WSU NOTEBOOK: Signing Day news and notes

THERE WERE NUGGETS of information aplenty coming out on Signing Day apart from who signed and when. Among them: a trio of veteran walk ons have been put on scholarship; WSU's chances of getting back the scholarship lost when a junior college tight end suddenly bolted town to go on a church mission would appear dismal in the eyes of the NCAA; and much more.

Paul Wulff said the roster players who have been put on scholarship are LB Myron Beck, K Nico Grasu and WR Jeffrey Solomon.

Beck was a frequent contributor on defense last season, first at safety before moving to his more natural position of linebacker. He had 34 tackles in nine games.

Grasu was inconsistent at times last year but then went 3-for-3 and kicked the game winning field goal in the Apple Cup. Solomon sat out last season per NCAA rules after transferring from Eastern but had a standout year on the scout team.

Brandon Rankin, the 4-star JUCO All-American defensive end who signed today with Washington State, faces long odds on qualifying in time for fall camp, said Wulff.

The more likely scenario, said Wulff, is that Rankin qualifies in time to join the Cougars in January.

Rankin has a redshirt year so if he qualified and enrolled in January 2010, he would have 2-to-play-2 for the Cougars.

Terrel Thompson, the prep linebacker out of Aurora Colo, also has "quite a bit" of academic work left, Wulff said, He , too, is a longshot to qualify and the most likely scenario for him is probably junior college.

"We're prepared to place him in a junior college if he doesn't (qualify) with the idea we'd have Terrel back in two years once he receives his AA," said Wulff.

Wulff said it's a virtual certainty the Cougs will lose the scholarship slot created when Peter Tuitupou suddenly bolted town to take his church mission. Why the long odds for a successful appeal?

Wulff said there was a player a few years back killed in a car accident shortly after enrolling -- and the NCAA refused to give the school that scholie back.

So if death isn't a reason for the NCAA granting an appeal, it sure doesn't appear a reprieve for Tuitupou would be in the offing.

"That was something we were really blindsided with -- had no idea during the recruiting process that would ever come up...never even a mention," said Wulff.

Wulff said WSU will sign prospects in the future who want to go on missions before playing at WSU but that in Tuitupou's case -- as a junior college player who was to contribute from the jump, and at an immediate position of need -- the Cougars would not have signed him had they known a mission was in the realm of possibility.

Tony Thompson, Skylar Stormo and Andrei Lintz and Zach Tatman (6-4, 275) make up the current tight end group, with Thompson being the only experienced of the group.

Cory Mackay remains a possibility at tight end. Wulff said no final decision has been made but "our druthers" would be to keep Mackay on defense. "But things can change," said Wulff.

David Gilbertson, son of coach Keith Gilbertson, will join the Cougars as an invited walk-on in the fall. Because he has completed the application process to the university, WSU was able to mention him today. Most invited walk-ons remain recruitable athletes until later this summer and as such are not able to be named until later in the year.


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