Mike Leach's 'Wylie' search for wideouts

IT DOESN'T RANK up there with May 2002, when Mike Price extended scholarship offers to seven players from the same school (Long Beach Poly) in one day. Nor does it approach the five offers Paul Wulff put forth in one-fell-swoop at Lakes High outside Tacoma in February 2009. Still, Mike Leach's early work on the 2013 recruiting trail does scream out two words: concentrated volume.

Based on early returns from Scout.com analysts across the land, Washington State already has made 17 known scholarship offers for its next class, and six of those offers are for players coming out of just three schools.

In Leach's old Texas stomping grounds, the Cougs are said to have offered two receivers from Wylie East High just northeast of Dallas: Marcell Ateman (6-5, 190) and Quan Jones (6-4, 195).

Meanwhile, the two other high schools with double offers from the Cougars are St. Louis School in Honolulu and Rancho Cucamonga High east of Los Angeles. At St. Louis, the targets are offensive lineman Reeve Koehler (6-3, 298) and defensive lineman Kamalei Correa (6-3, 240). At Rancho Cucamonga, the Cougs seek defensive backs Chris Hawkins and Tahaan Goodman. (For more insight on all four prospects, click to recent CF.C stories Mike Leach making Hawaii a 2013 focus and Mike Leach offers Cucamonga pair.)

The offers to the two Wylie East players are particularly intriguing, and especially so when you consider that WSU also has offered Dylan Cantrell (6-2, 195) of Whitehouse High southeast of Dallas. What's interesting isn't just that all three kids are from Texas, but that they all play receiver.

Leach of course carries serious cache in the Lone Star State for his stellar work at Texas Tech, but to kids playing receiver in that state he must be a god-like figure. Think about it for a moment. Starting at roughly age five, these kids grew up on a steady barrage of the record-setting Air Raid.

All three of them -- with Ateman's list pretty much running coast-to-coast -- have multiple offers already. But there's only one school who can boast of Mike Leach on the sideline. That's why the early offers to these three make sense, and why there's probably a decent chance these kids will take a look at Ol' Wazzu. They grew up watching and hearing about the Air Raid. For a receiver, getting the call to join that strike force would have to be like manna from Heaven.

Besides the three Texans, the Cougars are believed to also have made an early offer to another wideout: 6-3, 190-pound Demorea Stringfellow of Rancho Verde High in Moreno Valley, Calif.

THE COUGARS BROUGHT IN four receivers in the just-concluded recruiting class, so why you may ask, is there such an early focus on that position for the 2013 cycle?

Simple: Leach's offense requires a load of receivers. Whereas Cougar teams stretching back to the Dennis Erickson days typically featured a receiving rotation of five, Leach's offense has a seven-man rotation. Factoring injuries and dings, that means he needs reliable depth at the position that runs up to a dozen. Now consider this: When the Cougs open spring workouts on March 22 the roster will contain nine scholarship receivers.

In short, you can expect the receiving position to be a point of emphasis every single recruiting cycle under Leach.

While it's still early and many more names will be added to the database, you can get a glimpse HERE of WSU's known early offers for 2013.

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