While it's unclear whether new Coug commit Peyton Bender (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) will be one of the final 11, his presence alone is important: This weekend, Elite 11 will hold its QB camp in Atlanta, and Bender is participating.
While WSU has had an Elite 11 QB before (hi there, Arkelon Hall!), it's been a while, and this a pretty big deal. Roughly 33 percent of Elite 11 QBs have been drafted since the camp's inception in 1999. So while it's not a guarantee of future success, that's a pretty good success rate considering most people roll their eyes at the current star ranking system. Former Elite 11 prospects include:
'99: Matt Cassel
'00: Matt Leinart, Derek Anderson
'01: Vince Young, Drew Stanton, Troy Smith
'02: Trent Edwards, Chris Leak, Andre Woodson, Jamarcus Russel, Dennis Dixon
'03: Rhett Bomar
'04: Mark Sanchez, Chase Daniel
'05: Josh Freeman, Jake Locker, Matthew Stafford, Tim Tebow, Jevan Snead
'06: Ryan Mallet, Tyrod Taylor
'07: Blaine Gabbert, Mike Glennon, Landry Jones, Andrew Luck, EJ Manuel
'08: Geno Smith
That's a pretty impressive list. I count three Heisman winners, 10 first rounders, and three number one overall picks. Obviously this doesn't mean ZOMG BENDER IS GOING 2 BE BANANAS, but it's certainly better than him not being invited to the camp at all. While he's currently not ranked, I expect him to be a high 3-star player, and perhaps a 4-star by one of the four major ranking sites.
One of the best tools in recruiting comes from already committed players talking to their peers. While I'm not sure Bender will be recruiting any QBs to come to WSU alongside him, players often bring their own WRs to throw to. Simply getting the word out about WSU is a great thing for kids who may not know the Cougs exist.