Common thread in 2 far-flung WSU commits: New Cougar inside receivers coach Derek Sage

WHEN WASHINGTON STATE landed a pair of commitments this past Sunday, Cougar Nation could be excused for doing a double take on where they were from: Houma, Louisiana and Deerfield, Massachusetts? Those aren’t exactly recruiting pipelines to Washington State. But there’s a common thread that explains both heading to the Palouse for their college careers: Derek Sage.

Sage, you see, was recruiting hard both WR Davontavean Martin and DE Dallas Hobbs when he was at Toledo, before he became Washington State’s new inside receivers coach earlier this month.

“Coach Sage was major,” Hobbs told CF.C.  “We made a really good connection (when he was) at Toledo.”  (pictured above: Alex Grinch, Hobbs and Sage)

Hobbs went on to say he bonded in a big way with Grinch on his WSU visit, and that he enjoyed being around all the WSU coaches.

But Hobbs probably doesn’t take an official visit to WSU and bond with Grinch and the coaching staff, let alone wind up a Cougar, without Sage having offered him while at Toledo and having steadily built a strong relationship this recruiting cycle. The same goes for Martin.

CF.C talked to Sage recently one-on-one and it came across loud and clear, as it did in his introductory conference call, he loves recruiting. 

“Washington State and Mike Leach, that sells itself,” Sage said.

In the conversation with Sage, one of the more interesting things he said on the subject of recruiting came when  asked him about his approach to motivation.

Sage said a recruiting class will naturally feature players of different high school backgrounds -- some will have had tools at their high school allowing for extra work away from practice, such as film study. Others may have gone to a high school where once practice ended, everybody simply went home and very little extra work was done outside of practice and games.  Sage says that in recruiting, he looks for not only superior athletes, but superior work ethics and motivation.

“Absolutely every kid is different (motivation-wise) and you have to foster and build in some kids what it takes to prepare to win a game in the Pac-12,” said Sage.  “But my deal, also, is that you’re playing for Washington State, and you’re playing for your family. You’re playing for (your) last name, for this offense, for this wide receiver unit. 

“If you can’t get motivated to play in the Pac-12 and in this offense and at the receiver position, then I did not do a good enough job in recruiting the type of player that best represents Coach Leach and the Air Raid offense.”

Sage is also running the point on 4-star wide receiver prospect Jamire Calvin who tweeted this out a short time ago.

WSU 2017 class commit list

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