The sources tell CF.C a pair of WSU wide receiver verbal pledges, Stephen Houston out of Oxnard, Calif., and Josiah Westbrook out of Bellingham, will not ink their Letters of Intent with WSU on Feb. 3.
The sources said both have academic qualification issues. Because there is no more oversigning, it’s become harder and harder for schools to take a chance on prospects when there is at least a sturdy question on if he will qualify in time before fall camp kicks off in August.
Neither has taken a known official visit to Washington State and there have been no reports of an in-home visit. It trims to four the number of wide receivers known to be joining the WSU program this class (Isaiah Johnson has already enrolled, with Dezmon Patmon, Grant Porter and Renard Bell expected to sign a week from Wednesday. ATH D'Jimon Jones could also be a wideout but he looks to get his first look at corner).
All other Cougar verbals besides Houston and Westbrook have either taken an official visit to WSU or are scheduled to this weekend. CF.C has tried unsuccessfully to reach Houston and Westbrook the past several weeks.
When asked if Westbrook or Houston would, assuming they qualify, be candidates to blueshirt (or delay enrollment at WSU until January) the sources declined to speculate.
A blueshirt can arrive to a school as early as May. They pay their own way until they are put on scholie. Most schools promise that will be in fall camp, but there's nothing enforceable about the date - nor the verbal agreement itself.
A player can blueshirt as long as he was “not recruited” by a school, something the NCAA defines as not having taken an official visit to campus, had an in-home visit from the coaching staff or signed an NLI or any kind of financial aid agreement with that school. Blueshirts count against the following class numbers but are eligible to play immediately.
While the Cougs are now right at the 25-man limit for a signing class, it’s far from certain whether they’re done. Washington State, for starters, could still add an OL, DT and/or WR.
OL Frederick Mauigoa, a three-star guard prospect who visits this weekend, is deciding between WSU and Oregon State. And 4-star WR prospect Darnell Salomon is scheduled to visit Jan. 29.
Meanwhile, Washington State does not have a known DT verbal.
Pocatello DT Wayne Kirby took an official to WSU this past weekend and looked to be leaning towards WSU but Oregon offered Wednesday and he has an official scheduled to Eugene this weekend. Beyond Kirby, there’s not much left in the uncommitted cupboard. WSU home visited Odea High’s Tiano Tialavea but prep sources have told CF.C that WSU likes him as a preferred walk on rather than as a scholie player.
Is a JUCO DT in the offing? Might WSU flip a d-tackle committed elsewhere in the final days before Feb. 3 LOI Day? Stay tuned.
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