Leach: Win would help put drama in rear view

IT IS A discussion point that occurs frequently went Washington State's football program is struggling. Some suggest that no matter what the Cougars' record is a win in the Apple Cup against Washington at 12:30 p.m. Friday (Fox) could salvage their season. Coach Mike Leach talked about that subject and recruiting during his Tuesday Pac-12 coaches teleconference.

Leach said defeating the Huskies (7-4 overall, 5-3 conference) is significant, but for reasons beyond the rivalry and the turmoil around the program this season.

"We need to go out and win a game just for the sake of winning a game," he said. "Most of the drama has centered around selfish people who are being revealed for who they are."

That reference was directed toward wide receiver Marquess Wilson, who released a letter to several media outlets hours before the Nov. 10 kickoff against UCLA that alleged abuse by the coaching staff. Wilson was suspended after he walked out of a Nov. 4 workout.

Leach said he is not concerned about that having an impact on recruiting. According to the CF.C database, WSU (2-9, 0-8) has 18 known verbal commitments, with two of them classified as soft verbals because they have scheduled other official visits.

"Hasn't been a problem," he said. "I think they all see it for what it is — a selfish guy who couldn't buy in."

Among those commitments, four — wide receiver Demarcus Ayers, defensive end Malik Jenkins, and safeties Darius Lemora and Myron Turner — are from Texas. Leach said the Cougars' main recruiting emphasis is within Pac-12 territory, particularly Washington and Southern California, but the South is significant.

"We have two guys who recruit Texas," he said, adding that he likes that the area is passionate about football and produces many talented players. "That's really just about connections. We will recruit anyone if they want to come to Washington State."

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