Remember, these are simply the minimum needs for WSU's Class of 2013. The rest is up to the discretion of the coaches. Things like quality of talent in a given year as compared to the following year are considered by the coaches and are often the explanation for taking more than the needed minimum.
This page will be dynamic to reflect changes in the plan, including position switches. Please remember that this is an estimation and will become more accurate as the season progresses and likely attrition is determined.
Attrition consists of, but is not limited to: early departures for the NFL, academic casualties, transfers, career-ending injuries, disciplinary departures, and players electing to end their eligibility to pursue a career in something other than sports. Obviously, some of these situations are difficult to predict.
Quarterback: WSU was originally scheduled to return six quarterbacks in 2013, that's including walk-ons Conner Johnson and Jesse Brown. However, with the departures of Clements and Gilbertson, we're looking at only two scholarship QBs. The addition of Tyler Bruggman shakes things up a bit, but QB isn't as deep as we once thought it would be. Dotson is a wildcard, as he played QB in high school, but many believe his position will change in Pullman. He's currently listed as a Safety by Scout, an Athlete by Rivals, and a QB by ESPN. I'll guess WR just to make sure we have all the bases covered. The minimum number of QBs a team likes to have differ depending on the offense, but 3-4 is the general rule of thumb.
Returning: Austin Apodaca (RS FR), Jesse Brown (RS SO), Connor Halliday (RS JR), Conner Johnson (RS FR)
Leaving: Cody Clements (RS SO) [transfer], David Gilbertson (RS SR) [retirement]
Amount Needed: 1
Incoming Players: Tyler Bruggman (AZ), Isaac Dotson (WA)
Skill (RB/WR/TE): The minimum here is generally considered to be 20, but as you may have heard, Leach likes WRs a little bit more than RBs or TEs. In fact, WSU doesn't have a single player listed at TE. The Cougars are technically supposed return 25, but a lot of those are walk-on players. Some quick guess work gives us roughly 16 returning skill players who seem to be in line for some sort of playing time. Thus far, Leach has secured verbal commitments from six skill players (3 RBs, 3 WRs) bringing the total about 22. I'd be surprised if he brings in any more ball carriers, but he does like to have between 15-18 WRs, so the possibility of either bringing in another receiver or moving one of the backs to the H position is an option.
Returning: Leon Brooks (RS SR), Teondray Caldwell (SO), Rickey Galvin (RS JR), Manuel Lamson (RS SO), Kyle Lappano (RS SO), Jeremiah Laufasa (RS SO), Marcus Mason (JR), Theron West (RS JR), Kyle Adkins (RS FR),
Brett Bartolone (SO), Bennett Bontemps (SR), Henry Eaddy (JR), Max Hersey (RS SO), Drew Loftus (RS SO), Gabe Marks (SO), Brett McDonald (RS SO), Daniel McDonald (RS JR), Isiah Myers (JR), Michael Newman (RS FR), Bobby Ratliff (RS JR), Mansel Simmons (RS SO), Mark Urtz (RS FR), Dominique Williams (RS SO), Kristoff Williams (RS JR)
Leaving: Marquess Wilson (SR) [NFL], Blair Bomber (RS JR) [transfer]
Amount Needed: 3
Incoming Players: River Cracraft (CA), Jamal Morrow (CA), Olito Thompson (CA), Gerard Wicks (CA), Charleston White (TX), Vince Mayle (CA), Daniel Jenkins (Arizona transfer)
Offensive Line: 15 is the minimum here under most circumstances. WSU will technically return 17, but like before, that includes walk-ons. Of the returning offensive linemen, 11 are projected to see action. Also, attrition of a few is a possibility, as players often look to move on after being passed up by more talented underclassmen. Thus, WSU needs to bring in a minimum of four offensive linemen. Also, to balance under and upperclassmen, all of these should be high school recruits, but one JC player probably won't hurt.
Returning: Matt Adamson (RS FR), Brent Anderson (RS JR), Elliott Bosch (RS SR), Zach Brevick (RS SR), Moritz Christ (RS SO), Joe Dahl (RS SO), Denzell Dotson (SO), Gunnar Ecklund (RS SO), Sam Flor (RS FR), Rico Forbes (RS SR), John Fullington (SR), Matt Goetz (RS SR), Eduardo Middleton (RS FR), Jake Rodgers (RS JR), Niu Sale (RS JR), Pierson Villarrubia (RS FR), Jeff Waldner (RS JR)
Amount Needed: 4
Incoming Players: Cole Madison (WA), Cody O'Connell (WA), Jacob Seydel (CA), Carlos Freeman (OK), Matt Meyer (WA)
Defensive Line: 15 is the minimum here in a 4-3 defense, and 12 with a 3-4. WSU runs a 3-4, but Mike Breske will show looks out of the 4-3 as well. I think 13-14 is a good number to shoot for. The Cougs will technically return 11 defensive linemen. Only one of those returning 11 doesn't figure to see the field. WSU needs to bring in a minimum of three defensive linemen, and at least one of the three needs to be a defensive tackle. One of those might be a JC player, which is fine. However, the possibility of moving an offensive player to defensive line in 2013 still exists.
Returning: Justin Clayton (RS SR), Xavier Cooper (RS SO), Darryl Paulo (RS SO), Destiny Vaeao (SO), Matthew Bock (RS SR), Sherman Hutcherson (RS FR), Austin Brown (RS FR), Robert Barber (RS FR), David Davis (RS SO),
Ioane Gauta (SR), Kalafitoni Pole (RS JR)
Players Needed: 3
Incoming Players: Gerald Sterling (AL), Emmitt Su'a-Kalio (AS), Lyman Faoliu (CA), Paulo Lepua (CA), Daniel Ekuale (AS)
Linebacker: The minimum here is generally eight in a 4-3 defense. Since WSU will be running the 3-4 as previously stated, about 10 will be needed. The BUCK LB position is kind of it's own positional grouping, though, so take that into account. The Cougs will technically return 15 linebackers, but attrition of at least one should be expected. That means the Cougs don't necessarily need to bring any 'backers in, but with three seniors, a couple wouldn't hurt.
Returning: Najee Ali (JR), Jeremiah Allison (SO), Jared Byers (RS JR), Cyrus Coen (JR), David Johnson (RS FR), Darren Markle (RS SR), Logan Mayes (JR), Darryl Monroe (RS SO), Eric Oertel (SR), Kache Palacio (SO), Tana Pritchard (RS SO), Justin Sagote (SR), Chester Su'a (JR), Keith Ewing (RS FR)
Leaving: Khalil Pettway (RS FR) [retiring due to injuries]
Amount Needed: zero
Incoming Players: Peyton Pelluer (WA), Ivan McLennan (CA)
Defensive Back: A minimum of 14 defensive backs is typically desired. WSU will technically return 19, however. Attrition of five or so is expected, though. WSU will need to bring in one or two defensive backs from a need perspective, but I wouldn't be surprised if they bring in more than that to challenge the guys already here. Again, the wildcard here is Dotson. He's being listed as a Safety by at least one recruiting service, but who really knows.
Returning: Tracy Clark (RS JR), Rahmel Dockery (RS FR), Damante Horton (SR), Alex Jackson (RS FR), Nolan Washington (RS SR), Michael Fields (RS FR), Beau Glover (RS FR), Mike McAdie (JR), David Bucannon (RS FR), Deone Bucannon (SR), Anthony Carpenter (RS SR), Feddie Davey (SO), Casey Locker (RS SR), Mitchell Peterson (RS JR), Taylor Taliulu (SO)
Leaving: Tyrone Duckett (RS JR) [transfer], Ray Ford (RS FR) [didn't qualify], Spencer Waseem (RS JR) [transfer], Matthew Simmons (RS JR) [transfer], Brandon Golden (RS JR) [transfer]
Players Needed: 4
Incoming Players: Markell Sanders (WA), Darius Lemora (TX), Daquawn Brown (CA), Montrel Meander (TX)
Special Teams: The Cougs typically want to have one kicker and one punter on scholarship, with a walk-on or two as insurance. This is already taken care of. However, with both Andrew Furney and Mike Bowlin heading into their senior seasons, I'd like to bring in at least one kicker or punter.
Returning: Mike Bowlin (SR), Wes Concepcion (JR), Andrew Furney (SR)
Players Needed: zero
Incoming Players: n/a
This is in no way a final count of exactly the number of players we need. It's purpose is to give an educated guess position by position. I went off of the official roster posted on WSUCougars.com. I understand there may be discrepancies, so I apologize for those, but this is as accurate as possible. If you see a glaring error or omission, please point it out in the comment section below.
Want more? Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Also, check out Recruiting Central.
Follow @KyleRancourt Follow @CougCenter