RECRUITING: Vandals refocus on Spokane ATH

ONE OF ROBB AKEY's best friends it was announced this week, former WSU head man Bill Doba, will not be the head coach in Pullman next year. Events since have shown at least one of Washington State's verbal commits remains on the Vandal radar -- Spokane's Dan Spitz, a 6-6, 250-pound tight end who pledged crimson a few weeks back. Where will Spitz end up?

All signs still point to Pullman.

But Idaho is making another run at Spitz with Al Genatone -- formerly a Cougar LB under Doba and Robb Akey, presently a tireless recruiter over in Moscow -- running the point for the Vandals.

"He was just saying that the offer is still on the table," said Spitz. "I told him thank you, and that was pretty much it."

Spitz went on to mention he "appreciates the continued interest" from UI, though his focus remains on Pullman.

"I'm still committed there -- I still can't wait to play there," said Spitz.

"He (Doba) is a good guy. And he's a good coach. But you also don't go there just because of the coach."

At the same time, in recruiting and until a prospect signs in February, anything can happen. Add a coaching change into the mix and the number of things in the category of "certain" dips even further. Bottom line for Idaho fans -- Spitz's recruitment will merit keeping an eye on for a while, at least through when WSU names a new head coach.

Spokane has been a fertile recruiting ground for Idaho, with five student-athletes from the Lilac City on the Vandal roster and Spitz knows Idaho LB and former Mead standout Paul Senescall well. Most schools were recruiting Spitz on defense earlier but he's made schools think twice about looking at him on offense -- Spitz is a self made grabmaster and blocker at tight end.

"He's an excellent blocker...and he's a huge target," said Mead coach Sean Carty. "...And it's his work ethic that has made him a Pac-10 prospect."

Only 17 years old, Spitz is still something of a specimen. He's already squatting 525 pounds, with a power clean of 315.

"He's going to get huge," said Carty. "We're a clean and squat program and (Spitz) -- he is very tall but look at those numbers. And that's all legit, I don't let those kids have anything (exaggerated)."

Spitz found out about the Monday change from assistant and area recruiter Timm Rosenbach, who along with the rest of the Washington State assistant coaches remains under contract.

"Coach Rosenbach called me and let me know. He was kind of shaken up about it, which is understandable. I just wished him the best of luck," said Spitz.

Spitz said Rosenbach and recruiting coordinator Greg Peterson were scheduled to come by for an in-home visit sometime in the next couple weeks but because of uncertainty over which parts, if any, of the coaching staff will be retained by the new head coach, the new date for the in-home remains to be finalized.

Meanwhile, Spitz and his fellow hoopsters are preparing for Mead's season opener in basketball tonight against Rogers. This will be the first year Spitz has played in high school.

"I was good friends with Lucas Ashe last year, and good friends with all the basketball players really. And I've played with all the basketball players before and I've played in tournaments, so it's not like I've never played," said Spitz.

Spitz, a post player for the Panthers, probably won't be chucking it up left and right, instead using his 250-pound frame to enforce a no fly zone in the lane and scrubbing the boards clean. Basketball isn't a contact sport the way football is but physical play, said Spitz, is his area of expertise.

"It's definitely not my shooting," he laughed.

Dan Spitz profile

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