WSU Recruiting: In-home period begins

COUGAR RECRUITING now enters a new phase with the in-home visit period having kicked off Sunday. In the coming weeks, Mike Leach and the Cougar assistant coaches will be in living rooms and high schools aplenty, further crafting and completing the 2015 class. This year brings a new twist to the in-home period - does anything change for Washington State with two assistant coaches just let go?

What's left to come in Washington State recruiting? A lot. The known verbals number roughly half of what we project it will wind up at, and Sunday was the first day coaches can begin in-person visits off the WSU campus (often referred to as the "in-home" visit period).

The Cougar coaches were expected to begin the process of sitting down with their remaining targets and verbal pledges as early as tonight, (although probably more realistic is Monday, as other recruits visiting WSU this weekend were just leaving Pullman on Sunday evening.)

The in-home period where coaches can make in-person, off-campus contact with recruits is split up around the holidays and final bowl games, running first from Nov. 30 – Dec. 14, and then again from Jan. 15 – 31.

Head coaches only get one in-home visit per recruit, an assistant can have as many as six, so some strategy comes into play – does Mike Leach visit a particular recruit right away, or do you wait to push back that single off-campus face-to-face with Leach until later down the road?

For the most part, you do it later rather than right away. And if history is any guide, Leach has previously remained in Pullman the first week of the contact period before heading out on the road. Update: CF.C confirmed shortly after this article was published Leach is indeed staying in Pullman the first week and will head out on the recruiting trail Sunday, Dec. 7.)

It’s possible that with Sunday's firings of Mike Breske and Paul Volero, Leach could go on the road earlier this year -- but I’d guess no. Other WSU assistants have richer Cougar recruiting target areas, and my guess is the remaining assistant coaches can and will pick up any slack caused by the dismissals, and particularly when you're talking about that first two weeks.

Also, WSU coaches have often done in-homes in groups. So, for example, rather than four WSU coaches sitting down with a recruit on a particular in-home visit, maybe there are instead three this time.

From a strategy standpoint, and regardless of staff changes, Leach probably won’t be sitting down with any recruit before Dec. 14 who doesn't plan on making his decision until sometime later, say in mid- or late-January. We will, however, keep our ears open and let you know if we hear of Leach out on the trail this week.

According to the NCAA rule book, six (6) in-person off-campus contacts per prospective student-athlete are permitted between now and Jan. 31 excluding the quiet and dead periods (Dec. 15 – Jan. 14), with no more than one off-campus visit permitted in any one calendar week (Sunday through Saturday) or partial calendar week.

CF.C is projecting the Cougars to bring in a full boat of 25 in this class, with 13 known verbal pledges on the commit list including two soft verbals (scheduled trips to other schools). Stay tuned for our projection, position-by-position, a little later on.

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