RECRUITING : Scholie math/QB breakdown

THE PUNDITS MAY not be impressed with the early results in the win-loss column but a markedly different picture emerges when looking at what Paul Wulff is doing his first full year recruiting to Washington State -- the star rankings and history reveal some very interesting numbers indeed. And one future Coug, a three-star quarterback out of California, leads his team in rushing.

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A look at where the Cougs are at, and where they might be heading, out on the recruiting trail:

The numbers can remain in flux all the way up until Signing Day but Paul Wulff said on his radio show this week that of the 25 scholarships available for the '09 class, the Cougs are looking to fill those with 19 prep athletes, with the remaining six to be split between awarding walk-ons/current players on the roster scholarships and junior college transfers.

Of those six, RB James Montgomery and CB Brandon Jones, each of whom is sitting out this year due to transfer rules, could lay claim to two of those. Two more from the current roster who began fall camp as walk-ons, LB Myron Beck and RG Brian Danaher, have each started every game this year.

SCOUT.COM HAS YET to unveil its first Top 25 ranking for the '09 class. And there's also more that goes into the mix in the team recruiting rankings on Scout.com than just averaging out of the star ratings on each player -- including, says Scout, figuring in need and balance.

But with that said, and again keeping in mind that the average star rating is not the sole measuring stick in the team rankings, it's also worth noting this little nugget -- and particularly so for those who follow the star ratings closely...

In the final Top 25 team rankings last year on Scout.com for the '08 class, four schools -- Arkansas, Nebraska, Virginia Tech and Boston College -- had the same or a lesser average star rating than do the Cougs' current '09 crop, who average 2.86.

There's more. Six of Washington State's seven known verbal commitments rate three stars on Scout.com. That robust an early recruiting start has never happened at Washington State since Scout.com's analysts first began rating recruits back in 1999.

So, what does it all mean?

The final word on the Cougars' 2009 class will of course have to wait until February's Letter of Intent Signing Day. But with almost 40 percent of the prep recruits already in, this much can be said from the early evidence...

Paul Wulff and his staff, including recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen, can flat-out recruit.

AT QUARTERBACK, the Cougs already have a three-star verbal commit on board in Jeff Tuel out of Fresno. The new Cougar offense doesn't require a running quarterback, but those fleet of foot can certainly thrive in it -- and Tuel looks to have some moves.

"Jeff Tuel is an outstanding football player and a tremendous leader and competitor. He has done a great job leading his team, and is a captain on our football team. He is leading our team in passing and rushing," Clovis West coach Gary Kinne tells CF.C.

But because of the current numbers on the roster, the Cougs may look to take a second quarterback this class.

Wulff parted ways with the QB in the '08 group (Calvin Schmidtke) after he ran afoul of the legal system, and next year will see the Washington State QB group spread out a bit -- next year Kevin Lopina will be a senior, while Marshall Lobbestael, J.T. Levenseller and Dan Wagner will be sophomores.

Some names WSU had high on their list earlier this recruiting season included Taysom Hill, Brock Osweiler and Tate Forcier, who have verballed to Stanford, ASU and Michigan, respectively. So who else might the Cougs have in their orbit by the time it's all said and done?

If the Cougs do decide to offer a second quarterback, here's one to keep an eye on:

Justin Rahn, Monta Vista High, Cupertino, Calif: A 6-4, 195-pound southpaw, Rahn has an accurate arm and surprising speed and agility for his size. There are 21 minutes of video spread out over five video clips available by clicking here.


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