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COUG COMMIT: WR Bobby Ratliff

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We're going to try something new around here: Pass on the commitments of recruits when Cougfan.com reports them so that we have a chance to provide some brief analysis and also give you a place to talk about it.

We've generally stayed away from recruiting up until now because we like to talk about stuff we can see. Well, with all the video floating around out there, we usually can see at least something of these guys, so it makes sense to bring some recruiting into the fold after a guy commits. (You still won't see us talk about guys who haven't committed, unless it's clear the Cougs are in on a high-profile guy. Too much rumor and innuendo for us.)

The latest WSU football commit is Bobby Ratliff, a 3-star wide receiver from California. He's listed at 6-1/180, and there's are a pair of nice YouTube videos embedded below. The first is from his junior year. The second is from what looks like a UCLA camp. My initial thoughts from the videos below:

  • In looking at his junior year video, he doesn't seem fit the profile of adding speed to the team. There are a number of times on the video where he lacks the explosiveness to pull away from defenders, and is even caught from behind.
  • However, in the UCLA video, that doesn't prevent him from getting open in one-on-one matchups -- he runs excellent routes with sharp, decisive cuts that allow him to generate space, even without great speed.
  • That shiftiness that leads to the good routes also allows him to be elusive in space.
  • He seems to be an excellent pass catcher. Even though these are recruiting videos and they're not going to show any drops, he seems to have very good technique in catching the ball with his hands.
  • The lack of breakaway speed but good hands seems to suggest that he would project to some kind of possession receiver -- if they keep him at wideout, which would seem likely.

Sound like anyone you know?

This looks like a guy who could contribute right away, but he might not, depending on how things shake out with Kevin Norrell, which might create too much depth for him to crack as a freshman. He's the 12th known commit to WSU, according to Cougfan.com.

Video after the jump.