WSU recruiting again points toward furious finish

WASHINGTON STATE has six known verbal commits in its 2017 class. With Mike Leach again expected to eschew official visit weekends until after the football regular season, WSU's class of '17 looks poised for a furious finish – just like this past class.

Washington State ranks seventh in the Pac-12 with six verbals. And WSU is a little behind last year’s verbal pace. 

As of June 22 last year, WSU had eight pledges (LB Jihad Woods, WR/CB Renard Bell, CB Jalen Thompson, WR Stephen Houston, QB Ian Book, WR D'Jimon Jones and WR Josiah Westbrook. Note: Houston, Book and Westbrook did not ultimately sign with WSU).

The six 2017 prospects in the crimson fold, however, are rated higher collectively by than their 2016 counterparts. 

WSU’s ’17 group consists of a trio of four-star prospects, and three three-star prospects.   WSU last year signed zero recruits who were rated four stars by Despite the comparatively low number of verbals, WSU is ranked No. 39 nationally in's rankings (No. 38 Texas Tech has 12 verbals).

IF LAST YEAR is any guide, Washington State will land a decent-sized number of verbal commits between now and the start of the season -- there are more unofficial visits to come in June, July and August.  But Cougar fans shouldn't expect WSU to catch Arizona, who leads the Pac-12 with 18 verbal pledges, before Sept. 1

Indeed, based on last year, some seriously heavy lifting in WSU recruiting still figures to get underway in December.

Eleven recruits who ended up signing with Washington State in the 2016 class didn’t give their verbal pledges to Wazzu until after Dec. 1.

Last year, with WSU choosing to wait until after the season to start its official visit weekends, the Cougs' 2016 signing list shows zero who made their verbal pledges between Sept. 17 – Nov. 11.  (We don’t expect that drought to be duplicated this year - even without the benefit of recruiting weekends - with WSU coming off last year’s successful campaign).

And from a bottom line perspective, it’s hard to argue with last year: Leach’s decision to concentrate fully on the season without home recruiting weekends in 2015 coincided with a 9-4 campaign.

RELATED STORY: A MAJOR shift in WSU recruiting strategy, official visits pushed out until December

WSU's 2017 verbal commits:

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