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How the Other Side Recruits: Washington State Cougars

A look at how Rutgers Week 1 opponent hits the recruiting trail.

Coach Mike Leach and his Recruiting Wingman
Coach Mike Leach and his Recruiting Wingman
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Where do their players come from?

From the looks of it, California, mostly.  The Cougars have 12 commits in the Class of 2015 so far - 11 of them are from California. The twelfth is a Washington native.

Last year, they had 21 commits, and 13 were Cali kids. Only 2 were Washington natives. They also signed 2 kids from Florida, 2 from Hawaii, 1 from Alabama, and 1 from American Samoa.

In 2013 (the first full Mike Leach class), the Cougars had 30 commits, 15 of whom came from California; 6 from Washington, 2 from Texas, 1 from Montana, 1 from Oklahoma, 1 from Utah, 1 from Alabama, and 1 from Arizona.

Who are their blue-chip recruits?

WSU has two consensus four-star recruits committed in the 2015 class,RB Austin Joyner (Marysville, WA) and DT Thomas Toki (Mountain View, CA).  Similar to Rutgers, the remainder of their class is comprised of 2 and 3 star guys.

In 2014, they had one 4-star player, WR Barry Ware (Corona, CA).  The rest were 2- and 3-star recruits.

2013 was similar - two 4* recruits in LB Ivan McLennan (Torrance, CA) and WR Vince Mayle (Rocklin, CA).

Who's the Ace Recruiter on Staff?

None of the assistants really jump off the page as top-flight recruiters, but 247 Sports lists Special Teams Coach Eric Russell as having a hand in landing two of Wazzou's 4 star guys (Joyner and Toki in 2015 class).  Coach Russell has bounced all over the place, spending time at Tennessee under Derek Dooley and Mike Leach during the Texas Tech years, as well as North Texas and Louisiana Tech.

Any "State of Rutgers" Guys on the Roster?

Connor Ennis, a redshirt freshman QB, is from Gonzaga HS in Washington, D.C., which is a frequent stomping ground for Rutgers and other Atlantic teams looking for talent. The Cougars also have a handful of players from Florida, but nobody from New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland or Virginia.

Notable Recruiting Storylines?

Washington State recruiting seems surprisingly similar to Rutgers recruiting the past few years.  Coach Leach has never been known for bringing in boatloads of super high rated prospects, either in Pullman or while in Lubbock, but like Coach Flood, he has a knack for getting big results from two and three star guys.  Michael Crabtree, current 49er WR and former Texas Tech Red Raider was a 4 star, but he was one of only three in that Tech class. Wazzou also had a few decommitments last year, which Coach Leach called "business as usual."