If Mike Leach's history is any indication, an early (and lasting) impact appears likely for WSU 2017 wide receiver class

WASHINGTON STATE APPEARS close to full in its 2017 recruiting class less than 24 hours before Signing Day kicks off but we don’t think the Cougs are done yet at wide receiver. And in looking back over Mike Leach’s history at Washington State, someone from the 2017 receiver crop is likely to make an impact early.

When someone says “Washington State” or “Air Raid” most people think of a non-stop air attack and so many passing attempts, their arm hurts just reading the box score.  But to have a dominant passing game, one must not only have the quarterback to handle that workload (see Luke Falk) but also a steady stream of versatile wide receivers to take care of business once they get the ball in their hands.

Here are the prominent receiver commits from each of the recruiting classes since Leach arrived (plus one from the 2011 class).

2011 – Dom Williams
Williams signed before Leach arrived, but man, did the wide receiver thrive in the coach’s system. He ended his career with 192 receptions, 2,889 receiving yards and 30 touchdowns. Williams and Gabe Marks combined for 2,232 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2015 alone, as the Cougars notched nine wins. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound wideout is now with the Philadelphia Eagles after a season on the San Diego Chargers’ practice squad.

2012 – Gabe Marks, Robert Lewis
Marks was the marquee commit of the 2012 recruiting class, Leach’s first in Pullman, and he certainly delivered. The 6-foot, 190-pound former 4-star recruit became the most prolific receiver in the history of the Pac-12, finishing with 316 receptions. He also finished second in conference history with 37 touchdown catches and set the all-time marks at WSU with 3,453 receiving yards. Marks’ impact was made in the box score, sure, but he also was a vocal leader and a consistent face of the program his final two seasons.

Lewis delayed enrollment until January 2013 and in three seasons has 117 career receptions for 1,254 yards with 6 TDs. He’ll be a fifth-year senior in 2016 and the Cougars’ most experienced slot man under new inside receivers coach Derek Sage.

2013 – River Cracraft
Cracraft was the model of consistency in his four years at Washington State. Despite his senior season shortened by a torn ACL against Cal, he and Marks became the first Pac-12 teammates in history with 200-plus catches each and he wrapped up his WSU career with 2,701 receiving yards and 20 TD grabs. Cracraft was one of the most reliable receivers in the Pac-12 over his career and finished his 2016 season on a tear with highlight reel catches in bunches.

2014- None
The anomaly. The class featured Zaire Andre, Barry Ware and Calvin Green, all of whom were dismissed or left the program within two years.

2015- Tavares Martin, Kyle Sweet
Martin stepped into a starting role nicely in 2016 as the Cougs’ second-leading receiver with 64 receptions, 728 yards and seven touchdowns. As a true freshman, he played in 12 games and got his feet wet with 16 receptions for 124 yards and a TD.

Sweet had a nice true freshman season with 21 catches for 222 yards.  He improved on those numbers this season, with 27 catches for 357 hashes and 3 TDs. With Cracraft leaving and the fall in production from the WR corps as a whole after he was injured, Cougar fans will be looking to see if Sweet takes that next step in 2017.

2016- Isaiah Johnson-Mack (pictured above)
Johnson-Mack saw action in every game in 2016, and hauled in 35 receptions including a touchdown against Arizona. Don’t forget about the other WR members of the 2016 class: a strong argument can be made for any of the trio making an impact this coming season in Dezmon Patmon, Grant Porter and Renard Bell.

2017: The Cougs have three known WR commits in Easop Winston, Anthony White Jr. and Davontavean Martin. Both Winston and White are already enrolled and will participate in spring ball.

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