CHAT ROOM RECAP: Pflugrad and Burtnett

DURING THE MOST hectic day of the college football recruiting season, Washington State assistant coaches -- and recruiters extraordinaire -- Robin Pflugrad and Leon Burtnett took time out for an exclusive question and answer session with Cougar faithful in's subscribers-only chat room. Check out the transcript of the chat below:

COUGFANcom: Welcome coaches Robin Pflugrad and Leon Burtnett. The coaches' time is limited so we're going to get the Premium chat session started here on CF.C.

COUGFANcom: For coach Burtnett: Texas is one of, if not the, most hunted recruiting territories in the nation. How is it you're able to compete down south being so far away?

Coach Burtnett: I think our kids do an excellent job when recruits come to campus. Getting four (Texans) last year helps a lot. Coach Pflugrad does a great job of getting us organized plus I have recruited down there for years.

MichaelP: Coach Burtnett -- Keep that Texas pipeline coming! Any "big ones" down there for next year?

Coach Burtnett: There are players in Texas every year and there always will be. Football in Texas is a way of life.

Wombat324: Coach Burtnett, Can you comment on recruiting Texas kids to Pullman? Can some of these kids find Wazzu on a map when you first talk with them?

Coach Burtnett: Texas kids -- Most of them know who we are from having beaten Texas in the Holiday Bowl. That really helped us. Hardest thing about recruiting Texas is convincing the mothers to let their kids go that far from home. We lost two outstanding recruits because their mothers did not want them to go so far from home, even though the recruits and the father wanted them to. The mother was the deciding factor.

Kennewick Man: Coach Burtnett you are a wily veteran of college and NFL. What makes WSU special when you're out trying to sell the place?

Coach Burtnett: Coach Doba makes it special, the community support and the players on this football team.

COUGFANcom: For coach Pflugrad -- How would you characterize this recruiting haul? How does it compare with recent WSU classes?

Coach Pflugrad: Similar to our last three classes for the simple fact that we've gone after certain needs, and had success achieving those needs.

Cougdiddy: Does B.T. Walker's Dec LOI count for this Signing Day or do you expect him to sign later?

MichaelP: For either coach -- Can you comment on B.T. Walker?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: No, we can't comment on B.T. Walker.

Kennewick Man: If a JC kid sends his LOI in December but fails to make the grade, can he send in another LOI in Feb. to enroll in the fall?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: No, he can't send in another LOI.

Kennewick Man: You mentioned being short on the DL. How come you didn't go after Elisara?

IBC2991: Ditto, I'm dying to get your two cents on Cameron Elisara.

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: Elisara -- We have not seen a signed letter of intent (for any school yet) on the individual so we can't comment.

HometownHex: Coaches: Can you comment on what, if anything you have heard on DT Tarkington?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: We can't comment on Tarkington.

Cougdiddy: Are we still recruiting a JC corner name of Markus Dawes?

IBC2991: How about Bryan Tarkington or Nehemiah Mundy?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: We can't comment on any players who haven't signed letters of intent.

LanceUppercut: Which players in this class could be getting significant offense/defense playing time in 06?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: In 06, Jason Price could be getting a lot of playing time because of need at tight end. Kerry Maddox because of need at corner. There will be some other players specifically on special teams. We played so many young players last year who will role into positional players. We're excited to get Andy Mattingly on campus and see what he can do on special teams early. Also at WR we feel we improved our personnel at that position and some of them will have to play special teams as well.

cress: Will Mattingly play LB? What about Ivory?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: Mattingly will start out at linebacker at this time and Ivory will start out as a running back.

CadTramp: On Ivory, Halfback or Fullback?

MichaelP: With Ivory at RB, will he become that big time blocking back for short yardage plays the Cougs desperately need? His bio calls him one of the best FB in Texas last year.

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: Ivory -- We think he can do that, and more. He can block and carry it for the tough yard.

Kennewick Man: Whom do you consider the hidden nuggets in this recruiting class?

97Coug: Is there one guy you look at as a steal that flew under everyone else's radar?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: Hidden nuggets -- We feel solid about every player we signed. The true test will be in 2 years how they respond.

DobasD03: do you feel that most of the needs got filled? If not, where did we not meet the needs for this class?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: For most part got most of our needs. On the defensive side we could have used a few more players, D-line, corner and safety. Hopefully we will have news on a few more players in the next few months.

MichaelP: Thrilled with new skill players. Would WSU need to "target" (extra numbers) OL and DL next year?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: Definitely need to target both lines. We will be short on both sides if those needs aren't met next class. Only took three O-linemen for the second year in a row and you can never have enough D-linemen.

cress: Is Hutsona a slot or a RB?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: We felt he could possibly be both. Maybe his greatest asset is as a return specialist.

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: The great thing about running backs is they can play all special teams and possibly other positions.

JMKCoug: It looks like a class with good overall "speed." What type of times do you look for at the various positions and does it have much relevance for the OL?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: Obviously try to get fastest players you can get. Recruiting services say one thing or another, you have to be best evaluator of speed. Football speed is what we look for at Washington State.

thebigfella: Is there any chance of FB adopting a early signing period like basketball and if so would you guys be in favor of it?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: Early signing -- Talked about every year at national convention and always tabled to following year. Pros and cons that could affect WSU. Our stand as a program is we are not in favor of it.

LanceUppercut: With Jason Hill and Michael Bumpus coming back, do we have too many receivers?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: That is an area we improved with this signing class. Had to improve it, important that we do that and that's what we did.

JMKCoug: Will you try to redshirt as many freshman as possible next year? How much of an issue is redshirting in recruiting these days? It seems like more kids are against it.

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: I don't think we should redshirt anybody who has an opportunity to help us on special teams. I think kids do better academically when they are participating and the adjustment from being away from home is not near as great.

Wazzu Coug: I'm extremely happy we have such a stable coaching team. Is the University willing to do what it takes to keep all of you?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: That is not a question we can answer. We all enjoy being here.

RoseCityCoug: Aside from the newest group of Cougs, do you anticipate any new faces playing corner?

MichaelP: Because of numbers will Husain move to CB and bigger role at safety for Willis and Hicks?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: Husain -- Not at this time but that's what's spring ball is about.

JMKCoug: Now that LOI day has passed is this the time of the year when you can actually get in some vacation time?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: NO vacation time. We are involved in self-evaluations of what we do. July is really our only down time.

CadTramp: Any likely grayshirts?

CadTramp: Has WSU filled it's 85 schollies, and are there any new recruits expected grayshirts?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: Grayshirts -- Always keep that situation open. Some players actually prefer to grayshirt.

GrouchyO: How can you tell whether you like a guy more as a corner or safety?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: Speed and ability to support the run.

JMKCoug: Will any of the Cougar coaches be visiting other programs to look at their systems in the offseason?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: Not only college programs but National Football League teams and that is done every year.

cress: Talk about Kooyman. What position?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: He will be looked at as a D-lineman and then depend on his growth, either end or tackle.

Kennewick Man: Priorities for 2007 class?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: For 2007 class, we need good football players. Quarterback, O-line and linebackers.

LanceUppercut: Who do you guys like in the super bowl?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: Naturally Seattle. Pflu wants to know whom they are playing; he's been kind of busy the last month.

Snarl: Where are you guys watching the Superbowl?

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: We will both watch the Super Bowl in our basements with my two dogs.

MichaelP: Coach Pflu -- Met your parents before a Coug game, great people, turns out they were neighbors (less than a mile). I appreciate all you do for WSU recruiting and keeping up a class program.

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: Michael P -- Thanks, please tell my parents hi. I haven't seen them since August.

LA Coug: Please send our regards to the top cat, Coach Doba.


LanceUppercut: Thx coaches.

thebigfella: ty

Snarl: Your guys Rock, Keep up the good work. I cannot wait for the new stadium and 18 hole golf course. GO COUGS!

RoseBowlCoug: thanks coaches

stutescoug: Thanks coaches!!!!

couggolf: thanks!

Wazzu Coug: Thanks for taking you time to join us on such a hectic day.

Coaches Pflugrad and Burtnett: Thank You!

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