WSU Notebook: Recruiting notes, NFL draft, final polls

RECRUITING TURNS on a dime - what was true yesterday can be a completely different story today. Take a 4-star, former in-state d-line prospect who at one time was front and center for fans of Washington State recruiting.

Joel Dublanko is no longer on the Washington State recruiting radar, two independent prep sources tell

Dublanko (6-3, 238) has long been a 4-star DE prospect on The former in-stater transferred from Aberdeen High to IMG Academy in Florida for his senior season. 

Interviews with Dublanko have been scarce this recruiting cycle but his dad told CF.C back in August his son “still really likes WSU.”  Then in September, Dublanko told the two schools that were standing out most were Eastern Michigan and Army, but that offers had come in from Mississippi State and Tennessee in addition to Washington State.  In late December, reported Dublanko was “fielding interest from Akron, Mississippi, and Washington State.”

WSU in its 2016 class has a pair of d-end pledges in Garrett McBroom and Lyric Bartley. McBroom (6-3, 266) is already signed, the JUCO transfer started classes at Washington State on Monday. Bartley (6-4, 240) will ink his LOI on Signing Day (Feb. 3).

Also, coming in on official visits this weekend are DE Curtis Weaver (6-3, 245) out of Long Beach, Calif., and Pocatello DT Wayne Kirby (6-3, 302). Both are three-star prospects on

The final AP and Coaches top 25 polls have been released and WSU just missed inclusion. The Cougs finished the 2015 season in the "others receiving votes category" in both.

With 51 votes in the AP, Washington State was effectively slotted at No. 27.  In the Coaches poll, Washington State finished in the others category with 23 votes, placing the Cougs 29th.

The college football coaches' convention (AFCA) began on Sunday in San Antonio and runs through Wednesday. 

Our understanding is at least three WSU assistants were planning on attending at least one day of the convention; o-line coach Clay McGuire, special teams coach Eric Mele and defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.

Recruiting opens back up on Thursday and most if not all of WSU’s coaches are expected to be on the recruiting trail briefly, with a big official visit weekend getting underway at WSU on Friday. 

Afterwards, the WSU coaches will again hit the trail the following week for in-home visits. Then it’s back to Pullman ahead of WSU’s second-to-last official visit weekend (Jan. 22-24) before Signing Day.

A trio of Cougar seniors will participate in a pair of college football All-Star games this month, looking to improve their draft stock and catch the eye of NFL scouts.

Left tackle Joe Dahl will be at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.  (Jan. 30, 11:30 a.m., TV: NFL Network).   DT Destiny Vaeao and WR Dom Williams will play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Carson, Calif.  (Jan. 23, 3 p.m., TV: ESPN2).  The Collegiate Bowl team practices Jan. 20-21 will also be televised live on ESPNU.

Dahl missed the final four regular season games with a broken foot but returned to start in the Sun Bowl.  Despite the inactivity, he was named first team All-Pac-12 and second team All-America by USA Today.  Vaeao was named second-team All-Pac-12 but NFL draft guru Rob Rang told CF.C last month he expects Vaeao's stock to rise considerably in the coming weeks and months. He had 41 tackles, 12 tackles-for-loss and 4 1/2 sacks this past season.  Williams, All-Pac-12 honorable mention in '15, caught 75 passes for 1,040 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Last year, Vince Mayle represented WSU in the Senior Bowl. He was later drafted in the fourth round by Cleveland and is currently on Dallas' practice squad. Deone Bucannon played in the Senior Bowl the year before that, having later been taken in the first round of the NFL Draft by Arizona.  Also last year, former Cougar nose tackle Toni Pole played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. He signed with Cincinnati in May as an undrafted free agent but was released by the team in late August

Williams finished his Cougar career second in program history with 30 touchdown receptions and 2,889 receiving yards. He is also third in school history with 192 catches.


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