LET THE DAY BEGIN!

<b>WITH SIX VERBAL COMMITMENTS over the last 36 hours, Washington State enters today's National Letter of Intent Signing extravaganza with 23 known verbals and few question-marks. If all goes as expected -- and you never know, a la <b>Michael Bumpus</b> a year ago -- look for the Cougars to wrap up the day with a ton of speed, one of the most touted quarterback prospects in the nation, and a pipeline from the Lone Star State that has opened in a very big way.

Editor's note: CF.C plans wall-to-wall recruiting coverage today, including a continuously updated list of players whose LOIs have been received; a late lunch-hour visit with Robin Pflugrad in the chat room; and much more. Now, back to the story . . .

The Cougars hosted six prospects last weekend in the final push before Signing Day and all six are expected to fax in their LOIs today. They are junior college OL Derek Hunter; four-star JC DT Bryan Tarkington, prep DT Joseph Townsend and prep linebackers Courtney Williams, Jason Stripling and Greg Trent.

Hunter and Tarkington look to round out a small -- but potentially formidable -– group the Cougars sought from the junior college ranks. The others are slotback Lorenzo Bursey and safety DeWayne Patterson. Hunter will have four years to play three; Bursey three to play three; and Tarkington and Patterson three to play two.

Trent and Stripling are the third and fourth verbals in the Cougars' 2005 class who hail from Texas. They are expected to join fellow Texans running back DeMaundray Woolridge and safety James Bradley in the Cougar coral today.

For perspective on how notable that haul from Texas is, consider that the Cougars' 2005 class is expected to number five players from the state of Washington -- two holdovers from the 2004 class in Michael Willis and Cole Morgan, consensus All-Staters Kenny Alfred and Shelton Danzy, and uber-athlete Brandon Gibson.

The class' single biggest contingent -- expected to number ten -- comes from California. That group is led by Fresno quarterback Arkelon Hall, rated somewhere between No. 15 and No. 7 nationally by various recruiting services, and San Diego defensive tackle Fevaea'i Ahmu. Both are four-star prospects who were recruited by schools from across the nation.

So there's a very quick sneak peek. CF.C will keep you updated throughout the day as LOIs roll in.

When all is said and done, we expect the class to include the following names and maybe more:

LINEBACKERS
Lamar Brumfield, Cory Evans, Greg Trent, Jason Stripling, Courtney Williams

SAFETIES
Xavier Hicks, Michael Willis, DeWayne Patterson

DEFENSIVE LINE
Fevaea'i Ahmu, Joseph Townsend, Bryan Tarkington

CORNERBACKS
Shelton Danzy, James Bradley

QUARTERBACKS
Arkelon Hall, Cole Morgan and declared walk-on Jared Prince

RUNNING BACKS
Dwight Tardy, DeMaundray Woolridge

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN
Kenny Alfred, Joey Eppele, Derek Hunter

WIDE RECEIVERS
Brandon Gibson, Benny Ward

ATHLETE
Lorenzo Bursey (RB/WR)

NOTABLE NOTES:
* At 12:40 pm Pacific Time, WSU recruiting coordinator Robin Pflugrad will be coming by the Cougfan.com chat room to discuss the class of 2005. The Q&A session is available to all Premium subscribers. We suggest you get there 10 minutes early and have your questions ready for one of the preeminent recruiting coordinators in all of college football. Of note: for bandwidth reasons, we'll have to cap participation at about 200.

* Late in the afternoon, Washington State will hold a press conference. The staff of CF.C will bring you complete coverage of the event, including coach Bill Doba's remarks.

* While the recruiting action is going on, you can also check on the status of signees through our Cougfan.com message boards or chat with fellow members of the Cougar Nation and get real-time feedback as new recruiting information is happening. Click on the Cougfan.com.com Premium Recruiting Chat (Subscription Required) link.

After the thrill that is National of Letter of Intent Day, we'll pause for about 5 minutes and then get back to work for Thursday and Friday.

Coming tomorrow, the inside story of the recruitment of Shelton Danzy, plus more.

And for good measure, we'll begin our 2006 recruiting coverage before the week is out with insight on one of the names to watch this coming recruiting season, a big hoss who promises to be one of the top prospects for the class of 2006.

But that's later, today it's all about the Washington State class of 2005 and National Letter of Intent Day. Here are a few quick links that will make for essential viewing by all Washington State and recruiting fans:

Washington State's Commit List
Scout.com's Team Rankings
Scout.com West Hot 100
Scout.com Northwest Hot 100
Scout.com's National Player of the Year
Scout.com's All-American Teams

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