RECRUITING: New Zealand on Mike Leach radar?

ANCILLARY RECRUITING AREAS are vital. Under Mike Leach, some of those areas for Washington State have already proven to be American Samoa, Texas, Hawaii and Florida. Could New Zealand be next?

New Zealand? Really?

It's not as crazy as it sounds.

It is a long ways away. But New Zealand has a large Samoan population. Just like in American Samoa, rugby is hugely popular game there -- and players who are good at rugby are also naturally good at football.

But those aren't the only reasons. And one of the big ones has to do with the nature of recruiting itself.

WHEN AN OFFER is extended to a prospect, other schools who like the prospect tend to offer soon after. Take Spokane's Danny Mattingly. He's headed to Washington State's junior day event later this month. The Cougs were probably planning to offer him then, face to face during his time in Pullman. But the UW offered him last week. Within 24 hours, WSU extended their scholarship offer to Mattingly. Oregon State followed soon after.

The same thing happens all the time, at schools across the country. Hitting some recruiting territories harder or softer, and/or expanding into new recruiting territories, is in the same realm.

DOWN IN American Samoa, Field House 100 is making plans for their coaches clinic in New Zealand later this spring. The UW is going along, already having committed to sending one of their coaches down to New Zealand, says Brandon Smart, the Executive Director of Field House 100.

Oregon State is close to making the decision to send one of their coaches to the New Zealand clinic as well.

Washington State has not yet decided if they too are going to go but the UW and possibly Oregon State going could, in addition the clinic benefits themselves, make it more of an incentive.

And consider the end-game upside. If it turns out to be the first step to bringing in a raw but sky-high potential prospect from New Zealand to Wazzu, it would seemingly be resources well spent.

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