Thus far Mike Leach and his Washington State coaching staff are stomping down a new path, one that is more known by the world. It’s the big city that the Cougs have targeted and big city kids are responding.
Oh don’t get me wrong, these guys are still searching under the rocks for gems, but I think that Leach and Co. are on a mission to be recognized nation-wide. You don’t get that by searching every small town, you get it by actively taking kids from the metro! So far the Cougars have hit these locations with commits;
- Bellevue, WA
- Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Saint Petersburg, FL
- Inglewood, CA
- Murrieta, CA
Granted it’s not Los Angeles, Long Beach, Pheonix or Oklahoma City, but the Cougs picked up a recruit from each of those spots (and two more from Bellevue) in Leach’s first full recruiting class for 2013! Also, looking back to 2012, 3 from LA and 1 from Miami, with at least 2 of those (and if I remember correctly all 4) being Leach-only recruits! For comparison, under Wulff there was a good helping of Sacramento, a few Bellevue and the occasional nationally well known spot, especially the hauls of 2010 and 2011. Those classes produced Galvin (Berkeley), Barton (JC – Fresno), Mizell (JC – Tallahassee) Horton (Oakland) and the package deal of Eaddy, Myers and Monroe (Orlando).
Simply put, I’d say Leach has been successful in trending towards more big-time, big-city recruiting folks. Let’s face it, that’s where the big fish lie and if you wanna get to them, you gotta get recognized where they are. How could you help but to love the new take on Washington State by the kids that are making the commitments to come play here.
But it’s also the caliber of kid that the staff is recruiting. A great case and point is Marcus Griffin, considered not just a premier defensive tackle, but a premier player in the state of Washington. Before, the Marcus Griffin’s were headed to UW, USC, Oregon, basically anywhere but Wazzu. This is now happening on a national level, as evidenced by Zaire Andre, Greg Hoyd and now Keith Harrington. They’re all at the top end of the 3-star talent, while previously (in most cases) Washington State was at the bottom end searching for players. Leach and athletic director Bill Moos are making a new impression across the country and the dividends are going to pay off real soon.
No longer is Pullman the outsource of the Pac-1o/12! No longer is Wazzu the cool name that everybody knows but plays with the scraps left by others. It’s a new time right now Cougs! Can’t wait to see where the rest of the 2014 recruiting class hails from.