For a team that had what anyone would call a disappointing season, Washington State sure has recovered nicely in recruiting. They are putting together a solid class and just added two new commits this week. I'm going to break down what both should bring to the table over the next few years in Pullman.
Joseph Price - 3 star offensive tackle
Even though Price isn't a highly rated player, he's a very solid pickup for Wazzu. He has a wide frame and should easily be a player that is a good, not sloppy, 300 pounds in college.
He blocks to finish and likes to get after it. His hand placement and pad level are consistently good, although he is a bit of a waste bender at times. I'd like to see him develop more flexibility and not overextend both as a run blocker and in pass protection.
He delivers a solid punch, but sometimes loads up and is too slow with it. Like I mentioned with him overextending, that could be a serious problem against advanced pass rushers. It's something he needs to improve on.
He has above average feet and moves well when reach blocking. He might not be the kind of athlete that can handle top speed rushers at left tackle, but I think he's easily good enough to play on the right side and could be an intriguing prospect at guard too. I think he can eventually become a solid starter somewhere down the line for the Cougs.
Willie Sykes - 3 star cornerback
Sykes is another big corner prospect that played a lot of safety in high school. The corner physical traits are obvious with him, specifically his closing speed and his ability to open up and run. He looks smooth and quick in his transitions. It looks like he relies on his athleticism far too often though and he is undisciplined with his backpedal and will drift at times in coverage, forcing him to make up for his mistakes with great athletic plays. The margin for error is going to be much smaller in the Pac-12 and he'll need to improve.
One thing that really stands out to me is that Sykes is a physical player, yet still shows solid ball skills. He does a nice job taking good angles to support the run and hitting through ball carriers.
I would have liked to see him in more man coverage situations as a senior, but he played well and showed he is a fit at free safety if that's where they want to play him. When I watched him in man coverage from his junior film, he was not as clean with transitions, but showed great instincts and good ball skills.
Hopefully he can become that big corner that can play press man coverage, but if not, I think he has a future at safety.