How does WSU's 0-3 start affect recruiting?

DO FANS AND recruits look at losses, as well as wins, differently? Some in the Cougar Nation are wondering if Washington State's 0-3 start will affect this year's recruiting haul, the first that Paul Wulff will have the entire calendar year to recruit to Wazzu. And what do the current commits think of WSU's slow beginning? If you're Gino Simone, the answers are both clear and definitive.

Wazzu has seven known verbal commitments in its 2009 class, six of whom are rated 3-stars by Scout.com. Plus, there's already another verbal lined up for the class of 2010. That, said future Cougar Simone, is key.

"The thing is, that group of coaches has some guys there right now that are not their group of guys," said Simone, who noted Wulff has been at WSU since December. "I think they've got some good young talent. And you look at the guys they have committed already, you have a pretty solid group of guys going in there. As far as if it makes me question my commitment, I don't. I'm very excited about the opportunities at Washington State.

"And I really believe in where those coaches are taking the program."

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IN WATCHING THE recruiting wars over the years, one of the oft-repeated themes has been that fans and recruits, generally, don't see wins and losses in the same light. Indeed, there are other factors that often have a much larger effect on a recruit's decision.

"You've got to also look at it from your perspective...I don't think they have the guys necessarily right now that they need to be able to run that offense. And that's one of the reasons I committed. It's a really good opportunity for me to go in there and hopefully make a difference early. I'm excited about Washington State," said Simone.

SIMONE VERBALLED TO Washington State in the middle of August. The staff, particularly area recruiting coach Travis Niekamp and Simone's future position coach, Mike Levenseller, have continued to remained in close contact since his pledge.

"I've talked to Niekamp quite a bit. And I email Levy quite a bit, we talk on every day stuff quite a bit," said Simone.

Other schools have let Simone, who had offers from Boise State, Washington and Oregon State when he verballed to the Cougs, know that they're still interested.

"They've all kind of called..and said if anything ever changes or you ever want to come down and visit, just let us know. But for the most part schools have done a good job of trying to maintain a balance in recruiting and not coming over the edge," said Simone.

Simone will be in Pullman this weekend for an unofficial visit to watch Washington State play Portland State. His official visit weekend to Wazzu is being finalized.

SIMONE AND SKYLINE are 2-0 this season, including an impressive opening game shutout over Sheldon down in Eugene, Oregon. Sheldon was Oregon state's Class 6A champion last year.

Alex Brink, who before he set records at Washington State was setting them at Sheldon, was in the stands to watch Simone. Skyline is ranked No. 1 in the Seattle Times class 4A poll.

The Skyline offense has a recent history of starting the season slowly and it held true again. In the opener, Simone had one catch for nine yards and Jake Heaps, the highly touted junior, was just 6-of-18 for 95 yards. In Week 2, however, Simone hooked up with Heaps twice on touchdown passes, including a 49-yarder on Skyline's first play from scrimmage, before being pulled early in a 56-5 rout of Ballard. Skyline led 35-0 after the first quarter.

Washington State looks to have hosted one official visitor for the home opener against Cal. Look for his thoughts on his official visit experience at WSU in an article tomorrow.

Gino Simone profile and video


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