SURE, THE BOTTOM fell out of Washington State’s recruiting class with late defections hurtling the Cougars’ class down about 20 spots on the Scout.com national list over the last several days. But the fact is, there’s a lot of intriguing talent in WSU's new class -- and about 20 percent of it comes from a source that was completely absent in the 2014 class: junior college transfers.
The Cougs landed five JC players in the class they unveiled Wednesday. All five are expected to compete for playing time this coming season, WSU recruiting coordinator Dave Emerick told Cougfan.com readers in a Wednesday chat room session.
“We are bringing Jeremiah Mitchell
, Aaron Porter
, Shalom Luani
, C.J. Dimry
, and Treshon Broughton
in to compete for positions right away,” he said.
Given their credentials -- and, in one case, height -- it’s not hard to imagine.
Not surprisingly, in light of the Cougars’ troubles on defense last season, four of the five play on that side of the ball.
1. USC (1st nationally)
2. UCLA (9th)
3. Arizona State (19th)
4. Oregon (21st)
5. Washington (23rd)
6. Stanford (25th):
7. California (37th)
8. Arizona (41st)
9. WASHINGTON STATE (45th)
10. Utah (53rd)
11. Oregon State (64st)
12. Colorado (74th)
6. Notre Dame
8. Ohio State
10. Texas A&M
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Broughton, a cornerback, is perhaps the one most eyes will be on when he arrives this summer.
With Kevin Griffin
transferring and Daquawn Brown
being dismissed from the team, the Cougars will be thin at corner in 2015. Pat Porter
, Marcellus Pippins
and Charleston White
-- all youngsters -- will be the veterans of the group, with untested former receiver Sebastian LaRue
, second-year freshman Jeff Farrar
and just-signed Sean Harper
and Darrien Molton
looking to mix things up.
That gives the 175-pound Broughton (pictured far right above) a pretty good berth to make a mark.
He is said to have excellent range, and at 6-1 he fits the growing trend toward taller corners. This past season at Riverside CC he posted 34 tackles, 11 pass break ups and five interceptions. Scout.com rates him the No. 57 overall JC prospect in the nation.
His path to Pullman has been an interesting one. He signed with Fresno State out of Vista Murrieta High before academic hurdles rerouted him to the JCs. And in this recruiting cycle he originally verbaled to Oregon State before switching to WSU following Mike Riley’s move to Nebraska.
Here’s the lowdown on the other four JC members of the class:
DE JEREMIAH MITCHELL, 6-5, 260
(pictured second from left):
A 4-star prospect who also had offers from Oregon, Tennessee and Arizona State, he is the No. 28 overall junior college prospect in the nation according to Scout.com. He’s already enrolled at WSU so will have the benefit of spring ball to jump start his bid for playing time in the fall. He posted 23 TFLs over the last two seasons. Scout.com says he's college ready and can become an impact player in 2015. The Cougs will need him to be, having lost one of their starting edge linemen in Xavier Cooper
, who opted early for the NFL.
LB AARON PORTER, 6-3, 230
(pictured second from right)
With the unexpected transfers of Darryl Monroe
and Tana Pritchard
and the graduation loss of Cyrus Coen
, Porter may be just the tonic new defensive coordinator Alex Grinch
needs to shore up the linebacking group. He's so versatile he could play any of the four LB positions. Porter spent two years at UCLA before transferring to Cerritos JC, where he posted a team-high 87 tackles with 11 TFLs and 5 sacks on his way to 2014 all-conference honors. Coming out of high school in 2012, he was the No. 11-rated MLB prospect in the nation by Scout.com and a 4-star recruit.
S SHALOM LUANI, 6-1, 200
(pictured far left above)
This one-time soccer standout from American Samoa is rated 4 stars by Scout.com and the No. 19 overall junior college prospect in the nation. He spent the past two seasons at JC powerhouse City College of San Francisco, where he was named first-team All-American and the 2014 California defensive player of the year. He was high school teammates with Cougar nose tackle Robert Barber
. He chose WSU over Washington, Oregon State and Illinois. On paper, he may have his work cut out to crack the starting line up as the Cougs return Taylor Taliulu
, Darius Lemora
, Sulaiman Hameed
, Isaac Dotson
and '14 holdover Deion Singleton
. Just-signed Kameron Powell
will also be given a long look. But the buzz on Luani has been of a player capable of making the starting transition from the JUCO ranks to the Pac-12 in his first year.
WR C.J. DIMRY, 6-6, 210
Say what you will about the technique required to play receiver, there’s one thing that can’t be taught and that’s height. At 6-6, Dimry will tower over the rest of the Cougars’ receiving corps, the vast majority of whom stand between 5-7 and 6-0. Dimry can give the Cougars a brand new dimension, especially in the red zone. This past season at Saddleback College he caught 26 passes for 541 yards (20.8 per reception) and six touchdowns. His father Charles was an NFL corner for 12 seasons.
NOTABLE JC NOTES:
WSU's 2014 recruiting class was an aberration with zero JC transfers. Between 2008 and 2013 the Cougars averaged a little under five JC transfers per class, putting this 2015 group right into the norm.
For the mother lode of JC gold, consider that the Cougars' 2002 recruiting class included Jonathan Smith, Jermaine Green, Don Jackson and Sammy Moore -- all mainstays on the 10-win WSU teams of 2002 and 2003.
WSU's 2004 recruiting class included two JC transfers who would go on to the NFL: record-shattering running back Jerome Harrison and defensive back Tyron Brackenridge (who is still knocking heads today in the CFL).
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2015 COUGAR OUTLOOK ON OFFENSE
2015 COUGAR OUTLOOK ON DEFENSE