Prep and JC sources continue to tell CF.C that Washington State remains in on several other prospects, including high profile types, with some in the L.A. area.
Washington State has 24 known verbals. Tomorrow, the midyear junior college signing period begins and WSU could sign either Phillip Napoleon or Garrett McBroom, or both. Both would put WSU at 26, one over the limit a school can sign. If holdover DT Thomas Toki were to qualify in addition to the two JUCOs going crimson, that would suddenly put WSU at 27 pledges. And we haven’t even gotten to the high profile types listed above.
So how would Washington State fit them all in?
The answer is multi-layered.
First, grayshirting no longer exists in the sense the prospect does not sign a letter of intent – there’s nothing binding.
But there is still 'grayshirting' in that a verbal agreement is made (not binding).
In that case, WSU gives them a “grayshirt letter” to sign. (Other schools call theirs something else). Again, there is nothing binding about it, not for the prospect or the school. The tangible benefit is to give the prospect something to sign during his school’s signing ceremony. The plan is for the prospect to come next class. But it's not set in stone.
Washington State football chief of staff Dave Emerick has said from the first day Mike Leach arrived in Pullman: if a stud prospect wants to come to WSU, they’ll find a way to fit him in. They’re not going to turn him away.
Second, there will likely be decommits and flips. Every school it seems, no matter who they are, loses someone once the final recruiting period opens back up. WSU got hit fairly hard last year, as Cougar fans well remember.
This time around, the consensus coming from the prep and JC sources we’ve talked to is WSU might well be on the other side of the fence, coming off an 8-4 season and headed to the Sun Bowl. There’s no guarantee it will play out that way. But, as one prep source said, “It sure feels like the shoe might be on the other foot this time.”
Still, it will frankly be a stunner if none of the 24 on WSU’s list flip. It's hard to emphasize enough: the late decommits and flipping during the final recruiting period -- it’s the new normal.
Third, there are at least two in the class who have academic work to do. Toki, Joseph Price and Deion Singleton are three from recent classes who come to mind who had work to do.
With schools limited to signing 25, it’s becoming less and less palatable to sign that “risk” guy. If you’re right at that 25 number on Signing Day, it’s not as difficult a call. But if you have a final-final pool of 30 or more who want to sign, it gets that much more difficult to sign a prospect you know might not qualify by August over a certain qualifier who may have close to, or as much, on-field upside based on evaluation.
There are some guys WSU will take a chance on and know going in they’re willing to pay the price if it comes to that. Singleton was one WSU decided was worth it. Toki, too.
But when the prospect instead signs a “grayshirt letter,” he doesn't take up a spot in the current class.
Right now, it’s the calm before the storm for Washington State. Once recruiting opens back up, and with three more official visit weekends on tap (Jan. 15, 22, 29) before signing day, we fully expect a frenetic race to the finish.
--At this time we’re not going to identify the two verbal pledges that prep and JC sources have told us have work to do in the classroom. As grades and SAT scores come out and it gets closer to signing day, that may become more relevant. We would also ask any CF.C members that if you choose to discuss a prospect’s academics on the Luxury Suites, to do so with appropriate discretion. Consider the recruit and his family before making both the post and your subject line. As has always been the case since CF.C came into being way back in 1998, posts containing inappropriate content are frowned upon.
--Emerick told CF.C last month the Cougs do not have the ability to count a midyear signee back towards the previous class so any midyear additions will count against the 2016 class. (A school is only allowed to count a midyear back towards the previous class if they took less than a full load of 25 in the prior class). Two early graduates from the prep ranks have signed financial aid agreements, which bind the school but not the player. ATH Justus Rogers and CB Jalen Thompson are set to enroll at WSU in January and begin their Cougar careers.
For the 2016 class verbal commit list: CLICK HERE.