Jalen Canty, one of the more intriguing prospects in the 2014 class, announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he would not be attending WSU next year after all.
Speculation immediately began as to why that would be, but the reason might not be all that complicated. The 6-foot-8 Canty was a basketball prospect before bursting onto the football scene, and his recruitment included a pledge that he'd be able to try and play both sports while at WSU. It appears he's fallen out of love with football:
@mattfarquhar I won't be playing football again— Jalen Canty (@Jalencanty23) June 5, 2014
It's not known if the Vallejo, California, native was on campus for summer session and had a change of heart (edit: nope, freshmen don't arrive for a couple of weeks), or if this is perhaps grades related; Canty also tweeted that he was headed to Casper College, which is in Wyoming and known as an excellent junior college for basketball. I suspect it might be grades related, as it'd be hard to imagine Ernie Kent turning his nose up at at 6-8 player who can do this right now. But I have no actual knowledge.
Besides, it doesn't really matter. All that matters (from our end) is that this is quite the blow for WSU's 2014 class before it ever arrives on campus. While raw, Canty was considered a prospect with big-time upside as either a defensive end or perhaps offensive lineman. Described by some as a "freak athlete," WSU beat out Oregon and Utah for Canty's commitment shortly before signing day.
Those of you who worry so much about scholarship allocation ... well, this is how attrition happens. Best of luck to the young man as he pursues his dreams.
EDIT, 6/5 - 7:45 a.m.: PJ dug up this story from Canty's hometown paper from back on signing day that includes the following paragraph:
Canty said Washington State has a very good criminal justice program and that played a major influence too. Washington State will require that Canty fulfill more academic obligations, including increasing his grade point average and his SAT score, but he is confident that will happen.
That, combined with the timing - it's the end of the school year, which means he probably now has a good idea of where his grades are going to end up - all seem to point to grades, for whatever that's worth. Not much, obviously. Maybe nothing!
EDIT, 6/7 - 7:52 a.m.: Yep, academics.