Like anything worth mentioning with the Western Athletic Conference, there is a distinct line drawn between the good and the somebody-hand-me-a-two-by-four-I-think-it's-still-breathing. Recruiting is no different.
With Letter of Intent Day less than a month away, the recruiting game will be thrust squarely into the spotlight over the next four weeks. Too bad no one gave the WAC a heads up. This is the first they've heard of it.
A quick look at ESPN's list of early verbals confirms as much. Only three WAC teams have more than 10 players ready to sign the dotted line come February 6. The rest of the WAC teams are currently at local high schools, trying to lure the big kids with a pizza lunch.
1. Hawaii 32
2. Louisiana Tech 21
3. Boise State 20
4. Fresno State 10
5. Idaho 9
6. Nevada 9
7. NMSU 4
8. San Jose State 4
(Sidenote: ESPN's list completely omitted Utah State. We contribute this to the fact that Brent Guy did not plan on being around through 2009 and therefore saw no prudence in recruiting anyone. Either that or ESPN does not know that Utah State is a Division-I football program.)
How Hawaii has room for 32 new players on its team is a mystery. Perhaps it will be first-come, first-served on LOI day. And LaTech's proactive class is obviously a product of some serious intimidation tactics by head coach Derek Dooley. Regardless, it is good to see solid programs like the Warriors and Bulldogs putting in the work it takes to compete down the road.
The rest of the WAC is a different story. Underwhelming showings by Fresno State and Nevada are downright depressing. New Mexico State and San Jose State scoring just four early verbals apiece is rather sad, too. And then there's Idaho, who seems to be on an upswing with nine players already committed to their 2009 class. But upon further inspection, those nine players are, how do you say, uninspiring.
It should be noted that any sort of analysis on recruiting at this point is presumptive at best. The Idaho players could end up being much worse than expected.
Read more: WAC recruiting [ESPN.com]