Updating WSU recruiting class numbers, needs

WITH 25 KNOWN verbal commitments and more movement virtually guaranteed to come, where does Washington State go from here with Signing Day a little over a month away? Here’s our latest look, position by position. Oh and by the way, there was a small news item on the last day of the year regarding WSU's quarterback recruiting.

Projected to sign: (1)
Verbal Commits: None

Mike Leach offered three-star QB Quentin Davis out of Bellflower, Calif. a few days before the Sun Bowl, opening up the possibility of WSU taking two QBs this class but that changed this morning when QB Cody Brewer, verbally committed to WSU since August, said on twitter he was decommitting. 

A reliable prep source tells CF.C the parting of the ways with Brewer was “mutual.”  Whether Brewer was asked to delay enrollment, WSU had cooled on him, or Brewer simply didn’t like WSU offering another QB late in the game - and/or some combination of the above - the end result is he won’t be coming to WSU.

Davis didn’t start until his senior year at St. John Bosco High, playing behind Josh Rosen (true freshman starter at UCLA in ’15). St. John Bosco this season under Davis finished No. 4 in the USA Today national high school poll, with the No. 1 rated offense in the country.

CF.C’s Braulio Perez saw Davis (6-1) play live this season and came away impressed by his decision making and accuracy. Davis is schedule to officially trip to WSU on Jan. 22. If you haven't seen his senior tape yet, CLICK HERE.

Projected to sign: 1
Verbal Commits: Romello Harris, 3 stars

If WSU lands Zion Echols, whom the Cougs are recruiting at running back and who visits Wazzu Jan. 15, we project one of the two running backs in the class to delay enrollment. 

Harris tore his ACL this season according to the Visalia Times Delta, so it might make sense for him to rehab in 2016 and arrive at WSU in January 2017.  In nine games, Harris racked up 1,943 yards on 203 carries with 25 touchdowns.

Echols decommitted from Cal in November but is still considering the Bears and is said to be down to WSU and Cal (other Pac-12 offers: UW, ASU, Arizona, Utah). 

Echols is a glider with another gear at the running back spot – he ran wild to the tune of 2,147 rushing hashes on 249 carries his senior year (8.6 ypc) with 28 receptions for another 306 yards. He scored 44 TDs, with three of those coming as a return man. His film is compelling.

Verbal Commits: Justus Rogers, 3 stars;  D'Jimon Jones, 2 stars

Rogers (6-2, 210) has said he’ll get his shot this spring at quarterback. It feels to us his best position would be at safety (or maybe linebacker) at the Pac-12 level, but we’ll see how this spring goes.  Rogers has signed an financial aid agreement and is expected to enroll at WSU in January.  Jones (6-2, 175) has told CF.C the WSU coaches like him at either corner or receiver.

Projected to sign: 4-5
Verbal Commits: Dezmon Patmon, 3 stars;  Isaiah Johnson, 3 stars; Renard Bell, 3 stars; Grant Porter, 3 stars; Josiah Westbrook, 2 stars; Stephen Houston, 2 stars; (Jones)

We expect some here to delay enrollment when it’s all said and done but Patmon (6-3, 200) doesn’t figure to be one of them – he was big get for the Cougs over Cal and others. 

Johnson, according to Twitter, plans to come to WSU in January and has signed an FAA -- but WSU has not issued an official release on his FAA signing as they did on two other members of the class.  Whether Johnson arrives in January or later, he has a ton of potential. It should be noted he has verbally committed to four different schools over the course of this cycle (WSU, Florida, Miami, Louisville).

Houston to our knowledge has not scheduled an official visit and CF.C’s efforts to touch base with him have so far proven unsuccessful. Houston is 6-3 but has more speed and agility than most wideouts his height. There has been some chatter in cyberspace about Chris Paz being a potential target but if so, he’s a preferred walk on target, according to prep sources.  Desmond Fitzpatrick was getting a look but before Patmon verballed and it appears WSU has cooled on him since then. JUCO wideout Alec Dana (6-3, 190) is pledged to Utah but might be one to keep an eye on between now and signing day. 

The speedy Bell (5-10, 160) could play in the slot (or at corner) with receiver looking like his most likely landing spot. Porter can both go over the middle and stretch the field and his pledge continues the WSU-Upland High pipeline. Westbrook is a bigger body-type of wideout who can gain extra yards but he also has deceptive speed and can go deep. He has top-end speed, having clocked a 10.8 in the 100.

Projected to sign: 5-6
Verbal Commits: Keenen King, 3 stars;  Jaelen Lewis, 3-stars; Christian Haangana, 3 stars; Joshua Watson, 2 stars; Liam Ryan, 2 stars

Leach is always going to try to take at least five o-linemen each class, such is their importance to the Air Raid. We don’t think WSU is done here, which could in turn open up the door for at least one possibly delaying enrollment. 

Frederick Mauigoa would be a big get. The American Samoa lineman is down to three, a source tells CF.C and until recently, it looked like WSU and OSU held the edge over BYU. But with two of the Polynesian coaches at OSU moving to BYU, including new head man Kalani Sitake, it could wind up coming down to WSU and BYU in the end. This figures to be a pitched battle, though Joe Salave'a has a stellar track record in bringing American Samoa recruits offered by WSU to the Palouse.  Mauigoa is expected to visit WSU either Jan. 15 or 22.

Nate Herbig announced his decommitment from Stanford this past week. He was down to Stanford and WSU when he originally pledged.  Cal and WSU look to be his top two but Vanderbilt could be a player here, with his good friend Sean Auwae pledging Vandy and given Vandy’s academic reputation.  Herbig is scheduled to visit WSU on Jan. 22.

Logan Tuley-Tillman has said he’ll visit WSU in January and will graduate early from Michigan, in three years, in May. He’ll have two-to-play-two. Another WSU target, Francisco Perez, looks to be leaning towards Cal or UCLA. But it’s always worth noting: a lot can change between now and signing day, especially once the final recruiting contact period opens back up (Jan. 14).

If you like o-line sleepers, Watson might be your guy.  At 6-5, 270-pounds, he told CF.C that WSU o-line coach Clay McGuire liked his “natural roll of the hips and a 'pop' of the hips that you can't really teach.”

Projected to sign: 4
Verbal Commits: Garrett McBroom (6-3, 266) Lyric Bartley (6-4, 240)

The big question here, figuratively and literally, concerns the bigger body DT-types. Braulio has been pounding the bricks but news has been scarce, setting up the possibility things may go from slow to 100 mph on DTs when recruiting opens back up mid-January.

Holdover Thomas Toki, a former 4-star prospect from the '15 class, tells CF.C he continues to wait on his ACT test score (he had hoped to receive his score before Christmas but the ACT schedule says the results are generally released 3-8 weeks after the test.  For the Dec. 12 test Toki took, the ACT site says the scores are to be released between Dec. 22 – Feb. 5).

Wayne Kirby out of Idaho (6-3, 302) was reported to have a WSU offer when he verballed to BYU back in July (he decommitted from BYU in October). 

A pair of 3-star defensive end-types out of Utah, Pookie Maka and Fua Pututau, tweeted in December WSU was in both of their respective top fives -- but that was also before Bartley and McBroom verballed to WSU. JUCO DE Josh Smith (6-4, 260) has been reported as visiting WSU on Jan. 22 but it’s unclear if that’s still on.  It is also unknown if Las Vegas’ Anthony Smith (6-3, 250) who verballed to Colorado State this month, still has a WSU offer and is still visiting Jan. 22.  Joel Dublanko (6-3, 239) has mostly kept a lid on his recruitment, but reported a few days ago the 4-star prospect is “fielding interest from Akron, Mississippi, and Washington State.”

Projected to sign: 4-5
Verbal Commits: Chima Onyeukwu, 3 stars; Jihad Woods, 3 stars;  Derek Moore, 3 stars; Mason Vinyard, 3 stars

If Washington State isn’t done here, Hawaii’s Tainoa Foster could bear watching. He had in-home with WSU in early December, he’s said he’ll take January visits to WSU, Utah State and Fresno State (dates not specified).

What stands out most about the verbally committed group above: the speed, sideline to sideline.  

Projected to sign: 4-5
Verbal Commits: CB Jalen Thompson, 3-stars; CB/N Skyler Thomas, 3-stars; CB Isaiah Love, 3 stars; CB Marcus Strong, 3 stars; S Robert Taylor, 2 stars; (Rogers [S]; Jones [CB])

Don’t be fooled by Taylor’s 2-star rating, we believe the JUCO is well capable of earning the starting job at free safety in fall camp, enabling Shalom Luani to man the strong safety spot.  Thomas could be a corner or nickel back, he’s certainly physical enough.  Thompson, like Rogers, has signed an FAA and is expected to enroll in January.

--It's damned hard for a Mr. X to stay out of the limelight in recruiting these days but as we reported earlier this month, a source told CF.C there’s another WSU target in American Samoa in addition to Mauigoa. The source declined to offer details, saying WSU is trying to keep their interest on him under wraps so other schools don’t piggyback upon a WSU offer.  (Last class, it was unknown for several weeks WSU had two verbal commitments from American Samoa --  Logan Tago and Amosa Sakaria. What the source did say about Mr. X: 1) he’s hugely athletic, playing several positions in high school. 2) He has some academic work to do, so it’s not a done deal WSU would sign him in February.

--We do not project WSU to sign a kicker or punter in the 2016 class.  K Blake Levin, who was set to talk on last August before the NCAA didn't clear his paperwork, told CF.C earlier this month he'd been cleared by the NCAA and planned to walk on in January.  However, a source told CF.C this week WSU has moved on and Levin won’t be coming to WSU. Erik Powell is coming off a successful season (20-26 FG; 49-49 XP) and will be a fourth-year junior in 2016.

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