Recruiting rankings friendlier to Ol' Wazzu

PRE-SEASON prognosticators haven't been kind to Ol' Wazzu in this run up to the football season, but another type of forecast – the one looking at the recruiting cycle – is most favorable toward the Cougs. right now rates WSU's 2011 recruiting class at No. 36 in the land. And the linebackers WSU has secured in the class are deemed the fourth-best collection of 'backers in the nation.

Of course, much can change between now and letter-of-intent signing day in February. And even then, the ratings game is more art than science.

Nonetheless, this type of showing so early in the recruiting cycle – for a club that won just one game last season – is a bit head-turning. Though I suppose it also could be viewed merely as the extension of a trend line, seeing as it's coming on the heels of a 2010 Cougar recruiting class that ranked 40th in the nation.

Regardless, it's a development that ought to warm the souls of the crimson faithful.

So let's talk about those linebackers for a moment.

Of the 12 verbal commitments Paul Wulff has so far landed in his 2011 class, four are listed as linebackers by And together, they pack a punch. If the recruiting season ended today, WSU's collection of linebackers would rank nationally behind only Texas', Alabama's and Stanford's, according to

That's pretty solid company to be keeping.

The most touted of the four Cougar verbals is 6-2, 225-pound Chester Sua of Kaimuki High in Honolulu. He's a 4-star prospect who is rated the No. 18 prep OLB in the country. Then there's 6-3, 215-pound Logan Mayes (Rueben's son) of Marist High in Eugene. He's rated the nation's No. 37 OLB prospect.

At middle linebacker, WSU has pledges from Max Hersey (6 2 ½, 233) out of Tacoma's Curtis High and Darryl Monroe (6-1, 210), from Phillips High in Orlando. Hersey is rated the No. 47 MLB prospect in the land, though he may well end up at tight end for the Cougars. Monroe is not nationally rated, but his tapes have yet to analyzed by so he could get there before all is said and done. He is, however, No. 34 on the Orlando Sentinel's "Super 60" list for Central Florida.

CODY CLEMENTS, THE La Habra, Calif., quarterback who verbaled to WSU earlier this month, prompts a search of the memory banks. When he arrives in Pullman a year from now, the Cougs will have two scholarship quarterbacks from California on the roster, with the other being Jeff Tuel of Fresno. When was the last time the Golden State had a dual presence behind center in Cougarville?

Old-timers on the CF.C staff point to 1979, when senior Steve "General" Grant was the starting QB and junior Samoa Samoa was the understudy. Those less long-in-the-tooth remember 1989 and '90 when Brad Gossen and Aaron Garcia were splitting time at the helm until a kid from Walla Walla named Bledsoe came along.

Ricky Turner and Ed Blount, a pair of option QBs from the 1980s, were both Californians but as near as we can tell they just missed overlapping their careers.

If you can think of combos we're missing, fire them off to us at

Lastly, from the vault of useless trivia comes this: Going all the way back to 1970, the Cougars have had just two starting quarterbacks who didn't hail from the Northwest or California: Jason Gesser of Hawaii and Josh Swogger of Ohio.

Cougfan Top Stories