WSU recruiting chief answers fans' questions

THE FASTEST PLAYER, the hardest hitters, the immediate contributors … Washington State’s football recruiting coordinator, Dave Emerick, filled in the blanks on those questions and dozens more in his annual LOI Day lunch-time chat with readers of You won’t find him uttering a word about one guy (Dennis Simmons) who was on the minds of many fans, but he waxed eloquent on the rest.

Simmons, WSU’s outside receivers coach, is widely expected to be announced this week as a new member of Bob Stoops’ staff at Oklahoma. As one of WSU’s prime-time recruiters in the Los Angeles Basin, he was top of mind with WSU fans today because the Cougars have lost a series of verbal commits from the LA area here at the wire.

As for the questions Emerick (pictured at far left above) did tackle, he offered all kinds of insights on WSU’s 2015 class of recruits. Here are the highlights:

Gene Cramer: Of the H.S. kids in place, who might be game ready for next season?
Emerick: I think that of the high school kids that we signed Kyle Sweet will have a chance to contribute on offense along with Thomas Toki, Kameron Powell, Logan Tago, amongst others on defense.

SteveSarkBarks: Who all has a chance to contribute immediately?
Emerick: I would say that all of the JUCO kids will have a great chance to contribute right away. We are bringing Jeremiah Mitchell, Aaron Porter, Shalom Luani, C.J. Dimry, and Treshon Broughton in to compete for positions right away.

KVC_7: Dave, what recruit would you say has the most interesting storyline?
Emerick: I think an interesting background is Shalom Luani, who grew up as a soccer star in American Samoa. He played on the American Samoa National Soccer team and was one of their best players in elite competition. He is relatively new to the game of football and has a ton of untapped potential

hennecd: How excited are you about the class>?
Emerick: We are very excited about the talent level of the class. We feel that we got bigger and more explosives on both of the lines as well as brought in several talented, experience players who are capable of competing at a high level right away.

WayneIsWorking: Can you talk about CJ Dimry. How did you hear about him and what was it you see that others didn't? Looked pretty solid to me.
Emerick: CJ was an overlooked guy. Grew into his body late and really just started to develop this past year at Junior College. He is a tall, athletic, big play receiver that is able to go up and get balls. He has great bloodlines as well as his dad played in the NFL for 12 years

WayneIsWorking: What do you think of the idea of an early signing period?
Emerick: I think an early signing period would certainly have its advantages and it would eliminate a lot of scrambling on signing day by schools in the current structure.

CougPeterson: What influence did new Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch and LB Coach Roy Manning have on this class and what can we expect from them in the near future?
Emerick: Obviously with Coach Grinch and Coach Manning coming on board late in the recruiting cycle, they weren't able to make the same types of relationships with the recruits that they will make in future recruiting. They do provide an enormous sense of energy, excitement, and passion that is contagious to young athlete's. I look forward to seeing what they will do on the recruiting trail in the near future!

currcoug: When will we turn around in-state recruiting in the 2016 recruiting cycle?
Emerick: We will always make a great effort to recruit the state of Washington. Thomas Toki was one of the best players in the state of WA as a junior before transferring to CA to finish up high school. While we didn't have the numbers we typically have in the state, it was not because of lack of effort or dedication to the state in recruiting.

WayneIsWorking: Looks like the DL's we signed are on the shorter side. Does Coach Joe like them a little smaller so they can get the lower leverage, or does body frame have any sort of impact on the style of play/gap assignments?
Emerick: We typically like our nose guards a little shorter but our main criteria for playing on the D-Line is that they are good football players. We try to look at how quick, explosive, violent, athletic, and active they are opposed to whether they measure up to a certain height. That being said, we certainly are excited about a 6'4" defensive lineman like Jeremiah Mitchell that can do a lot of great things!

SteveSarkBarks: Who is the fastest player in the class?
Emerick: I would say that the fastest player that we signed is the transfer from Clemson, Kyrin Priester. He is a very talented kid that has an extremely bright future!

WayneIsWorking: Can you talk about the process of that final in-home visit where Leach finally can be in house. Is there a specific agenda they go over, or does it vary player by player. I would imagine it might be tough to keep Coach Leach on topic. :)
Emerick: Coach Leach is great in the homes because he makes everyone feel extremely comfortable around him. He likes to share his vision of Washington State to the recruits and where he sees that particular recruit fit in our program. He knows a lot about almost everything so can have a lasting conversation on anything from football to tv shows to books to history to food to places to travel, etc.

rharkins63: Will there be free beer tonight at Northern Quest?
Emerick: I am not sure if it is free or not but I am pulling for you!

Gene Cramer: Does Hunter Mattox project more as an interior D Lineman?
Emerick: Hunter Mattox will probably end up as an interior guy if he continues to get bigger. He is a big kid now but projects to be even bigger which will be a great thing if he keeps his athleticism and mobility.

2015 Cougar Recruiting


Offensive linemen: 5
(avg. weight 286)

Defensive linemen: 4
(avg. weight 273)

Defensive backs: 5

Linebackers: 2

Receivers: 3

Running backs: 1

Quartbacks: 1

Kickers: 1

Athletes: 1


High schoolers: 16

JC transfers: 5

College transfers: 1

Holdovers from ’14 class: 1

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SteveSarkBarks: Who is the hardest hitter in the class?
Emerick: I think that the hardest hitters would have to be Shalom Luani, Aaron Porter, and Kameron Powell. We are really excited to see what those guys can do in our defense next season.

Rich Howard: The Singleton kid from Pasco was a grade casualty last year but earned his way in this year. How is he adapting to college life?
Emerick: Deion Singleton is a kid with a ton of potential. He is rounding into shape now after the semester he took off to take care of academic work and is currently going through midnight maneuvers so if he is not in the best shape now, he will be soon!

JohnBow41: Who is the guy in the class we should all be more excited about but for whatever reason, has flown a little under the radar? Thanks
Emerick: Joseph Price grew up as a rugby player and is a massive offensive tackle that helped Redlands East Valley win a State Championship. Darrien Molton is a kid that had a big junior year but got hurt his senior year and didn't have the same accolades. A guy like Nnamdi Oguayo is a great athlete but has only played two years of organized football so we feel like his best days are ahead of him.

SteveSarkBarks: If a kid sends you a fax at 3 in the morning does it not count and he has to send it again when the official opening of signing day begins?
Emerick: A fax needs to come in after 7:00am on Signing Day for it to be valid so yes, they would have to re-send it

JohnBow41: There are 22 commits listed on the WSU site. Do you anticipate getting to 25 in the coming days and weeks or will you hold those slots open to use next class?
Emerick: we will use all 25 scholarships for the 2015 class

Tom Eastman: We lost the question but here’s the answer …
Emerick: We are very pleased with the talent that we were able to bring in and believe that several of these kids will have a chance to make an immediate impact. We placed an emphasis on the offensive and defensive lines and were able to get more physical and explosive on both of these lines.

WayneIsWorking: Sounded like Coach McGuire was pretty excited about the amount of scholarship OL's he'll have next season. Are there any kids from last year's class that we should look forward to seeing next season?
Emerick: Andre Dillard is a kid that we are very excited about seeing how he has progressed in the last year!

WayneIsWorking: Some kids seem to take getting a scholarship for granted. A kid like Joseph Price seems to see this as a golden opportunity for an education. Is there any particular kid that comes to mind in the last few years, starter or not, that will you're just glad to see got an opportunity to get an education via a football scholarship that might not have had the opportunity?
Emerick: Joseph Price is a great example of this. He has a really tough home life and a scholarship will afford him great opportunities in life. There are several examples of this each year and it is a really neat part of our job to see.

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