First some not-so-great news – Ryan Tolar, regarded as a top-10 in-state prospect and one that the Cougs had been high on, stunned many by verballing to UW yesterday. It was very unexpected given that Tolar said WSU was at the top of his list and he even went to the spring game, striking up a friendship with Arkelon Hall. But, he was mysteriously not at the WSU camp, instead attending UW’s camp, and then gave the commitment to Willingham yesterday.
That said, there are many that have been mixed on this kid from day one. He’s VERY big (6-5, 342 lbs as a high school senior) and he’s, well, to be kind, SOFT. Soft in appearance that is. He also went to a Nike camp down at Cal this spring, and was REALLY dominated by some bigger, quicker d-lineman and OLB’s. He was reportedly very down after seeing the true size and speed of athletes he will see at the next level, and admitted as much after the camp, saying he’s far too slow to compete with them right now. Then, it got worse for him, as he ran three 40-yard times at Cal. They took all 3 times and came up with an average…..of 5.8! A 5.8 40??? That must be one of the slowest lineman around.
You look at WSU’s line, and while we have traditionally have had some tall dudes, we don’t go after the 350-LB guards that are too slow to work in a one-back offense. Who knows, maybe it wasn’t a good match after all at WSU, and Willingham has been rumored to really want to run the hell out of the ball in the coming years, so he probably fits better for them. To me, though, Tolar better work on the belly, because to be that heavy and that slow, you’ll get eaten alive in the Pac-10.
Here’s some photos of Tolar, you tell me if he passes the “eye test” as to being too soft: