As spring ball ends, WSU recruiting hits overdrive

WASHINGTON STATE’s spring football session comes to an end Tuesday with the last of 15 practices out on the Palouse. Once the final whistle blows, all nine Cougar assistant coaches will pack a bag and swiftly move to the next task at hand – hitting the recruiting trail hard for the month of May.

A school is allowed four of the six-plus weeks between April 15 and May 31, excluding Memorial Day and Sundays, to visit high schools and evaluate prep prospects. By tomorrow night, most if not all WSU assistant coaches will be out on the road.

Mike Leach won't be, an NCAA rule keeps head coaches home during the spring evaluation period but his assistants will hit as many high schools as they can, talk to as many prep coaches as they can, watch as many practices or workouts as they can, and ferry back miles of highlight tape for Leach to evaluate.

WSU offers, already substantial at this stage, will increase with the nine WSU assistants on the road for an average of 19-20 days.

The assistant coaches will spend the majority of those days in their designated recruiting area, but not all.  WSU chief of staff Dave Emerick told CF.C last year position coaches generally spend 4-5 days outside of their recruiting territory looking at players in their position group.

During the May Evaluation Period, schools are allowed one on-field evaluation per prospect to assess athletic ability, and one more evaluation to assess a prospect's academic qualifications. Additionally, schools are allowed to place one phone call to a prospect during the period. (Prospects can call coaches anytime throughout the recruiting year).

That phone call placed by coaches used to be a bigger deal -- it's importance has waned with the advent of social media. Coaches at this stage are already in close contact through social media and have been asking many prospects to pick up the phone and call them long before now. Still, it's a piece to the puzzle and it behooves WSU to make the call a good one, one that sets them apart.

No face to face contact is permitted outside of a member institution (a college campus) at this time of year, though "bumping," defined as a brief encounter, occurs frequently during the May Evaluation period.

Here are the primary recruiting territories for the WSU assistant coaches:
Alex Grinch: San Diego
Clay McGuire : Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield
Roy Manning: Los Angeles
Jim Mastro: Bay Area including San Francisco
Eric Mele: Western Washington, Portland, Vancouver (CAN)
Dave Nichol: Orange County, Eastern Washington, Idaho and Montana
Joe Salave'a: Utah, American Samoa, Hawaii, Alaska
JaMarcus Shephard: San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Santa Barbara, Westlake Village
Ken Wilson: Inland Empire (east of L.A., includes counties of Riverside and San Bernardino)

RELATED STORY: Will Leach take 2 QBs this class?

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