Turpin's exit caps WSU's talent bust of '06

THE RECENT NEWS that Toby Turpin was booted out of Washington State for academic reasons prompted me to revisit the 2006 recruiting class that Turpin was part of. And what I discovered after perusing the list is that I've been all wrong. My long-held belief that WSU's 2004 and '05 recruiting crops were the Mother of All Busts has been torn asunder. The '06 class actually takes the proverbial cake.

Or maybe, more appropriately, it's the proverbial pie in the face.


The crashing and burning otherwise known as the 2004 and 2005 classes has been well documented by Cougfan.com HERE and HERE.

Still, as bad as those classes were, the 2004 group can lay claim to such luminaries as Michael Bumpus, Jed Collins and JC transfers Jerome Harrison and Tyron Brackenridge. Similarly, the 2005 class can boast Brandon Gibson, Kenny Alfred, Greg Trent and a handful of other very solid contributors.

Not so the 2006 class. It has produced no stars of any kind. And the number of kids who did (or still are) making significant contributions is pretty much limited to four guys: Andy Mattingly, Micah Hannam, Charles Dillon and Kevin Kooyman.

That's it. A WSU program that should be anchored right now by fifth-year seniors from the '06 class has precious few of them.

Indeed, of the 25 kids signed in the 2006 class, only seven either remain on the team or exhausted their eligibility. SEVEN!

Fourteen washed out, and of the other 11 only Mattingly, Hannam, Dillon and Kooyman developed into bona fide regulars.

That scope of failure is downright seismic.

The recent run-in with the books that shelved Turpin, a 3-star defensive tackle out of Los Alamitos, Calif., puts an exclamation point on the disaster that the 2006 class turned out to be.

How bad was it?

Try this. Put the 2006 class list on a wall and throw a dart. The odds of hitting a bust are so good that Las Vegas wouldn't give you odds.

Miss high and there's Kerry Maddox, a Texan who got so homesick he left Pullman after less than a month on campus and halfway through fall camp. Miss low and you have Skylar Jessen, the overhyped Spokane product who never played a single down.

Aim in between, you'll find the likes of Grady Maxwell, Finas Rabb, J.T. Diederichs, Jason Price, Trevor Mooney, Derrell Hutsona, Asly Jean-Jacques and Preston Brooks -- among others.

And of course, who could forget Cornoriss Atkins? He was not only part of the 2006 class, but because of academic hurdles, part of the 2007 class as well. He did eventually get to campus, but lasted only a year before permanently going down for the count due to academic ineligibility.

Add it all up and you have a Rogue's Gallery of football folly. A BCS-conference school can absorb a class like that only every once in awhile.

But when you stack it on top of the messes of 2004 and 2005, we're talking the equivalent of a self-imposed death penalty. Adding to the misery is that the 2007 class that followed is mostly shaping up as a meltdown too.

We're talking four straight classes that were or will be absolute killers.

So when you saw Paul Wulff quoted a week ago on CF.C saying all 13 of the freshmen he redshirted last fall are already on the two-deep roster this spring, take note.

Cougar Nation would have died for those kinds of numbers coming out of the 2006 class.

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