71st and Colorado 73rd.
Those numbers will continue to move over the coming hours, and even days, as late-choosing players commit and others pull a switch, but dramatic shifts are unlikely.
These ratings are a loose guide based on subjectivity, thus to be taken with a grain of salt, but they are a decent starting point for discussion.
One of my favorite examples of why the ratings should be viewed casually is this one that my old CF.C colleague Pat Mitchell discovered a decade ago: The collective
number of stars awarded to Marcus Trufant, Erik Coleman and Will Derting when they were high school seniors was less
than the 5 stars given to a quarterback from that same era: future third-string Husky Casey Paus. Together
, their prep star power didn't equal Paus.
Here's the complete run-down of
Scout.com's national team recruiting rankings for 2015
(which will be updated continually over the coming days).
WSU's NATIONAL RECRUITING RANKING HISTORY:
2014 –- 57th, just behind Boston College and ahead of Northwestern
2013 –- 45th, just behind Penn State and ahead of Northwestern
2012 –- 50th, just behind Nebraska and ahead of Penn State
2011 –- 57th, just behind UCLA 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
If you throw out aberrations at each end -- No. 21 in 2004 and No. 74 in 2008 -- you'll find that the 40s and 50s tend to be where WSU classes rank nationally.
If you case you’re wondering just how stacked that 1999 WSU recruiting class was, here is a sampling of the names: Trufant, Rien Long, Matt Kegel, Josh Parrish, Isaac Brown, Sam Lightbody, Al Genatone, Collin Henderson, Jeremey Williams and Milton Wynn.
ONE-TIME COUGAR STARS AND FUTURE NFL PLAYERS ERIK COLEMAN, Jason David AND MARCUS TRUFANT WERE STAR-CHALLENGED AS HIGH SCHOOL PROSPECTS, ILLUSTRATING THE POINT THAT RECRUITING IS MORE ART THAN SCIENCE.|