With the 2014 recruiting season mostly wrapped up, the Washington State Cougars and their coaches turn their full attention to a 2015 class that aims to be higher than ever before. A good starting point? How about the first commitment of the class, defensive tackle Thomas Toki.
Toki is a legitimate and unanimous 4-star prospect down the line, drawing Rivals Top 250, ESPN Jr. 300 and other premature, but major accolades. More importantly, he gives the Cougars a legitimate name to base the rest of their class off of, at least as long as he would stay committed to Pullman. Holding onto a kid of his caliber will be a welcomed challenge to this coaching staff, who lost a couple of these bigger battles in 2014.
Toki’s move could play a part in that. A native of Kirkland, he just moved out to St. Francis High in Mountain View, CA to get closer to his dad. Loads of good news abound from this particular move. One is that he is in constant contact with Big Joe. Another is that he already held offers from UCLA, Vandy, Arizona St. and Oregon St. before committing “strongly” to Washington State, so the thought of using WSU as a springboard for his recruiting, well you can put those away. Final major piece of good news is that this is a family move. How many times did recruits talk about the ‘family vibe’ and ‘family atmosphere’ surrounding Pullman? This may prove a more instrumental point of emphasis as the battle to keep his services in the fold for 2015 intensify.
The bad news, well, more attention is to come and he’s no longer a bus trip away from campus. That could affect such things as who comes for in-home visits and where he takes his unofficial visits, which could end up being a big deal.
But let’s not blow it up. The Cougars are starting to win on both the field and in the eyes of the recruits. A big season in 2014 would go a long way towards keeping Toki and building on his ranking for the rest of the class. He is still strong to WSU, at least for now, and everybody knows he would be a big coup indeed.