College football recruiting never stops, not even for Christmas. Washington State landed a pair of verbal commitments on Christmas Eve, including a verbal from one of the top 2015 defensive tackles.
Thomas Toki, a 4-star defensive tackle from Kirkland, verbally committed on Tuesday, becoming WSU's fist commitment in the 2015 class. The 6-foot-2, 285-pound prospect is one of the top defensive tackles in the country and the No. 2 prospect in Washington, according to Rivals. Even early in the process, Toki has garnered offers from Arizona State, UCLA, Vanderbilt and others. It should come as no surprise that WSU defensive line coach Joe Salave'a was a key in landing Toki.
"I committed to WSU today," Toki said on Tuesday, via Rivals.com ($). "Mainly because I want to play for Coach Joe Salave'a. He really knows what he is doing."
Salave'a continues to excel on the recruiting trail. If he keeps this up, there is going to be a time in the not so far off future that the entire starting front seven is made up of Salave'a recruits. He's killing it. And he's a hell of a position coach too. WSU may need to pay Salave'a to ensure he stays in Pullman long term, he's absolutely earning it.
Toki is a 2015 prospect so he can't officially sign with WSU until next winter and unless he enrolls early, won't sign until February 2015. He's likely a future nose tackle for WSU and has the potential to be a very good one. He already has Pac-12 size, but is likely still growing and could easily arrive in Pullman weighing well over 300 pounds. He's much more than a large human though. Toki is quick and agile. He's also absurdly strong. According to his sophomore highlight film, he benched 370 pounds and squatted 450 pounds as a 15-year-old. Watching the way he rag dolls opponents in his junior highlights, I believe it.
A few hours after Cougfan broke the news of Toki's commitment, Keenan Bowen of coug247.com was the first to report Ronald Monroe, a 3-star athlete in the 2014 class, had also committed. Monroe played quarterback in high school, but the 6-foot-4 188-pound athlete was offered by WSU as a wide receiver. He was once committed to Texas State before visiting WSU in early December. He also received offers from Houston, Utah and New Mexico State. Monroe drew offers as a quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back.
With his size, Monroe projects as an outside receiver for WSU, which is a position of need. The Cougars are loaded at wide receiver next year, but will graduate three of the top five outside receivers. The majority of Monroe's Hudl highlights are of him playing quarterback. He does, however, appear to be a very fluid athlete. He reportedly runs in the 4.5 second range. We'll have to wait and see how his athleticism translates to wide receiver.
With the depth WSU will have at receiver next year, Monroe is headed for a redshirt season. He'll spend the year learning the offenses and the nuances of being a wide receiver. He could compete for a spot on the two deep as soon as his redshirt freshman season.
Based on his combination of size, speed, athleticism and a frame to develop, Monroe appears to be a high-upside prospect. Watching his highlights, he reminds me a lot of Dom Williams. He has a similar build and stride. He is the third wide receiver prospect in the class, joining Zaire Andre and Calvin Green.