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WSU's early QB verbal in Connor Neville is important in more ways than one

WHEN FUTURE COUGAR QUARTERBACK Connor Neville pledged crimson this past Saturday, he just missed becoming Mike Leach’s earliest QB verbal commitment at Washington State. But he could still become the most influential QB Leach has ever had at Wazzu in terms of his recruiting class.

Getting Neville on board early isn’t only important because Leach (as you may have heard a time or 20) didn’t sign a QB this past recruiting class. 

The earliest QB pledge under Leach -- Peyton Bender, who went crimson the last week of March during his recruiting cycle -- hails from Florida, an ancillary recruiting area for WSU.  Neville, meanwhile, is from Oregon. And it’s a banner recruiting year for the state of Oregon in 2017 in terms of Pac-12 talent.

WSU already has known offers out to five other Beaver State prospects besides Neville – and more could be in the works by the time the upcoming May Evaluation period ends.

Neville, meanwhile, is heavily involved in state 7v7 tournaments (his coach at EForce is Alex Brink) and therefore, is both visible and familiar to a great many state of Oregon recruits. 

Having Neville in the ear of fellow in-state recruits who hold WSU offers, and so early in the recruiting cycle, could pay solid dividends for the Cougs by the time Signing Day rolls around the first Wednesday in February.

So how early is it?

Eight Pac-12 schools have yet to land a verbal from a quarterback: UCLA, USC, Washington, Cal, Colorado, ASU, Utah and Oregon State.

The three Pac-12 schools in addition to Washington State who have known quarterback verbals in the 2017 class:

Stanford: Davis Mills
Arizona: Rhett Rodriguez (Head coach Rich Rodriguez’ son)
Oregon: Ryan Kelley

NOTABLE NOTE:
Austin Apodaca, Leach’s first QB verbal at WSU, recommitted in January after Leach came on board at WSU. Tyler Bruggman pledged in June, Bender’s verbal was in late March and Tyler Hilinski made the call on WSU in late April. 

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