OK, it's time to put a nice little bow on Signing Day with a roundup of the news and analysis making its way across these here Interwebs.
First off, if you missed our coverage yesterday, it's not too late to check it out:
CougCenter 2009 Elite Eight -- Our take on which recruits might have the biggest impact on WSU's future fortunes.
- Player signings -- Includes a roundup of each scouting services' take on each new recruit.
- Recruit videos -- The best (free) videos we could find on our signees. We're still adding content to this one as time allows.
- What they're saying, Part I -- The first look at initial reaction to the Cougs' class.
- Rankin's not coming to Pullman ... yet
- Rasmussen chat wrap -- Cougar recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen held a chat at wsucougars.com. We hit the highlights.
Next, let's take a look at the day-after rankings. We know it's "meaningless" at this point, but according to one service the Cougs fared very, very well -- much better than they have in recent years. Here's Scout.com's Pac-10 rankings, where WSU finished higher than it has since 2004. (Which ought to serve as a sobering reminder of just what can happen to a highly regarded class.) Additionally, we recapped Scout.com's team-specific analysis in our first What They're Saying post.
- UCLA (!)
- Stanford (!)
- Arizona State
- Oregon State
Others weren't quite as high on the Cougs. ESPN.com's Scouts, Inc. gave WSU a "C-" grade, and ranked the Cougs No. 9 overall, ahead of only UW:
- USC - A
- UCLA - B
- Stanford - B-
- Cal - B-
- Arizona State - B-
- Oregon - B-
- Arizona - C+
- Oregon State - C
- WSU - C-
- UW - C-
Here's how Scouts, Inc. described the Cougs' class:
Recruiting to Washington State is not impossible, but it sure is tough. Coming of a 2-11 season, Paul Wulff has a tough task in trying to build the Cougars. Much recruiting emphasis has been put on attracting in-state talent . A solid get from outside those two areas is Darren Markle (Meridian, Idaho/Mountain View) an inside linebacker who is tough versus the run. Fans need to keep an eye on Chris Mastin (Spokane, Wash./Lewis & Clark), a high-motor defender who could land at end or outside linebacker. He is undersized but fun to watch and should be able to make some plays in Pullman. The Cougars have only two offensive linemen in their class, but both are among their top four recruits, including top prospect Sebastian Valenzuela (Burbank, Calif./Burroughs).
Rivals.com was even more down on the Cougs. But then again, when I went to each player page for scouting or bio information, it was shocking how woefully lacking it was, leading me to wonder just how close of a look they take at players that aren't going to Top 25 teams:
- Arizona State
- Oregon State
Rivals summed it up this way:
The state of Washington has never been a recruiting hotbed, but if there was any year that WSU could make a move up the charts in the Pac-10 it was going to be this year. It was the second year of the program under coach Paul Wulff, and there was plenty of turmoil in Seattle as the Husky program was going through a transition. In the end, Wazzu did finish with three of the top five players in the state, but outside the state the Cougars were not able to capitalize on a lot of top-flight talent. The Cougars eventually got passed by UW after the coaching change and finished in the cellar of the conference for the third consecutive year.
Last, here's a roundup off all the recruiting related news we could find this morning:
- News stories on the day, all of which offer slightly different takes on the same story: The Spokesman-Review, The Seattle Times, The (Tacoma) News Tribune, The Seattle P-I, and Cougfan.com.
- The News Tribune and Seattle Times compiles their own takes on each individual recruit.
- Here's the WSU Athletic Department official release with extensive bios on each player.
- Andre Barrington and a Federal Way teammate will soon be facing off in Apple Cups.
- Justin Clayton's signing is a pretty big dang deal where he comes from.