WSU FB Blog Tryout #3, Recruiting Style

Next up in our ongoing quest for new talent around here, we have finalist #3, Tommy Simmons. 

Tommy is a recent grad from WSU, 2008, with a degree in communications.  And with that, here is his entry, with an emphasis on recruiting.  Tommy, the floor is yours.

 

The Great Sankey Sweepstakes
By: Tommy Simmons
Season’s greetings fellow Cougs! I want to start by giving big-ups to the hoops team for an awesome win last night! Keep it up boys! Also, I wanna thank both the staff and you the readers at wsufootballblog.com for giving me this opportunity. I’m thrilled to have made the final five, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading the other candidates’ posts thus far.

Ok, now down to business. For my tryout post, I chose to write about a particularly hot topic among Cougar nation and being Christmas Eve, It’s only fitting that it ran today…seeing that it’s an anniversary of sorts.

I remember opening gifts last Christmas Eve, when I got a text from a close friend and fellow Coug. It simply read:

“We got Sankey!”

I immediately started running around the house, jumping and screaming, “WE GOT SANKEY!” My family looked on in a state of utter confusion, completely unaware of the source of my jubilation.  What they didn’t know was that the person I was referring to was Bishop Sankey, one of the top running back recruits for the class of 2011, and he had just become the earliest verbal in WSU history.  It was the best Christmas gift a die-hard Cougar fan could possibly ask for.

But as we all know, in the current world of recruitment, a “commitment” means about as much as a Brett Favre retirement…little to nothing.  Sure enough, as the months wore on, Sankey’s suitors began to multiply and the scholarship offers started flooding in.  By the time April rolled around, rumors of Sankey’s recruitment infedelities began running rampant.

In an attempt to clear the air, Cougfan.com conducted an interview with Sankey. When asked if there was a situation in which Bishop might consider another school, he replied:

“No, not really. There’s a very slim chance that could change, like if Paul Wulff wouldn’t be coaching for some reason when I’m there, if there were to be a coaching staff change or something like that.  I really like coach Wulff.  I actually met him before he was at WSU, when he was at Eastern, I think I first met him when I was in the 8th grade.”

Sankey has since gone on to become the Greater Spokane League’s all-time leading rusher after accumulating 2,518 yards as a senior. His 4,529 career rushing yards shattered the previous record by almost 600 yards, and his accolades earned him a #12 ranking among all other running backs in the nation by Scout.com.

All the while, he has maintained his commitment to WSU.  However, much to the chagrin of Cougar fans, he has openly stated that he would be taking other visits and exploring all his options…..

Last week, Bishop publicly narrowed down his suitors to three: Washington State, Washington, and Maryland.  However, with Maryland giving head coach Ralph Friedgen the axe and looking to hire pass-crazy, and possibly mentally crazy, Mike Leach, it appears to be a two-horse race between the Washington schools for the services of Mr. Sankey.

Bishop has built a close relationship with the coaching staff at Washington, especially with running backs coach Joel Thomas, and with the recent de-commitment of fellow running back Brendon Bigelow, UW appears to be putting a full-court press on Sankey.  Apparently it’s paid off, as he will give them an official visit in January.

Could you imagine the signing day turmoil that would ensue among Cougar Nation if Bishop inked his letter of intent to the Huskies?   Oh my goodness.  Our once prized recruit, our early Christmas present, plucked from our own back yard by our hated rivals.  He would go down as one of the most infamous characters to EVER wear the purple and gold.

But something tells me that, when all is said and done, Bishop will be wearing Crimson next season and beyond.  As I said before, he has maintained his commitment, albeit a soft one, throughout the entire process.  He also has to question where he fits in the equation that is the crowded Husky backfield.  With sophomore Chris Polk looking like an early-round NFL talent, and Jesse Callier and Deontae Cooper also in the mix for the next 3-4 years, you would have to wonder where his carries would come from, even with the magnitude of talent Sankey possesses.

At WSU, the depth chart appears far less daunting with James Montgomery (pending a medical redshirt) and Chantz Staden graduating, and Logwone Mitz coming up on his senior year.  Bishop has a chance to make an immediate impact for a team starving for a play-maker at the running back position and could be the primer for success on a young, up-and-coming team.

Myself, and the rest of Cougar Nation would be downright miserable if we lost Sankey.  Most of us remember the frustration and resentment from last signing day, when Asante Cleveland bailed on us for Miami after being a Cougar “commit” for almost 6 months.  After that whole fiasco, the months after signing day felt like a hangover after a hard night of drinking at The Coug.

While losing Cleveland stung, the heartache of losing Bishop would be ten times worse.  But in his defense, he has been completely open about his recruitment.  He also put the writing on the wall for the terms of which he would consider a different school, as quoted earlier in this post.  So all of you Cougar fans who were calling for Paul Wulff’s head throughout the entire 2010 season have absolutely no room to bitch about Bishop looking elsewhere.

I personally have no problem with Bishop exploring his options.  In fact I encourage it.  This will be, without a doubt, one of the biggest decisions of this young man’s life.  He has every right to weigh the pro’s and con’s before he signs his letter of intent.  Hopefully after doing so, he will see that WSU is the best place for him to shine, and the Cougs will be the winners of the great Sankey sweepstakes.

Maybe then, he will give us yet another early Christmas present…a Rose Bowl berth.

Thanks again guys and Go Cougs!!!

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