Mike Leach’s official visit recruiting strategy: A master stroke?

TWO OF THE final three official visit weekends before Signing Day figure to be huge for Washington State recruiting. The third and last weekend is important as well, just in a different way. Meanwhile, the data already in hand is starting to point, strongly, towards a definitive conclusion on the official visit strategy Mike Leach implemented this recruiting cycle.

First things first. Leach generally uses that final visit weekend (Jan. 29 this year) before Signing Day (Feb. 3) to bring in a few preferred walk ons on official visits.

Sure, there could be a few verbals visiting along with the preferred walk ons, and possibly even some late stage targets as well on that final weekend. And perhaps the odds are a little greater of the latter since WSU’s new strategy this cycle was to eschew official visits during the season.

Consider that when Letter of Intent Day arrives on the first Wednesday in February, Washington State will have hosted all of its official visitors for the 2016 class over the course of but five weekends (12/4, 12/11, 1/15, 1/22 and 1/29).

As CF.C first reported back in September, Leach implemented the bold strategy because of two reasons: 1. WSU coaches didn’t feel recruits got to spend  enough time with Leach, the assistant coaches and the Cougar players, and 2. WSU’s class got raided over the final three weeks last recruiting cycle.

The defections last year included those who had already taken their official trip to Wazzu. As great an experience as those verbal pledges said they had during the game weekends, as much as they said they were 100 percent crimson, that didn’t stop some from flipping a year ago over the final stretch run. 

Fast forward to today…

The final verdict won’t be in until Feb. 3 but with 26 known pledges (22 verbals plus four early enrollees this past Monday) plus additional crimson pledges likely in the offing down the home stretch – plus a 9-4 record this past season – Leach’s new official visit strategy is looking like it might be a master stroke.

WSU's known official visitors this weekend numbers 13.  Note: Not listed but also visiting this weekend is Logan Tuley-Tillman, a transfer from Michigan who is deciding between WSU, Texas, Houston and others.

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