This is the start of a summer series highlighting the best recruits in Washington State history, who just never panned out. Be it by not qualifying, selling drugs, never seeing the field, or transferring to another school, I will be highlighting those players who came and developed so much hype, but never seemed to do anything with it.
To start the “Fails N’ Tales” series off, we’re going to go all the way back to the 2004 recruiting class. Now this was a special year to me, it was the first year I had discovered what Scout and Cougfan.com were, along with Cougzone.come (now WazzuWatch.com), my fan hood had reached a whole new level. Equipped with my new favorite websites, I could stalk…err, research the new latest and greatest Cougar footballers.
The 2004 class looked to be as good as any, well as any in this golden age of on line recruiting services, a whole two years. Regardless we seem to be loaded, armed with the likes of 4 star receiver Micheal Bumpus, juco All- American running back Jerome Harrison, and 4 Star juco corner back Tyron Brackenridge, Bill Doba could do know wrong on this recruiting class.
Drawing the most hype though, would be a 4 star safety from Los Alamitos High School, Randy Estes. Known as one of the best safeties in the land and being deemed the best safety out of Southern California since Ronnie Lott, Estes brought a lot of excitement to Coug Nation.
The 6-2, 195lb, Estes drew plenty of interest from some of the top programs in the land, getting offers from the likes of Oregon, UCLA, and USC. The kid could play, running a 4.4 40 yard dash, and hitting like a ton of bricks it was no wonder he drew comparisons to the late and great Ronnie Lott. He was on top of the world, on his way to the US Army All American game, and drawing interest from the best schools in the land.
So why on Earth would he want to come to WSU? (Because its the greatest place on earth, yeah) But why wouldn’t he want to head to the alma mater of Mr. Lotts, USC? Well, let me tell ya!
Randy was rumored early on to have a “secret commitment” to USC, and had all intentions of signing his name away to the men of Troy. This was however, till he ran into a bit of trouble. During his senior football season, Estes was arrested for Marijuana possession, and intent to sell. He was then suspended and later expelled from Los Alamitos High School.
The then already struggling student just added a criminal record to his rather impressive football resume. That of course wasn’t enough to keep the attention of some of the top schools in the country, who pulled his scholarship after news broke out about his arrest.
Then comes in Washington State, who in all honestly, probably had no shot at the kid before he was backed into a corner with nowhere to go.
In the end Estes ended up signing his letter of intent to don the crimson and gray for his college career. Which sent the Cougar faithful running down the street with no pants on. Overjoyed with excitement, it didn’t matter how he ended up here, he was ours!
Until the inevitable happened. Randy Estes never stepped foot onto the campus of Washington State University, he never qualified. The best high school safety in the land, the next Tory Hunter, Lamant Thompson, he never was. Where he is now is still a mystery, I read somewhere that he ended up joining the military, and got his life together. I sure hope so, but damn, it would of been really cool to see him running out of the Martin Stadium tunnel, through that smoke. What could have been….sigh.
PS – If you do know what ever happened to Randy Estes feel free to let us know down below in the comments, would love to know where is is.