LOGAN MAYES is a Cougar living in Eugene, which recently hasn't been all that comfortable. It's the…
Rating the strength of WSU's commitments on D
Still, nothing is ever for certain until they sign. And if history is any indication, other schools will be fervently trying to steal some of Washington State's verbals in the final days between now and LOI Day on Feb. 2. This unscientific assessment is based on CF.C interviews and conversations with prospects and prep and JC coaches, plus published reports. We put ratings on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being softer than a Steve Sarkisian handshake and 10 being a steel blast door at NORAD. Part I, on the offense, can be found here. And here's how things shape up on the defensive side of the ball. DT David Davis – The gene pool doesn't get much better than this. Davis' grandfather is Willie Davis -- the Hall of Fame defensive end who starred for the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s. Grandson and Grandfather are close, and the elder Davis has been imparting his football knowledge to and breaking down film with David for years. The 6-foot-1 Palos Verdes High product was the unquestioned disruptive force this season during their playoff run and one of the main reasons why is because he uses leverage so adeptly and because he has such a good motor. He's remained solidly committed to Washington State throughout the process. Commitment Scale: 10 DT T.J. Poloai – Another defensive tackle who uses leverage and pad level to his advantage, the 6-2 Poloai is a mauler with surprising athleticism. He was the Metro Conference Lineman of the Year, dominating the point of attack for Luther Burbank High this season. Naturally strong, the Polynesian out of the Sacramento Area had a squat of 550 pounds -- headed into his senior year. What he might become physically once he gets immersed into Washington State's strength program and training table could be a sight to see. Poloai was blown away by Washington State and the coaching staff early on and has never wavered in his commitment. Commitment Scale: 10 Demetrius Cherry – The Oak Ridge Military Academy product is 6-6, 270 pounds – but his prep coach thinks he will play defensive end at Washington State. His speed, athleticism and quick feet belie his size, and he was highly sought coming out of high school before academics necessitated a prep school detour. Cherry hoped to be able to transfer in time for this semester at WSU but it wasn't in the cards – his prep coach told CF.C in recent days that he'll be at WSU for when summer school rolls around, and that he remains 100 percent solidly committed to WSU. Commitment Scale: 10 Brock Lutes – At 6-3, 215 pounds, he's versatile and athletic enough that he could play safety, linebacker, wide receiver or h-back, and probably a few more -- though free safety might be where he gets his first look. Lutes has never seriously lifted weights, and he will look far different after time in WSU's strength program. After a late decision to play hoops this season, Lutes has been dominant for Newberg, regularly scoring around 20 points, such as his 24-point performance earlier this week. Lutes called his official visit to WSU "probably the best weekend I've ever had in my life," and is solid with the Cougs. Commitment Scale: 10 DE Niko Aumua – Tall and rangy, Aumua, originally a star wide receiver, led all junior college players in the state of California this past season with 25 tackles for loss, and tied for the state lead with 12 sacks. He also picked off three passes. Aumua was a Region III First Team All-California pick this season. The concern at this time of year is on junior college players having their heads turned by a program suddenly jumping in with both feet but Aumua has told CF.C he's solid. He is one of many future Cougs of Polynesian descent in Paul Wulff's 2011 class, joining Chester Sua, Tana Pritchard, Eli Edwards, Brandon Tuliaupupu and Poloai. And on the Cougar roster, there's Sekope Kaufusi, Jordan Pu'u-Robinson, plus walk-on Corey Laufasa, Bernard Wolfgramm (graduating). Commitment Scale: 10 DE Eli Edwards – Out of Cerritos, Edwards, a relentless type coming off the edge, was having a great season, on pace to surpass all his numbers from a freshman campaign that saw him earn second team all league honors, before injuring a knee. In 6 ½ games, he had 28 tackles, three sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. Edwards could delay enrollment in order to heal up -- he has a redshirt year available. He's been solid to WSU since he came out on his official visit and made his pledge. Commitment Scale: 10 DE Ian Knight – The No. 1 thing the Butler CC product brings to the table is speed. He had 14.5 tackles-for-loss this season for Butler, who was runner-up in the NJCCA national title game. He was third on the team with 56 tackles (34 solo) in 2010, with 14.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 2 pass break ups, 4 QB hurries and a forced fumble. He signed with WSU during the mid-year transfer period for JC players and began classes this week. Commitment Scale: Signed DE Lenard Williams – WSU puts a premium on athleticism and the 6-2, 245 pound Williams has it. His junior college coach says he hasn't come close to reaching his potential following a season where Williams logged 42 tackles (26 solo) with eight for loss and four sacks. Williams verbally committed in late December and his coach says he is solid to the Cougs. He is one of four junior college defensive ends in this class, joining Aumua, Edwards and Knight. Commitment Scale: 10 LB Chester Sua – If they're not already, this is a football player Cougar Nation should be excited about. Tough, fast, with a big frame that can pack on more pounds and muscle, he hits like a tidal wave. He could be a running back at the next level, such is his skills set, but his best position, the place where he could become an all-conference type of player looks to be at outside linebacker. Other schools have continued to recruit him since he verballed to WSU this past July and at least two other Pac-10 schools made strong runs at Sua just recently but both he and his family have given a clear No to all other suitors. The WSU staff did an exceedingly solid job of recruiting him from the start and that has resulted in the Sua family consistently maintaining their high level of commitment to Washington State. Commitment Scale: 10 LB/DE Logan Mayes – Another great set of genes. Mayes, son of CougGreat Rueben Mayes, tore it up this year in the state of Oregon -- all-state on both sides of the ball, plus he was named the 5A Defensive Player of the Year in the Beaver State and picked up a host of other honors and accolades. All he did was rack up 84 tackles, including 13 ½ sacks on D. Oh, and he also stepped in at right guard on offense, a position he had never played before, and earned the previously mentioned first team all-state honors there. Mayes, who is pegged for the LEO linebacker position at WSU, has consistently remained solid on Wazzu. Commitment Scale: 10 LB Tana Pritchard – He did it all for Clover Park this year – quarterback, safety, punter, you name it. Pritchard was named the SPSL 2A MVP as Clover Park won its first league title in more than two decades with him starring on offense, defense and special teams. As a punter, he was named all-classifications, all-state by two sources. Pritchard will need to beef up (6-3, 205) for the next level but when he does, look out. He was known as a fearsome hitter at Clover Park, and was pulled from all contact drills when too many of his teammates were getting hurt as a result of his hits. Pritchard has remained fully committed to WSU from the day he verballed. Commitment Scale: 10 TE Max Hersey -- Hersey, listed by Scout.com as a LB, was overlooked in CF.C's Part I on the offense – he shouldn't have been. And because he verballed so early in the process, he's been overlooked by the fan base for much of the recruiting season – he shouldn't be. Also an all-classifications, all-state by not one but two sources. Hersey was a first-team all-SPSL South pick on both the offensive and defensive line. Put succinctly, he was a nightmare for opponents. The 6-2.5, 233 pounder's best spot at the next level, however, is likely at tight end. Wherever he ends up playing, he has a very high ceiling. Hersey has remained solid to WSU since making his pledge a year ago this February. Commitment Scale: 10 Max Gama – Both quick and fearless, he has excellent read and react skills in the defensive backfield. His team's leading rusher as a senior, he gained 689 yards with 12 TDs during the regular season but he'll line up at safety when he gets to WSU. In time, he could potentially develop into an outside linebacker as well. Despite fog that delayed his trip home, he and his father came away glowing about Max's official visit to Washington State, and he's been solid to the Cougs since making his verbal commitment way back in March. Commitment Scale: 10 CB Spencer Waseem – He runs a legit 4.47 in the 40 and while he might not be a lockdown cornerback at this stage, he has a good nose for the ball and packs a surprising wallop. Waseem does some of his best work out in space, when not anchored to a press coverage, and regularly made tackles away from his side of the field. Waseem has said he's solid to Washington State but that he also remains open and wasn't ruling out a late January visit or two. Commitment Scale: 9 Darryl Monroe – He was arguably overshadowed by some highly regarded players on his team and in the area, but the Florida linebacker was the leading tackler for state runners-up Dr. Phillips High – racking up 136 stops, 8 for loss, 8 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries. Monroe had expressed interest in other schools after he verballed, before recently telling CF.C he was solidly a Coug and would enroll early at WSU in January. But it turned out he couldn't enroll by the day classes started (Jan. 10) due to his high school's schedule. There's a twist, though. It's possible he may still try to enroll once able, though that would put him about three weeks behind in the semester. The more conventional option would be that he'll sign with WSU on Feb. 2 with the rest of the class. On the plus-side, Monroe's family are big fans of Paul Wulff and the WSU coaching staff and the wavering of the past few months appears to be over and done. Commitment Scale: 9.5 OL/DL Brandon Tuliaupupu -- The LA-area lineman is solid, having verballed to Washington State on Sunday (see story on front page). What WSU liked about him, he said, was they way he plays low to the ground and with proper pad level, combined with his motor and good quicks. He's listed as a 3-star defensive tackle, and will probably get his first look there in fall camp, but his best position at the college level might ultimately be guard or center on the offensive line. Commitment Scale: 10
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