Cougars sign 24 recruits, including Curtis stars Dockery, Hersey


by Associated Press

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 2 at 8:20 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Washington State coach Paul Wulff shopped heavily for linemen in signing 24 players to national letters of intent for 2011.

Ten of those players were linemen, as the Cougars' line play has left them among the nation's worst teams the past few years.

"When you sign more linemen than skilled guys, it doesn't look as flashy," Wulff said. "But when you win games, the guys who aren't flashy are the ones who win games."

The Cougars also signed quarterback Cody Clements of La Habra High School in Whittier, Calif., who threw for 32 touchdowns with one interception last season. He will redshirt next year.

"He could be the hidden gem in this whole class," Wulff said. "He will force the issue with the quarterbacks in our program. The level of play will rise."

One name familiar to longtime WSU fans is Logan Mayes, son of former Cougar great Reuben Mayes. Logan is a 230-pound linebacker from Eugene, Ore. Reuben Mayes was an All-American running back at WSU and the 1986 NFL rookie of the year.

Also signing was defensive lineman David Davis of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., grandson of former Green Bay Packers great Willie Davis.

Wulff said he will sign a few more players, mostly linemen, in coming weeks.

The Cougars signed seven players from California, and three each from Washington, Oregon and Texas. They also signed three players from the Orlando, Fla., area.

Five of the new players are junior college transfers.

Among the new players, wide receiver Rahmel Dockery from Tacoma could play right away as a receiver and kick returner, Wulff said.

A late find was running back Marcus Mason from Etiwanda, Calif., who could help the anemic running attack.

"He has the speed and quickness we've been seeking," Wulff said. The 175-pounder rushed for 1,600 yards last season, Wulff said.

The Cougars took a chance on 350-pound offensive lineman Wendell Taiese of Oakland, Calif., whose grades were poor a year ago. Wulff said Taiese worked hard to raise his grades, and averaged 50 yards as a punter last season.

"He's a heck of an athlete and could play right away," Wulff said.

The team has added speed and depth at receiver and more speed at running back, he said.

"We need more explosiveness from our return game," Wulff said.

Wulff, who was the subject of firing rumors as the Cougars struggled to a 2-10 record last season, said questions about his job security were an issue in recruiting.

"Kids ask about that," Wulff said. "It's something you have to overcome. It's fueled by other coaches."