Factoring the 2 wildcards into WSU's 2017 recruiting class

WASHINGTON STATE has 25 official members in its 2017 recruiting class, with room for 26, and two longtime verbal pledges still out there in Richland OL Dontae Powell and Lacey DE Kelle Sanders. So how might things play out for the Cougar '17 class between now and April 1, the end of the signing period?

The answer includes a number of variables.

Sources have told CF.C that WSU is waiting to see academic progress from both Powell and Sanders before signing them. Sanders tweeted out a Signing Day picture but the bottom line is WSU has yet to officially announce his addition to the class.

Let’s assume that one of the two shows enough progress that WSU, at some point before April 1, officially announces him as part of its 2017 class.  That would give WSU a full boat of 26. So that's one scenario.

But what if both show enough academic progress and WSU wants to take them both?

How do you fit 27 into a class that has room for 26? 

There may be some rule WSU could take advantage of that we’re not aware of, and we certainly don’t consider ourselves NCAA rules experts.  Based on our reading of the rule book and in talking to sources, if WSU were to “take” 27 in a class that has room for 26, one in the class would have to delay enrollment. 

Now, if both Powell and Sanders come on board but one of those two delays enrollment, then it’s pretty straight forward. That player would likely not sign an LOI or financial aid agreement but instead would enroll in January. He would remain a recruitable student-athlete until then. From this chair, this seems the most likely scenario if both were to show enough academic progress.

If (unlikely though it seems to us) Powell and Sanders were to actually both sign a Letter of Intent between now and April 1, that would mean someone else in the class who has already signed would have had to agree to a change, to delay enrollment, as their Letter of Intent is a binding agreement between the school and player.  Letting the LOI officially lapse would be accomplished by not showing up for the first day of instruction for the semester.  The player would again become a recruitable athlete until he enrolled at WSU in January. Again, this seems an unlikely scenario from this chair. Based on the sources we've talked to, we expect the names on this list will be suited up when fall camp kicks off, and most if not all to be coming off a summer school session at WSU.

Okay, so what if one or both shows enough academic progress, but after April 1?  Schools can still add by having the student-athlete sign financial aid papers, which bind the school to the player, but not the player to the school.

As for the other question, when will Cougar fans know on Powell and Sanders? That looks like it will require patience.  Could WSU see enough academic progress on one or both by month’s end? Sure, say the sources. Could it instead go to April 1, or possibly even beyond until the end of his high school term in, say, June?  Of course, say the sources. 

So one week after Signing Day, there's still a couple pieces of uncertainty on the 2017 class, and it seems destined to go on for a while. But there is another way of looking at it.  WSU still has a scholie available in its 2017 class – they have 25 on board and room for one more.

And that kind of flexibility is always a good thing to have.

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