CHENEY, Wash. — Welcome to February's National Signing Day, or as I will refer to it from now on: National Signing Day lite.
This used to be the biggest day of the year for football commits, but now it's become much less important with the majority of commits signing in December.
Exhibit A: Washington State only announced two new commits today.
Because of that, we're focusing on Eastern Washington's class, and breaking that down since we broke down Wazzu's class in December.
EASTERN WASHINGTON'S CLASS
Eastern's class breaks down as follows: Four offensive lineman, two cornerbacks, two defensive ends, two tight ends, two defensive tackles, two wide receivers, one running back, one quarterback, one safety, and one linebacker.
Obviously, the largest single position group are the offensive linemen with four, but Coach Best was also impressed with another position group when describing this class.
"Cornerback is a need that is addressed most in this recruiting class. We address a lot of positional needs. Not too many in one, or not enough in another so we have a good blend of guys with great versatility who can play multiple positions on either side of the ball. Return skills are aplenty in terms of kick return, punt return. Length is the end all be all with the class no matter what position."
The Eags signed nine players in the early period in December, and another nine today. The National Signing Day in December is the 21st, and at that point the Eags had already punched their ticket to Frisco for the National Championship.
Does Coach Best think that making the national championship this year helped bolster their class?
Well, kind of, but perhaps not in the way you'd expect.
"Our run this year probably will have more affect, or a larger affect, on the 2020 class because we'll start that process here, or we actually started it about seven hours ago, eight hours ago. We're already looking ahead but in the midst of recruiting the individuals we already brought in, we were on this run. Did it substantiate a few of their thoughts? Potentially."
Finally there are two local walk-ons playing at Eastern. Northwest Christian running back Silas Perreiah and Colville defensive tackle Jacob Newsom.
Eastern really puts a premium on their walk-ons, and there have been a lot of players there who have entered as walk-ons and become stars (Anyone heard of Gage Gubrud?). Coach Best had some pretty good examples of what the potential is for walk-ons in his program.
"Three of our five captains last year were either walk-ons or partial scholarship kids out of high school. I know that's a small sample size, but we were adding it up, it's been 40% of our captains over our last ten or twelve years have come to campus to be an Eagle as walk-ons or a partial scholarship kid. Those are the guys that are voted for to be their speaker of the locker room, if you will."