The deadline for college football players to declare for the 2014 NFL Draft is today. WSU didn't lose anyone to the NFL early, but today's deadline will still have an impact on the Cougars' 2014 season. WSU is the only Pac-12 team not losing a player early to the draft.
Here's a list of players WSU will no longer have to face. This is obviously just a list of underclassmen, many seniors will also depart.
RB Ka'Deem Carey
The Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year is off to the NFL. He ran for 132 yards against WSU this season. The matchup with Arizona next year just got a little more favorable.
LB Carl Bradford
Bradford was a disruptive force when WSU faced ASU, so I doubt the WSU staff is sad to see him go. He notched three quarterback hurries, a sack and two forced fumbles against the Cougars. He was a second team All-Pac-12 selection.
TE Richard Rodgers, DT Viliami Moala, LB Khairi Fortt, CB Kameron Jackson, RB Brendon Bigelow
Cal finished 1-11 and lost four players to the NFL early. That is incredible. When WSU finished 1-11 the Cougars lost players early too, but that was to the CFL and a boxing career. None of the four departing earned Pac-12 honors. Rodgers caught four passes for 85 yards against WSU. Fortt notched four tackles, Moala two and Jackson none. Jackson was called for a hold on Dom Williams and a personal foul.
Update: Add another to the list:
Every Cal player going pro. RT @JFowlerCBS Cal RB Brendan Bigelow is declaring for the NFL draft— Dan Kadar (@MockingTheDraft) January 15, 2014
WR Paul Richardson
WSU doesn't play Colorado next season, so this doesn't have much of an impact on the Cougars. Doesn't help Colorado's chances of turning things around quickly, though.
RB De'Anthony Thomas, TE Colt Lyerla, CB Terrence Mitchell
Thomas didn't play against WSU this season, so not much change there. Lyerla was kicked off the team a while back. Mitchell notched a pick-six against WSU, so I guess it's good he's gone. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu decided to stay in school though. The real winner here? Me, for being able to use this GIF again.
WR Brandin Cooks, DE Scott Crichton
Very good news for the Cougars as both players have a history of killing WSU. Cooks' speed was a major issue for the Cougars last season and he finished with 171 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. Crichton was an issue when facing the Beavers. He essentially single-handidly ended Jeff Tuel's 2011 season.
OL Cameron Fleming, OL David Yankey, S Ed Reynolds
The vaunted Stanford offensive line got a little bit weaker and the Cardinal will have to replace four of five starters. They'll probably still be good, but may no longer be 10-deep with NFL prospects. Reynolds was a first-team safety.
OL Xavier Su'a-Filo
Brett Hundley decided to stay for another year, which is fine because WSU doesn't play UCLA next season anyway.
WR Marqise Lee, TE Xavier Grimble, OL Marcus Martin, DT George Uko, S Dion Bailey
These five players were obviously too scared to make the trip to Pullman next year, so they went running to the NFL. Obviously. Uko notched a sack and forced a fumble against WSU last year while Bailey finished with 10 tackles and an interception. Lee and Grimble combined to score one fewer touchdowns than Damante Horton.
TE Jake Murphy
Remember the Utah tight end who burned WSU for a 64-yard touchdown to make it a one-score game in the fourth quarter? Well, he won't be a problem any more. Murphy finished with 102 receiving yards and two scores. Not sad to see him go.
RB Bishop Sankey, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Sankey ran for 200 yards and killed WSU in the second half. Seferian-Jenkins finished with 52 yards and a score. Washington has a stockpile of wide receivers and some running back depth, but it won't be easy to replace Sankey and ASJ.
- Rutgers WR Brandon Coleman declared. He was the second-leading receiver last year. The Scarlet Knights will now have to replace their two top wide receivers.
- Wyoming QB Brett Smith is headed to the NFL early. Why does this matter? Well if you remember back, Smith was interested in WSU coming out of high school. He's from Salem, Ore. and didn't receive an offer from any of the Pac-12 schools. WSU signed Cody Clements in the same class. Recruiting is a fickle beast.
- Sports Illustrated has you covered with a complete list of all the early entries.
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