February 16, 2007
EWU Signee Recap
The recruiting season for the Eagles was an interesting one on three different fronts. Of course the first is the kids that actually signed (plus William Hunter, who is technically a walk-on). The second is the fact that the competition was increased for in-state recruits with the hirings of Robb Akey at Idaho and John Zamberlin at Idaho State. The third was a couple of decommitments that added stress to the recruiting wars.
We'll begin in reverse order. The decommitments of Toney Henderson and Bobby Barnes were not easy to take. Both were two-star rated prospects - in other words they were good enough to play at a higher level. Henderson spurned the Eags for Western Washington, and Barnes signed with Portland State.
The hirings of Akey and Zamberlin made the recruiting wars more interesting - as did Beau Baldwin's departure to take over at Central Washington. But given all of that, head coach Paul Wulff and recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen are to be commended for bringing in a class that has many excited.
Now let's look at the signees, by position.
QB: Andrew Schumacher
Schumacher was probably a surprise only in the fact that there were a high number of quality quarterbacks within the state. The coaches feel that Schumacher is better than what was on the board and with the quarterback situation unsettled, he may have a shot to make an impact.
RB: Edward Russell, Tyler Hart, Taiwan Jones
You look at this group and say wow. Not only are they talented, but this is a group of winners. Russell led Elk Grove Franklin to its first-ever playoff berth, Hart has a 32-4 career record and Jones went 10-0 in the regular season. That is the definition of impact player.
WR: Greg Ford
Henderson and Barnes would have made this group in the stratosphere. However, Ford was an underrated commodity, and has only played two seasons of football. There is a very high ceiling here.
TE/OL: Cody Pollock
Pollock was the only person signed that fits either of these positions. The question is whether Pollock, with a 4.7 40 time and good hands, will stay at tight end or move to tackle. He is willing to do both - he was also the kicker and punter for Fife, who made the 2A playoffs at 10-1 after a long stretch of futility.
DL: Ray Falelaulii, Dexter Moetului, Pat Parham, Chris Patu, Chris Powers, Martin Taualo, Renard Williams
Think the Eags had one position targeted? Yeah, we do too. A position that has been the cause of much consternation during the season just got a major infusion of depth - and quality, too. Even though half of these guys may be partial qualifiers, if they all do make it in eventually, this could be a position of great strength for years to come.
LB/DB: Caleb Gillespie, Zach Johnson, Matt Johnson, John Roberts, Joshua McOmber, Ryan Kelley
We listed the two positions together for a good reason. While Gillespie is a true linebacker and McOmber and Kelley are true DB's, the Johnson twins and Roberts are in the safety/linebacker/rover type combo to where they could end up in either spot. Kelley will start at a corner next year barring injury, he is that good. He also has just two to play two, so he will get a good look. McOmber could get some depth chart looks as a true frosh as well.
Overall, the class is another great one for head coach Paul Wulff. Throw in William Hunter on the line as a walk on and the Class of 2007 is one that could see a lot of tears come Senior Day 2011 and 2012. He managed to keep the high-quality classes coming in after a rough 2006 season - let's see what he can do next year if the Eags can have an even better year.
NOTE: The Eagles received a late letter of intent from WR/DB Anthony Robinson. The 6'2 195 signee is from Mountain View High School in Vancouver, Wash. More on him later.
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