A LOOK AT the schools Washington State beat out to land its new class of football recruits turned up a series of common names. In the Pac-12, Cal, Oregon State, Colorado and Utah were among the finalists for many of the new Cougs. And outside the conference, Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada were frequent foe down the stretch.
Whether there's a correlation or not is unknown, but it's interesting to note that of those Pac-12 schools the Cougars battled most often for recruits, three of them, along with WSU, represent the four most frugal programs in the conference when it comes to the amount spent on recruiting.
crunched a mountain of the most recently available data from the NCAA and ran this story
the other day detailing how much each school in the nation spent on recruiting in 2012-13. Cal at $313,329, WSU at $363,683, Colorado at $399,193 and Oregon State at $430,000 spent the least in the Pac-12.
Private schools USC and Stanford did not report their numbers. But of the rest of the Pac-12, the biggest recruiting spender was Washington, which nearly doubled up on WSU, at $709,212. That UW total was 93 percent greater than the amount they spent in 2008-09 -- by far the biggest hike in that time frame of any school in the conference, according to the USA Today stats.
Oregon was second highest in the conference in 2012-13 spending at $674,735, followed by Arizona State at $660,299, Utah $532,314, UCLA $505,420 and Arizona $476,364.
WSU's low total is interesting because transportation costs for coaches and prospective athletes would likely be greater for Pullman than a Los Angeles or Seattle, where so many prospects are within a short distance of campus.
WHILE THERE STILL FIGURES TO BE A BIT OF
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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movement by the time all the ink is dry, the clear winner of the 2015 recruiting wars in the Pac-12 was USC. The Trojans' class has been hailed far and wide as not just tops in the West, but No. 1 in the entire nation.
In regard to WSU, this may forever be remembered as "the class that almost was." Between Jan. 15, when the holiday dead period for recruiting ended, and the conclusion of LOI Day, Washington State's class fell from sixth to ninth in Scout.com's conference ratings and from No. 25 to No. 45 nationally. The stretch run yielded a merry-go-round of flips unlike any recruiting cycle we've seen since CF.C started covering the talent wars in 1998. Over the final two weeks, WSU saw eight verbal commits depart in LB Kyahva Tezino (San Diego State), LB Eddie Rudinski (Dartmouth), WR Taeon Mason (San Jose State), WR Deontay Burnett (USC), LB Jonah Moi (Oregon), DT Dillon Faamatau (Arizona State), WR Dahu Green (Oklahoma) and DB Willie Sykes (Arkansas).
WSU may get a bump upward of one or two spots on the national list when DB Sean Harper
, who signed Thursday, is added to the mix. Or they could stay right where they are at 45th; Harper was not evaluated on Scout.com prior to Signing Day and is likely to receive two stars. WSU now has 24 on board and will likely take one more to get to the maximum 25.
HERE'S WHAT PEOPLE WERE SAYING THIS WEEK ABOUT WSU'S NEW CLASS:
The sour finish sullied what had loomed as a nice comeback by Leach after WSU’s season from hell of 2014.
-Bud Withers, Seattle Times
Grade: C. Defensive talent is first and foremost for the Cougars in this class, which surely must be exciting for Washington State fans.
The strength of the class is found on the two lines, which is always a good thing. But given the late-game chaos that ensued after it was reported Simmons was talking with Oklahoma, CougFans on twitter and out in cyberspace were left wondering Wednesday about what might have been.
Huskies survive signing day while WSU suffers
-Headline on Sports Press NW story by Adam Lewis
Despite a flurry of late defections, Washington State’s 2015 recruiting class is one of its most highly regarded in years. But, oh, what could have been.
-Jacob Thorpe, Spokesman-Review
I think this is the best class we’ve had since I’ve been here.
- Mike Leach
SO, WHO IS THE BEST PLAYER IN THE CLASS?
That's always a crapshoot. Given the tender ages of the players and the fact they're entering a Power 5 conference, the crystal ball can be awfully cloudy. That said, we'll hold our feet to the proverbial fire and peg LB Aaron Porter from the JUCO ranks (pictured above) and DT Thomas Toki from the preps.
Porter (6-3, 230) moves so well and in so many directions he can play any of the four linebacker spots in the Cougs' 3-4 base defense. That's rare. Toki will need time to develop but his burst off the ball, natural strength and hand-fighting skills are well above the norm -- and speaks directly to his 4-star rating.
If you missed WSU recruiting coordinator Dave Emerick's chat with Cougfan.com readers the other day, he singled out Clemson transfer receiver Kyrin Priester as the fastest member of the Cougars' 2015 class, and said the hardest hitters were Porter and defensive backs Shalom Luani and Kameron Powell.
WHY DID THE COUGS ONLY TAKE FOUR SKILL PLAYERS?
The Cougs were always planning to take just one running back since sophomores-to-be Jamal Morrow and Gerard Wicks are firmly ensconced. But the large number of decommits in the final days included three wideouts.
Then why did WSU sign a defensive back (Sean Harper) on Thursday rather than a wideout with one of their two remaining slots? Taking a player to fill a positional need even if he isn't the caliber you desire doesn't help the program. The Cougs may still take a receiver with their 25th and final scholie but he will have to be a guy the coaching staff believes is worthy of it. If not, they're likely to take the best player available, regardless of position.
NOTABLE NOTE: The Crimson and Gray Game is set for April 25 at 2 p.m. in Spokane's Albi Stadium.
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JC SIGNEES A WELCOME INFUSION FOR WSU DEFENSE