Big things are happening in Pullman, Wash. Construction workers are putting the finishing touches on a the Football Operations Building adjacent to Martin Stadium, making the premises look even more majestic.
A program that once relied on history, tradition and community as selling points for recruits is now able to promote itself in a new way. The Washington State Cougars now have revamped facilities and a head coach who has laid the necessary foundation for rebuilding the program.
The 2014 Washington State team is on the rise and the new additions to the football program will only help attract future top recruits to sign their letters of intent to Mike Leach and Co.
The players recruited to play this year will get the first look at what the Cougars are building for their future. Coming off of a bowl game berth and a .500 regular season record, this year’s collection of players has the right to feel optimistic. While some key seniors have departed from the offensive line and the defensive secondary, the offensive skill positions are developing with players like wide receiver River Cracraft and quarterback Luke Falk.
The Cougars also have defensive end Jalen Canty, wide receivers Barry Ware and Calvin Green, and cornerback Marcellus Pippins among the many new recruits who are capable of making plays right away. The stars are aligned for a solid season this year for the Cougars.
Even if this year’s recruiting class can’t help the Cougars improve, the future remains bright. The Football Operations Building and the renovations to the stadium are stunning. It has a weight room at ground level, a modern outer appearance, and a room highlighting the history of the program, among other amenities. The stadium looks bigger with the new press box that was functional as of last season.
The new facilities are on the path of rivaling the Oregon Ducks, which shows that the Cougars believe they can improve quickly. As initial recruits are attracted to the program because of aesthetic changes in the atmosphere around the football stadium, the team will improve gradually. Top recruits who are added to the program will grow in Leach’s system and will develop into a veteran squad that can potentially contend in the conference until eligibility runs out.
The Cougars have a 2015 recruiting class that is rated No. 35 in the nation, which could change soon, but is still significant. Three of the four players who have verbally committed to WSU for 2015 have four-star ratings, according to cougfan.com.
This is just a sign of what is to come as talent floods into Pullman, where rebuilding is happening on and off the field in hopes of beginning an era of dominance in the Pac-12.