Sebastian Larue at the Under Armour game - Bud Elliott (SB Nation)
For the second straight year, Washington State was in the running for a high-profile recruit only to come up just short.
The winding journey that is Sebastian LaRue's recruitment took another turn today and once again it does not involve LaRue committing to Washington State. Instead, LaRue verbally committed to Texas A&M, according to Britton Ransford of Wazzu Watch.
LaRue, a consensus 4-star recruit, was considering WSU among a list of high-profile schools after he decommitted from USC. He is reportedly a big fan of Mike Leach, but evidently preferred the idea of playing with Johnny Manziel in Kevin Sumlin's high-powered offense.
While Friday's verbal commitment wasn't good news for WSU, LaRue is still a player to keep an eye on in the days leading up to signing day. With LaRue now in the fold, Texas A&M currently has 33 verbal commitments, so they will likely have to drop a player or two before signing day. LaRue becomes the seventh wide receiver commitment, including the sixth ranked with four stars or better. With so many players to fit in, it's possible LaRue could open things up a third time, we'll just have to wait and see.
Assuming that doesn't happen, this is the second straight season WSU has been a finalist for a highly ranked prospect only to see them commit to another school. WSU was thought to be in the final two for 4-star recruits Kenny Lawler and Cedric Dozier last season before both committed to California. Being a finalist is nice, but ultimately it doesn't do much to help the product on the field next season. WSU has a hat on the selection table now, but most of them are being returned to Champs Sports the next day.
That said, being in the running for highly ranked recruits such as LaRue should pay off down the road. As several people have pointed out on Twitter, WSU could start winning these recruiting battles once they start winning games.
@cougcenter When in the last two seasons the Cougars have won a total of seven games? Yes. They'll sign when when the wins start coming.— Britton Ransford (@bkransford) January 25, 2013
@cougcenter Being in the conversation for big names is the first step to actually start landing those big names. Gotta be in it to win it— Addicted To Quack (@AddictedToQuack) January 25, 2013
With LaRue likely now out of the picture, WSU will have to rely on Dominique Williams, Gabe Marks and others to carry the receiving corps. There is depth there and the two current verbal commitments should help, but losing LaRue is still going to sting for a while.