The Washington State Cougars welcome seven official visitors to Pullman this weekend, including six committed players as signing day approaches in just over two weeks.
Among those visiting are a terrific group of defensive backs. The lone uncommitted prospects visiting is the top prospect from the WSU pipeline of American Samoa.
UPDATE: Bellflower, Calif., St. John Bosco quarterback Quentin Davis tells CougCenter that he has de-committed from Washington State and will no longer visit this weekend. Here's the latest on Davis' de-commitment and what it means for WSU.
|January 22-24 Visitor Weekend|
|CB||Marcus Strong||Rialto, Calif.||5-11/170||***||***||WSU|
|WR||Grant Porter||Upland, Calif.||6-2/184||***||***||WSU|
|DB||Skyler Thomas||Perris, Calif.||5-11/175||**||***||WSU|
|CB||D'Jimon Jones||Federal Way, Wash.||6-2/175||***||**||WSU|
|OL||Christian Haangana||Milpitas, Calif.||6-6/347||**||***||WSU|
|LB||Derek Moore||Los Angeles, Calif.||6-2/211||**||***||WSU|
|OL||Frederick Mauigoa||Pago Pago, A.S.||6-4/295||***||***||—|
Two of the defensive back commits come from California with Skyler Thomas and Marcus Strong making their way to the Palouse officially. Strong boasted offers from Washington and Oregon State, while Thomas had multiple offers from Mountain West schools. Federal Way, Wash., standout D'jimon Jones is a big-time athlete who played quarterback in high school, though he'll come to Washington State as an athlete, most likely to end up at cornerback to start. Here's our profiles of Thomas, Strong, and Jones.
Grant Porter committed early while receiving a lot of recruiting attention. 350-pound lineman Christian Haangana is also making the trip and boasts very impressive film that should get the fan base excited for him. Additionally, Los Angeles linebacker Derek Moore, who moved his visit back from last weekend, will also be in town. Moore committed to WSU back in August. Here's our profiles on Porter, Haangana and Moore.
The big uncommited target this weekend is Frederick Mauigoa from American Samoa. Joe Salavea pretty much never misses on prospects from Samoa, so let's hope he can reel in one of the best lineman in the West. It appears this battle will come down to WSU and Oregon State. Mauigoa is good enough that the Cougs will find room for him despite having a full class.
It's another big weekend to firm up past commitments and add one more top player.
Britton Ransford's recruiting notes:
Long Beach, Calif., defensive end Josh Allen, a former four-star prospect, will no longer visit Washington State this weekend, a source confirms to CougCenter. The 6-foot-2, 255-pound defensive lineman visited Arizona, whom he was previously committed, last weekend and it appears as though the Wildcats are the favorite.
Miami, Fla., wide receiver Darnell Salomon confirmed that he will no longer visit Washington State next weekend. The four-star receiver, who is currently committed to South Florida, says he's down to Temple, USF and Pittsburgh, whom he'll visit next weekend instead of the Palouse.
Stevie Houston, a longtime Washington State receiver commit, will no longer sign with Washington State, a source confirmed with CougCenter on Thursday. According to a report from Cougfan.com ($), one other commit will not sign with WSU on Feb. 3, though CougCenter has been unable to confirm that report.
With a pair of commits likely no longer in the fold, that would leave Washington State with 25 known prospects that have either signed or committed to Washington State. So, who's left?
Arguable the top prospect left on the board is Frederick Mauigoa, who will visit this weekend, as Scott noted above. The three-star offensive guard, rated the top prospect in American Samoa, hosted Coach Salave'a for an in-home visit this week and the pair traveled back to the States together ahead of the official visitor weekend.
Mauigoa was previously considering Washington State, Oregon State and BYU, though he tells CougCenter that he's now down to the Cougars and Beavers in what is legitimately a 50-50 battle heading into the final two visitor weekends.
Some have dismissed the Beavers given Kalani Sitake's move to BYU, though Chad Kauha'aha'a, OSU's linebackers coach, has long-recruited Mauigoa and can't be counted out. I, however, expect Mauigoa to end up rocking crimson when it's all said and done.
Speaking of Coach Salave'a recruits, I spoke with Honolulu receiver Keoni-Kordell Makekau this week, who says he's no longer visiting Washington State this weekend. The two-star prospect previously had a visit set up, though he was unable to get ahold of the staff this week to confirm plans, he says.
Another Hawaiian prospect to watch down the line is Kahuku's Bradlee Anae, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound defensive end. The Cougars yet to offer — and he's set to visit Oregon State this weekend and BYU next weekend — but we'll see if they make a run at the talented lineman should other options fall through.
A pair of Washington State targets who visited the Palouse last weekend will be on Mountain West campuses this weekend. Tayler Hawkins, a three-star prospect out of Palm Springs, Calif., will visit San Diego State, while Curtis Weaver, a top defensive end prospect from Southern California, will be hanging out in Boise State for the weekend.
Washington State is still in good shape with both players, though it's going to be interesting over the next couple weeks to see what happens should they accept a verbal commitment from the pair. Hawkins is also considering Colorado, though it wouldn't be surprising to see the cornerback/receiver jump on his Washington State offer next week.
The biggest area of need as the Cougars attempt to wrap up the the current recruiting class is at defensive tackle. Washington State hosted Pocatello, Idaho, run stopper Wayne Kirby last weekend, but Oregon has jumped in with an offer late, triggering an official visit to Eugene this weekend.
Kirby will still visit Utah next weekend and he's expected to make a decision following that trip, though Oregon poses a significant threat under new defensive coordinator Brady Hoke. If I were to make an educated guess, this is a battle between Washington State and Oregon, though the Cougars likely have the upper hand heading into the visit.
Who would be a backup plan at defensive tackle should Washington State be unable to land Kirby? Well, they've been looking at Seattle, Wash., defensive tackle Tiano Tialavea, a 6-foot-4, 325-pounder out of Odea. Holding just an offer from Central, Tialavea is being recruited by several schools, including Washington and Oregon, as a preferred walk-on, but things can move quickly at this stage.
There's also a chance that Washington State holds on to a spot (despite there being very few left), and going after a JUCO defensive tackle or leftover prospect after signing day, similar to what they did with Hunter Dale and Tavares Martin last cycle.
It's about to get silly.