As Washington State tried to finalize its 2015 recruiting class a year ago, the biggest challenge was keeping it in place. Whether it was the down season on the field, coaching changes, or other factors, several players jumped ship during the 24th hour, leaving the Cougars scrambling. That was not a problem this season and it wasn't because of a lack of effort from other Pac-12 schools.
Alex Grinch says USC reached out to Danny Bender at the last minute.— Britton K. Ransford (@BKRansford) February 3, 2016
Bender is a composite 2-star recruit who might get overlooked by fans just glossing over stars. But, keeping a Southern California recruit in the fold, despite interest from USC, is a very big deal for WSU. There was no hesitation by Bender either, who faxed in his LOI by 7:15 a.m. PT.
Bender wasn't the only one either. Roy Manning mentioned the Trojans were showing interest in another WSU signee. Speculation points to LB Derek Moore who would be another Southern California prospect choosing the Cougars over the Trojans.
It wasn't just USC showing late interest in Cougar commitments. At least two other Pac-12 teams were chasing after and trying to flip players before they signed with WSU. Players could have flipped and WSU would have been scrambling trying to fill a handful of spots in the final days. Instead, there was no wavering and WSU had it's entire signing class officially inked by 10:24 a.m. PT.
The Cougars got the 25 players they wanted. They got them despite the best efforts of other Pac-12 teams. And they got them without any hesitation. There is a reason WSU chief of staff Dave Emerick was so excited.
Emerick: "Greatest signing day of my life."— CougCenter (@CougCenter) February 3, 2016