5 WSU recruiting questions

SIGNING DAY IS less than a month away but as is the norm, there remain plenty of questions surrounding Washington State's 2016 class. Here are five of the more compelling.

1. Does new outside receivers coach Dave Nichol slide into California recruiting?

Somewhat lost in the Sun Bowl preparation, Nichol came on board Dec. 24 to replace outgoing Graham Harrell. Nichol has some experience recruiting California, while at Arizona under Mike Stoops his territories included the Central and San Fernando Valleys, and Ventura County, from 2009-11. It would seem likely WSU will continue to employ its tag team approach when recruiting opens back up on Jan. 14 for the final stretch run, with two or more WSU coaches teaming up to visit prospects out on the recruiting trail for in-homes. Beyond that and after Signing Day, whether Nichol takes over Harrell's territories (primarily Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno) remains to be seen.

2.  How many defensive tackles will WSU sign?

WSU's two known defensive line class members are d-end types (Lyric Bartley and Garrett McBroom, the latter already signing as a midyear transfer and starting classes next week at WSU). The Cougs figure to sign at least one d-tackle type and if the value is there, two.  Wayne Kirby (6-3, 302) a former BYU verbal out of Pocatello whom the Cougars offered back in the spring, visits WSU later this month.  Kirby posted 43 1/2 tackles, 5 1/2 sacks, 10 1/2 tackles for loss with three forced fumbles this season. Good defensive tackles are always hard to find and with just weeks to go before Signing Day, it's that much more of a challenge. Kirby looks to be deciding between WSU, Utah and BYU,

3. How many will enroll early?

Four in the class are expected to enroll early and start classes next Monday at Washington State: WR Isaiah Johnson, ATH Justus Rogers, CB Jalen Thompson and DE McBroom. The quartet gets that earliest of head starts by joining the program, participating in spring ball and beginning their coursework.

4. How many will delay enrollment?

The Cougs have 26 known verbal commitments, with six of those being wide receivers (seven if you count ATH D'Jimon Jones). We project WSU will sign 4-5 wideouts. That alone would indicate more WSU pledges are likely to come on board between now and Signing Day.  Add in that the poaching season truly begins in earnest once the final contact period begins Jan. 14, and that WSU has several more uncommitted prospects expected to visit in January, and the verbal commit list on Feb. 3 could look a little different than it does today.

5. What surprises are in store?

All is quiet now but it's the calm before the storm.  If past years are any indicator at all, it's going to be a free for all starting Jan. 14, or before. WSU got hit hard last year with verbals flipping to head elsewhere -- will WSU be on the other side of things this year after a 9-4 campaign and bowl game victory?  Prep and JC sources told CF.C the Cougs were in on some high value targets back in mid-December -- but are they still?  And if so, can they ultimately close on those targets?

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