Recruiting: Projecting WSU 2016 class needs

IN TRYING TO read the 2016 recruiting class tea leaves, we project Mike Leach will focus the numbers slightly more on defense than offense. The offensive line, however, figures to retain its perennial spot as a high-volume position of need at Washington State.

Mike Leach is almost always going to look to take (at least) five offensive linemen in a recruiting class, such is their importance to the Air Raid system.

But at running back for 2016, with some young, rising talent already in the cupboard, the need is limited.

Here is CF.C's early summer projection on the numbers for the Washington State class of 2016, broken down by position:

QB
Projected to sign: 1
Verbal Commits: Ian Book, 3-stars.

A pocket passer who can extend plays with his feet, Book was 155 of 248 for 2,025 yards with 18 TDs and seven interceptions as a junior.


RB
Projected to sign: 1
Verbal Commits: None
The Cougs have eight known offers out to uncommitted running backs. Among those to keep an eye on this recruiting cycle include Daevon Vigilant (5-9, 170); Deon McIntosh (5-11, 170); Romello Harris (5-10, 170); J.J. Taylor (5-6, 155).

WR
Projected to sign: 4
Verbal Commits: Renard Bell, 3-stars; Stephen Houston, 2-stars
Bell could play in the slot or at corner at the next level with receiver his most likely landing spot. He has top-end speed, having clocked a 10.8 in the 100. Houston is 6-3 but has more speed and agility than most wideouts his height. WSU has 15 known offers out to wideouts, with Alec Dana (6-3, 190, JUCO); Grant Porter (6-0, 175); John Okwoli (6-2, 190); Trey Udoffia (6-1, 170) among the possibilities.

OL
Projected to sign: 5
Verbal Commits: None
WSU has 20 known offers out to o-linemen (12 OT, six OG, two center) with Scott Peck (6-6, 275, pictured above) and Kameron Smith (6-8, 300) a pair of in-state products with WSU offers to keep an eye on.

DL
Projected to sign: 4
Verbal Commits: None
Washington State has a boatload of known offers out to players classified as defensive ends by Scout.com (15) and thee pegged as d-tackles. Among the WSU targets are a trio of Washingtonians in Ezra Cleveland (6-6, 270); Evan Weaver (6-3, 241) and Joel Dublanko (6-3, 245).

LB
Projected to sign: 4-5
Verbal Commits: Jihad Woods, 2-stars
"They liked my speed," said the 5-11 Woods of WSU. "They're recruiting speed now and they liked how I can get sideline to sideline." Others who could go crimson down the road include Derek Moore (6-2, 220); Alema Pilimai (6-4, 205); A.J. Hotchkins (5-11, 230, JUCO); Travis Sailo (6-3, 240).

DBs
Projected to sign: 4-5
Verbal Commits: Jalen Thompson, 3-stars; D’Jimon Jones, 2-stars
Playing on one of Los Angeles County’s top teams a year ago, Thompson posted 57 tackles with one interception. Jones is projected as an ATH and could play DB or WR, with corner appearing his most likely destination. Other DBs in the WSU mix include Justus Rogers (6-2, 210, classified as ATH); Davir Hamilton (6-3, 200); Mykal Tolliver (6-0, 170); Camryn Bynum (5-11, 164); Luca Vartic (6-1, 200); Skyler Thomas (5-11, 170).

NOTABLE NOTE:
We do not project WSU to sign a kicker or punter in the 2016 class, though things can always change. Indeed, the numbers at each position can remain in flux over the entirety of a recruiting cycle. And if the Cougs are faced with a stud prospect who wants to come to WSU, at a position they've already filled their needs at, they'll find room.

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