Something different for WSU recruiting camps

THERE WILL BE two significant differences this year when it comes to Washington State's summer youth camp program. One is simply due to logistics. The other speaks to the changing face of camps and combines themselves.

Mike Leach and his staff will hit the road the first week of June and begin working a number of privately-owned camps in California and elsewhere, football chief of staff Dave Emerick told

"We'll be going to probably 4-5 camps in California, as well as some others," said Emerick, who noted the rules preclude him from naming the specific camps Leach and Co. will be coaching.

It would seem likely the Northwest Elite Camp in Seattle and the Border League Camp in Spokane would be included, in addition to the 4-5 in California. A conference rule (championed by UW and USC back in the ‘90s) prohibits a school from holding their own camp away from campus. But a coaching staff can work other camps away from their campus, just so long as they're not the ones putting them on.

"The camp situation is becoming more of a business…organizations are running their own camps for prospects to go to," said Emerick. "So we're going to get out there pretty good, we're trying to make it easy on guys who may have a hard time (paying their own way) to come out to Pullman. We'll come to them, we'll evaluate them from there."

Leach worked at least one outside camp last summer but the 4-5 camps in California in 2014 will allow Leach and his Washington State staff to get in front of many more prospects, offering hands-on Pac-12 level coaching instruction they might not receive otherwise.

"Ideally you'd want them to see Pullman and especially in June, what a beautiful place Pullman is that time of year. But the reality of the situation is not everyone can afford it, so we'll try to get out there as much as possible," said Emerick.

MEANWHILE, CAMPERS WHO do travel to Washington State will get to experience those June Palouse charms. WSU this year will hold four camp events on two separate weekends.

Two one-day camps will be held on June 14 and June 21 that will include agility drills, football specific drills, 1 on 1's and 7 on 7. On the same days, WSU will again also hold their Kicking Showcase camp events.

"The camps are a chance to be around the coaches, go through our drills and be coached by our guys," said Emerick. "The biggest thing with these camps is it's a chance to be recruited, it's a chance to show off your skills. They'll be competing against some of the top players in the area.

"Ever since we've been doing this, we find guys in camps we otherwise wouldn't have known about, we offer them and they become part of the program. It's an opportunity for them to showcase themselves."

Some of those who have earned an offer through their performances at WSU camps include S Isaac Dotson and OL Cole Madison and Cody O'Connell. Notable in-state players over the years who have attended WSU's camp and went on to suit up in crimson include Marcus Trufant, Erik Coleman, Brandon Gibson, Mkristo Bruce, Rien Long, Will Derting and Kenny Alfred.

Emerick said he expects recruits from beyond Washington to attend, with California, Oregon, Idaho and elsewhere likely to be accounted for.

"Every once in a while someone will surprise you and be here from Texas or other places…It's an opportunity for them to see a little of Washington State, see our facilities and what we're building. But the biggest thing is it's for them to be able to show themselves off in front of us," said Emerick.

And the kicking/punting showcases?

"Any chance punters and kickers get to showcase their skills in front of a coaching staff is a great deal for them, especially at a place where there's a need for kickers and punters. I think there will be some quality guys there," said Emerick.

WSU will not be holding a team camp or kids camp this year, and the one-day camps will not be full contact.

"Mostly it's about space right now… they're finishing up the Football Operations Building and cleaning up that practice field. It's more of a space issue than anything else. And we'll reevaluate it for next year when we have our space back," said Emerick.

For complete details including registration for WSU's camps in Pullman, CLICK HERE .

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