I'm late to writing this up, but by the time the release came from Washington State on Monday night, the BCS National Championship was in full-
swing snore and The Coug was calling my name after. Nevertheless, three players signed with the Cougars on Monday -- one on an LOI and the other two on financial aid agreements -- while a fourth, highly-anticipated player enrolled in classes.
Kicker Mike Bowlin signed his Letter of Intent, as expected, and is on campus and in classes now. Bowlin comes to Washington State by way of Saddleback Junior College after a short stint at Oregon. Kyle has more on Bowlin, and his write-up can be found here. It's likely Bowlin will help immediately on kickoffs and he may challenge for the placekicking duties immediately, as well.
I'd also like to point out this table to everyone. The question of "how hard can it be to find a kicker that can boot the ball into the end zone" always comes up. The answer, in college football, is very hard. Notice the top-flight teams struggling in the kicking game -- both on kickoffs and field goals. For whatever reason, good kickers are hard to come by.
Teondray Caldwell is also in, having signed a financial aid agreement before enrolling at semester. Caldwell originally signed with Nevada, but never played for reasons that remain unknown -- I've seen plenty of rumors, from grades to injury, but nothing concrete. Remember Leach hired Jim Mastro to coach the running backs. Mastro previously coached at Nevada and will likely implement some form of the pistol, making Caldwell a good fit here.
CougCenter favorite Denzell Dotson is also in after signing a financial aid agreement, graduating early, and enrolling at semester. I don't have much to add since Kyle took care of his profile and interviewed him.
Finally, the odd case of a situation where it may have ended up being in the athletes best interest to not enroll this past fall semester, even if it was a pain at the time. Rahmel Dockery is now enrolled in school, as expected, and will have five to play four -- he'll also count against last year's recruiting class, as will the rest of the new players that just came in.
Dockery was the victim of an unfortunate mix-up that was, essentially, out of his control at the time. Prior to sending his paperwork to the NCAA Clearinghouse, he completed two summer classes to obtain the necessary qualifications. The problem was he needed a third, but didn't know about it. So that's what he did during the fall, after hanging around Pullman in limbo, hoping to be cleared.
Had he been on campus, it's very likely he would've played this past season, either in a specialist role, a receiving depth role, or both. It would've been fun, he would've gone through the typical growing pains, but he probably wouldn't have seen a significant number of targets -- my bet is he'd have Henry Eaddy numbers, perhaps a bit more.
Now, thanks to what was a crummy situation at the time, Dockery walks in with a new coach who will, in all likelihood, put him to use as an Elf receiver. He'll see plenty of targets, have four years with a redshirt if needed -- I don't think he'll use it as a "bulk up" deal, but it's good to have in the back pocket just in case -- and basically nobody in front of him on the depth chart. The slot positions should be wide-open, and Dockery is the kind of player Leach could put to use.
This offense thrives on quick players making plays in space. This should sound familiar if you've seen any of Dockery. The kid is shifty and can fly, making him an excellent fit for Leach's offense.
In other words, maybe that paperwork snafu was actually for the best.