AH, RECRUITING. Where up is down, black is white, and light can become dark in an instant. In the space of about 48 hours this past weekend, a would-be future Cougar went from being rock solid to WSU and declining UCLA overtures -- to the point CF.C ran a headline paraphrasing the lad as telling Rick Neuheisel to "drop dead" -- to seriously wavering, to now firmly committing to the Bruins.
Here's how last week played out, a prep source tells CF.C -- Brandon Tuliaupupu politely but firmly declined UCLA’s invitation to officially visit, where an offer would be waiting for him. On Friday night, however, things began to change.
Tuliaupupu’s brother, Taylor Tuliaupupu who plays at Montana, called and said he was homesick and coming back south for good. The thought of having both boys in the area, naturally, appealed to the Tuliaupupu family. And on Saturday, after talking it over, it was decided Tuliaupupu would in fact take that official visit to UCLA.
He had a great time, as recruits are wont to do on an official visit, and the 6-2, 290-pounder changed his verbal commitment on Monday, from WSU to UCLA.
His 180 in a matter of hours speaks to the vagaries of recruiting and the uncertainty that comes when dealing with 18-year-olds who are faced with a huge decision. What is true one day, isn't necessarily true the next.
Tuliaupupu is just the latest example. Stephen Nembot, who verbaled to WSU in October after saying a month earlier he was leaning to UCLA, recently decommitted from the Cougs and verbaled with Washington. And now this week he's saying he might be headed to Colorado instead.
ELSEWHERE IN THE WSU RECRUITING orbit, Rodrick Ryles, a prep DB out of Florida, has announced he is headed to Pitt. WSU was one of his three finalists, along with West Virginia.
Meanwhile, Spokane's Cody Sorensen, who has been invited to walk on at WSU, just returned from an official visit to Idaho State where Mike Kramer has offered a ride. The standout from Ferris High has other scholarship options as well but is pretty well focused on becoming a Cougar or Bengal.
One of Sorensen's teammates, Dillon Beschel, who also was invited to walk on at WSU, will sign an LOI with Air Force tomorrow, according to GSL sources. Another Ferris standout, Jordan Tonani, is headed to Eastern Washington.
As part of CF.C's wall-to-wall LOI Day coverage, WSU recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen will be in our Chat Room tomorrow (Wednesday, LOI Day) from 12:30 to 1 p.m.
AND FINALLY, IN CASE YOU MISSED it -- and odds are you may have since articles are coming so fast that they don't stay on our front page for long -- the Cougars nabbed two new verbal commitments in the last 24 hours. Here they are:
* A WHOLE LOTTA BEEF
* ANOTHER TOUTED LB