WSU Football: 10 Best Recruits Signed by Washington State During the Internet Age

Jamie Squire

The Cougars have signed a lot of highly-rated junior college players in recent history.

Washington State continues our 12-part series where we are ranking the best recruits to sign with each Pac-12 school since the advent of serious recruiting coverage on the Internet (2002 serving as the furthest year back that you can find rankings for players online). Our rankings are put together by combining players' rankings from recruiting sites, offers and the amount of hype that surrounded their signings.

10 best recruits: ...signed by Washington


Please note that these are taking only into account how highly-rated players were coming out of high school, not their college careers. So please, no angry, insult-laden comments about how only a child murderer wouldn't realize that LaMichael James (Or any player who had a great college career, but was an under-the-radar recruit) should be number three on the list.

1. Terry Mixon Class of 2007 S El Cajon, CA - Grossmont Junior College

The only five-star rated player to sign with the Cougars during the Internet age the hype surrounding Mixon was huge coming out of Grossmont as he ran a 4.4 with good size for a safety and chose the Cougars over a number of national programs. Unfortunately, Mixon showed up in Pullman out of shape and quit the team early in his first Fall.

2. Randy Estes Class of 2004 S Los Alamitos, CA

Estes was the nation's top rated safety in the Class of 2004 and sought after by every elite program in the country before off-the-field issues got him kicked out of school and dropped by many schools. The Cougars kept their offer though even if it was mostly futile as Estes was unlikely to qualify anywhere which is exactly what happened and his full story since remains a mystery.

3. Michael Bumpus Class of 2004 WR Culver City, CA

Bumpus was one of the top receivers on the West Coast in 2004 and surprised some when he signed with the Cougars on signing day over schools like USC, Oregon and Arizona State. Bumpus was a smooth athlete that was fantastic at getting open over the middle and making plays once he got the ball in his hands. Bumpus lived up to his expectations at Washington State and excelled from day one and ultimately ended up catching the most passes of any player in Cougar history.

4. Brandon Rankin Class of 2009 DE Oroville, CA - Butte Junior College

Rankin was one of the top JC players in the country in the class of 2009 as he was the 2008 California JC Defensive Player of the Year and an All-American as a huge, but quick, pass-rushing defensive end. Rankin was one of the biggest junior college scores ever for the Cougars as the North Carolina native chose the Cougars over reported offers from SEC heavyweights like Alabama and LSU. Rankin ended up having a solid two-year career in Pullman and made honorable mention All-Pac-12 as a senior.

5. Andy Mattingly Class of 2006 S Spokane, WA - Mead

A big versatile athlete, that played safety in high school at 6'4 223, Mattingly is among the best recruits from Spokane in recent history and got national accolades. The Cougars scored big with an early commitment from Mattingly and likely kept a number of big time schools from offering. Mattingly ended up playing outside linebacker and defensive end in college and looked like he was going to be a star early in his career before injuries slowed him, though he would still end up being a very good player for the Cougars.

6. Aaron Dunn Class of 2010 TE Spokane, WA - Mead

Dunn was very similar to Mattingly, as a tall, rangy athlete who could play a number of positions that drew national attention to Mead High School. Like Mattingly, he also committed to the Cougars early and shut down his recruitment. Dunn's career wasn't very productive though as he recently transferred out of the program after failing to make an impact.

7. Tyler Bruggman Class of 2013 QB Phoenix, AZ - Brophy Prep

An accurate quarterback that was one of the best signal caller recruits out West in 2013, Bruggman got offers from all over the country. He became Mike Leach's first big time recruit when he committed to the Cougars and Leach and his staff fought a very hard battle on signing day to keep him from signing with Arizona State, who made a massive push for him late in the game. Bruggman arrives in the Fall and is expected to compete for the backup position with a very outside chance at competing for the starting spot.

8. Charles Dillon Class of 2006 WR Ventura, CA - Ventura College

Dillon was a stud at Ventura College and the best JC receiver in the state of California in 2006 as he racked up impressive stats with his speed and quickness. Dillon was recruited by a number of other Pac-12 schools and chose the Cougars over Arizona. Dillon was never a star, but ended up being a solid receiver during his career as a Cougar.

9. Tyron Brackenridge Class of 2004 CB Rancho Cucamonga, CA - Chaffey College

Brackenridge was one of the best JC cover corners out West in 2004 and was coveted by a number of Pac-12 schools. He signed with the Cougars over Washington and Utah among others and was part of a solid 2004 class. Brackenridge was a solid corner while at Washington State and made honorable mention as a senior in 2006 before having a brief NFL career.

10. C.J. Mizell Class of 2010 LB Tallahassee, FL - Leon

Mizell is a strange case, because he was actually in the Class of 2009 so he was technically not an open game recruit in 2010, but he was a big, athletic linebacker in the recruiting hotbed of Florida that was one of the best at his position in the state. Mizell actually signed with Florida State in 2009 over pretty much every school in the country, but didn't qualify out of high school and the Cougars were able to scoop him up in the Class of 2010. Mizell looked like he was going to be a future star as a freshman, but ultimately his seemingly never-ending off-the-field and behavior problems got him kicked off the team early in Leach's tenure.

Others considered

Arkelon Hall Class of 2005 QB Fresno, CA - Edison

Gabe Marks Class of 2012 WR Los Angeles, CA - Venice

Sammy Moore Class of 2002 WR Bakersfield, CA - Bakersfield Junior College

Jonathan Smith Class of 2002 RB Pasadena, CA - Pasadena Junior College

Bernard Wolfgramm Class of 2008 DE San Mateo, CA - College of San Mateo

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