Wazzu FanSpeak: Price and Benefit of Recruiting Battles for the Program


In a recent blog thread, I’ve been reading a lot of fan thoughts on the recruiting process of a certain Sebastian LaRue, whom Washington State seeks to add to their receiving corps and bolster the Cougars’ 2013 class after he freed up his options last week from USC. Then suddenly, this ignorant fan (in thought process at least) wrote a thread of his own:

Done With LaRue:

Just seems like he is hoping, wishing and waiting on something, anything “better” than WSU. Now he is apparently visiting Michigan.

A couple background notes before I get to my personal response. LaRue has upcoming visits set up at Texas A&M and Notre Dame. Although he just tweeted that he’s reconsidering the A&M visit due to the “100 commits” there (really it’s 35 and 8 receivers) he has received new interest at Arkansas and Michigan, along with a number of other high quality offers throughout the country and has particular vested interest here in the Pac-12. He may (MAY) try and set one or two final visits to those aforementioned schools, or he may not.

Jan 1, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports

He has visited Washington State and he has put in that he was very pleased with what it has to offer. He’s only visited WSU and USC (remember you only have 5 officials you can take as a recruit) so that’s a positive for us. But he’s a big-time talent and there’s a whole lot more to the story now that he’s “available”.

When a 4-star recruit that’s been committed to SC opens it up for the final month of the recruiting period, people are going to take notice and jump on the boat to attain his services. Guy’s like Brady Hoke at Michigan, he is a west coast recruiting guy from SDSU (maybe he saw LaRue as a Junior in HS, maybe he recruited him some). A new, high profile coach like Brett Bielema is going to get in the mix for any remaining, highly rated play-maker across the country at Arkansas.

Other coaches are bound to try and sell their program and they should. As in a football game, you don’t win recruiting in the first 11 months of the process, you win in January. That’s the level of recruiting that leads to competitive and winning football. It’s foolish to think that a kid should ignore that attention just because they have a “top 5″ list or whatever it is. It’s OK to check your options out, it really is.

Now, I’m not the only one who’s sentiments were similar in this thread, so don’t get me wrong I’m not by myself. But I’ll take you to my response in that blog, which will also take us to the end of my thoughts here:

Nov 17, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Washington State Cougars head coach Mike Leach reacts on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

I just want to say, in addition to the guys here who are talking about what it will be like going after highly rated recruits: Just being in these bigger battles will only increase the “Washington State brand”, so to speak. Winning them is sugar on top right now. As good as Leach is and as much as we believe Wazzu is the spot to be for the next decade or whatever, we’re coming off of a 3-9 season and are still part of the worst 5 or 6 year stretch in WSU history.

The fact that this guy (and guys like Bruggman, Lepua, Brown, etc.) is even considering our humble digs is a fabulous credit to the incredible recruiters here at our school that Leach brought in with him. Also don’t forget that with Eric Morris gone, it’s possible that LaRue is waiting to see who the other receivers coach is going to be at WSU. A big (or even viable) name could make a big difference. I know Dennis Simmons would be his main position coach, but there’s intrigue there no doubt.

Not to mention that the opportunity to take visits to these bigger schools is something that is VERY RARE for a young athlete. His family and coaches are likely involved in getting him every last opportunity to make the right decision for himself and that’s a positive thing for his life. We all hope that it’s Washington State, but if not, he deserves that opportunity too.

Topics: Football, Recruiting, Washington State Cougars

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