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Early Signing Day 2018 preview: Who’s in for WSU, what’s left to do?

With only a couple of days to go, let’s break it down.

Washington v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

We’re still waiting for the Alamo Bowl, but Christmas has come early once again for college football fans, as the Washington State Cougars are looking signing close to a full recruiting class on Wednesday, the start of the early signing period for college football.

The early period — which is now in its second iteration — has been a boon for WSU so far: The Cougars are able keep their prospects from being poached late by bigger programs who are holding out for the five-star types.

This Big Board will be your one-stop shop for WSU recruiting info the next couple of days as things develop. Below you will see that each position is broken down with commitments, targets and notes.

Right now WSU has 23 players (including grayshirting 2018 commits Rocky Katoanga and Gatlin Grisso) committed, and almost all of them are expected to sign on Wednesday. WSU is expecting to take a full class of 25 when all is said and done; whether they save any schollies for the late period remains to be seen, and it’s not exactly clear if some creative scholarship accounting would allow them to take more than 25 in this cycle.

We will keep this updated if new commitments roll in between now and Wednesday.

WSU Recruiting Big Board

Here’s the class as it stands now:

2019 WSU football recruiting commitments

Player Expected Pos. 247 Composite Composite Value NLI received? Enrolled Early? Measurables (via 247) Commit Date City State CougCenter Profile Comments
Player Expected Pos. 247 Composite Composite Value NLI received? Enrolled Early? Measurables (via 247) Commit Date City State CougCenter Profile Comments
Travion Brown LB ✯✯✯ 0.8748 YES NO 6-3/215 10/2/18 Temecula CA Link Rated four stars by 247sports evaluators
Jamir Thomas RB ✯✯✯ 0.8676 YES NO 6-1/215 11/27/18 Massillon OH Link Ranked as a LB, converted to RB as a senior
Gunner Cruz QB ✯✯✯ 0.8607 YES YES 6-4.5/215 5/31/18 Queen Creek AZ Link Threw for 5700 yards and 70 TDs as soph/jr
Bryce Beekman DB ✯✯✯ 0.8582 YES YES 6-2/190 11/20/18 Yuma AZ Link Teammate of OL commit Dontae Powell
Jouvensly Bazile RB ✯✯✯ 0.8540 YES NO 5-10/180 6/28/18 Naples FL Link Has reportedly clocked 10.98 in 100 meters
Patrick Utschinski OL ✯✯✯ 0.8537 YES NO 6-7/280 9/10/18 Walla Walla WA Link Rated four stars by 247sports evaluators
Konner Gomness OL ✯✯✯ 0.8532 YES NO 6-4/270 9/29/18 Fresno CA Link Reported offer from Louisville and lots of midmajors
Billy Pospisil WR ✯✯✯ 0.8463 YES YES 5-11/190 2/16/18 Arvada CO Attends same high school as 2018 signee Max Borghi
Armauni Archie DB ✯✯✯ 0.8456 YES NO 6-1/175 10/12/18 El Cerrito CA Link Chose WSU over an offer from Nebraska
Derrick Langford DB ✯✯✯ 0.8448 YES YES 6-2/185 11/15/18 San Francisco CA Link Juco who has four to play three
Tyler Garay-Harris DL ✯✯✯ 0.8444 YES NO 6-5/230 11/4/18 Oakland CA Link Offers from Utah and ASU
Donovan Ollie WR ✯✯✯ 0.8431 YES NO 6-3/205 10/15/18 Wylie TX Link Chose WSU over Iowa State and Utah
Peni Naulu LB ✯✯✯ 0.8423 YES NO 6-1/210 9/6/18 Kapolei HI Link Other offers: UW, Oregon, UCLA, Cal, Nebraska
Cosmas Kwete DL ✯✯✯ 0.8418 YES NO 6-3/220 11/5/18 Phoenix AZ Link Inexperienced player, specialized in Rugby
Daniel Isom DB ✯✯✯ 0.8407 YES YES 5-10/180 11/8/18 Council Bluffs IA Link Played as a true freshman for NIU before transfer
Rocky Katoanga LB ✯✯✯ 0.8366 YES YES 6-2/205 2/6/18 Oceanside CA Grayshirted
Jimmy Price OL ✯✯✯ 0.8306 YES NO 6-5/295 1/26/19 Houston TX Link Picked WSU over Arizona State
Shahman Moore DB ✯✯✯ 0.8267 YES YES 6-0/170 12/20/18 El Segundo CA Link Two years of eligibility remaining
Ma'ake Fifita OL ✯✯✯ 0.8154 YES NO 6-5/250 12/16/18 Snohomish WA Link Staff targeted him as a center
Gatlin Grisso DB ✯✯✯ 0.8072 YES YES 6-1/185 6/23/17 Aubrey TX Link Grayshirted
Nicholas Sheetz DL ✯✯✯ 0.8072 YES NO 6-3/253 2/3/19 Greenwood SC Link Lightly recruited; offered PWO by Georgia
Simon Samarzich LS ✯✯✯ 0.8043 YES NO 6-0/200 6/8/18 Upland CA Rated the top long snapper in the country
Gage Gubrud QB NA YES YES 6-2/205 1/26/19 Cheney WA Link Grad transfer from EWU

Let’s break down each position. In the parentheses, you’ll see how many are currently committed and how many WSU is expecting to take total at that spot.

Quarterback (1 of 1)

Three-star recruit Gunner Cruz has been committed since May and is probably the closest thing to a “classic” WSU quarterback Mike Leach has landed since he has been here. He has big size and arm along with sneaky mobility. He reminds me a little bit of a certain current broadcaster and WSU alumnus on the Pac-12 network.

Running Back (2 of 2)

The Cougars have a “thunder and lightning” combination coming in similar to the Wicks/Morrow class of a few years ago. Jamir Thomas is the power back with lots of impressive offers to play linebacker from Big Ten country and Jouvensly Bazile is the track star speed back out of Florida a la Keith Harrington.

Wide Receiver (2 of 3)

It seems like WSU won’t sign as many as they usually do with so many pass catchers returning, but you can always expect Mike Leach to sign a few impact receivers. Donovan Ollie is the big outside guy from Texas and former Max Borghi teammate Billy Pospisil is the inside guy in the Renard Bell/Travell Harris mold. No other receiver prospects have scheduled visits at this time.

Offensive Line (5 of 5)

The Cougars have assembled an impressive group of blockers so far headlined by junior college bounce-back Dontae Powell, who was a four-star recruit in high school, and Walla Walla’s Patrick Utchinski, whom 247Sports rates a four-star player. Additionally, 6-foot-7/300-pound Canadian hoss Liam Dick is in town this weekend for an official visit and would be a great way to round out this class, even if that meant taking six in this cycle. WSU is competing against Louisville and Pitt for his services.

Defensive Tackle (1 of 2)

Dejon Benton is the only currently committed interior defender as previous committ Nassir Sims and WSU went their separate ways. Hopefully the Cougars are able to unearth another big man before the start of fall practice.

Defensive End (1 of 1)

The only true defensive end (although some of the linebackers will function as rush ends) WSU is signing this year is Tyler Garay-Harris. The Oakland native boasts a very promising frame and looks like a potential steal.

Linebacker (4 of 4)

WSU has three super athletic prospects expected to sign in Peni Naulu, Travion Brown and Cosmas Kwete. Brown is rated as four stars by 247Sports, and Kwete seems to be most likely to play inside along with grayshirt Katoanga.

Cornerback (3 of 3)

After struggling at this position in 2018, WSU has hit the JC ranks for 6-foot-3 Derrick Langford and former Northern Illinois starter Daniel Isom. Prep star Armani Archie who turned down Nebraska rounds out the trio expected to ink on Wednesday.

Safety (3 of 3)

Despite returning both starters, WSU is going pretty safety heavy this year as depth is needed at both spots and the Nickel position. Bryce Beekman is one of the best JC safeties in the country and Don Chapman was wooed away from Colorado during the coaching change.

Special Teams (1 of 1)

The Cougars have bucked convention this year and offered a long snapper. Simon Samarzich is considered the top snapper in the country. WSU has also reportedly offered junior college punter Carson Olivas, but i have to think this is a preferred walk-on situation with Oscar Draguicevich only a sophomore.