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QB recruit Xavier Ward surges to the top of WSU’s 2021 class

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NCAA Football: Northern Colorado at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that Washington State Cougars 2021 QB commit Xavier Ward is starting to garner more attention.

When Ward committed to Nick Rolovich back in June, he was just 16 years old — obviously young to be headed into his senior year — and was rated as a low three-star recruit; Ward’s starting composite rating at 247Sports (a combination of all the major recruiting services) was just 0.8366.

Since then, however, evaluators’ opinions of him is on the rise. By the end of June, his composite rating had risen to 0.8477, and at the end of August, he was bumped once again to 0.8625 — good enough to make him now the highest-rated recruit in the WSU 2021 class. 247Sports’ Brandon Huffman recently named Ward WSU’s “Best Find” in the 2021 class.

It’s unclear exactly what’s behind the shift, although it’s clear from Ward’s Twitter timeline that he’s still showing what he can do, and the guess here is that more eyes are on him now that he’s committed to a Pac-12 school. After originally being listed as a pro-style QB, he’s now classified as a dual-threat QB (which makes sense as a Run And Shoot recruit under Rolovich), and currently ranks 30th nationally in that category.

Additionally, we noted his youthfulness for his recruiting class, so he’s probably either (A) rapidly growing into his body, or (B) evaluators are starting to talk themselves into his long-term potential, given his natural tools.

Either way, it seems website scouts aren’t the only ones taking notice: 247Sports’ Greg Biggins reported yesterday that other schools are still talking with Ward, including the USC Trojans and Arizona State Sun Devils.

That will cause WSU fans’ backsides to pucker a little, as they hold on to their memories of recruits flipping after committing to the Cougars early and getting more attention late. And it certainly doesn’t help that WSU can’t do the typical things right now that they would normally do to solidify a commitment, such as host the recruit on campus.

That said, USC already has two QBs committed for this cycle, and ASU already has one. It’s not unusual for teams to maintain contact with guys down their list in the off chance that dominoes start to fall — you can guarantee Rolovich is doing the same with a handful of guys, too.

Regardless, it’s a good sign that Rolovich got in early on a guy who seems to be taking off.

Links

Season recap: Former local players get airtime in season finale of HBO's 'Hard Knocks' | Eastern Washington Football | khq.com
The most airtime former Washington State receiver and undrafted rookie free agent Easop Winston Jr. was when he was seen briefly in the season finale that featured the Rams’ second scrimmage.

Not taking the season off: WSU’s best summer baseball performances | The Spokesman-Review
The 2020 summer baseball season held more importance than normal for the 18 Cougars fortunate enough to land on offseason teams.

Commentary: Legendary broadcaster Bob Robertson was like a family member to many Cougars | The Spokesman-Review
When Jim Walden was doing his stint as Bob Robertson’s color man, he made it a point to sit down next to Bob-Rob whenever he was about to set the scene for the upcoming Cougar football game. Never mind that Walden’s on-air input wouldn’t be needed for maybe half an hour. He wanted to hear an artist at work.