CHAT SUMMARY: Rasmussen on Signing Day

THE RECRUITING COORDINATOR at Washington State answered a myriad of questions from CF.C premium subscribers on Signing Day. In the chat room session, Rich Rasmussen talked about what the staff focused on, recruiting the high school DE/TE types like Spokane's Dan Spitz who could flourish in the WSU weight room, the importance of video study plus much more.

COUGFANcom: Welcome Coach Rasmussen -- Let's open it up for questions from the Cougar faithful here on CF.C !!

Wazzu4288: Based purely on opinion, how do you feel this class will develop by Pac-10 standards?
RASMUSSEN: We feel really good about this class. We focused on speed and athleticism, and high character individuals. There was an emphasis to recruit tight end/defensive end-type players. Knowing that these guys will become bigger and stronger through proper nutrition and weight training. Examples of these guys that signed here in the past would be Keith Millard, Dorian Boose, Mkristo Bruce and Michael Roos, who played for us at Eastern. Roos was 6-6, 226 when we signed him out of Mt. View Vancouver, and grew to 6-7, 300 pounds and was a second-round draft choice of the Titans and started every game of his three-year NFL career.

cougfan2759: Coach, thank you for your good work in-state. Can you make any comment on Alex Shaw and where the Cougs stand on him?
cdlhot: who is left to sign, and any surprises?
currcoug: Coach, did the Cougs make any attempt to recruit Louis Bland (RB)?
cdlhot: Has Thaddeus Brown signed with WSU, of anyone else?
currcoug: Brandon Turner attended several WSU camps. Why no offer? Shaw?
COUGFANcom: fyi: Coaches cannot specifically comment on any recruit who has not yet signed a Letter of Intent. Thanks.

vegascoog: Hi Coach---great job so far!! I live in Vegas and I know one kid here is being looked there a chance for more signings after today? Or will you be asking some of these other kids to walk on?
currcoug: Coach, are the Cougs going to sign players after LOI day, as Coach Doba did with three players in 2007?
cougdadfan: Coach any grayshirts in this bunch
vegascoog: Regarding prospects still on the radar there a possibility for signings after today or will you ask them to walk on if they want to be a Coug?
RASMUSSEN: We could potentially have one or two more signees added to today's group. There are potentially two or three guys that we may ask to grayshirt, but we won't know that until after spring ball when we have had an opportunity to assess the guys currently on our roster.

bluehairatwta: Will the press conference be available online?
RASMUSSEN: No. We will not be streaming the press conference online.

97Coug: Coach, what kid of an adjustment was it for you and others on staff to go from evaluating Big Sky caliber players to Pac-10 caliber?
RASMUSSEN: We wanted to find receivers that would fit with what we do, being able to stretch the field and to be successful in our screen package. We looked for tight ends that were very athletic and had a lot of speed.

atomberg: Coach R how were you able to get info on recruits in such a short time, is this why you went after your eastern wa prospects.
RASMUSSEN: Travis Niekamp and Malik Roberson and Steve Broussard did a tremendous job in Southern California.

Cougman86: Talking with a high school here in Spokane, it was his opinion that the prior staff really neglected not only the State of Washington but even Spokane which is right in there own backyard. Do you see this staff recruiting Spokane and the State differently than the prior administration?
RASMUSSEN: yes, we will be focus on Washington first and foremost, and then the rest of the Western United States. It doesn't make a lot of sense for us to recruit kids from back East or the Midwest, where their parents won't have an opportunity to see them play regularly.

derting51factor: Coach, how do you feel about the recruits the staff has acquired for the spread offense? Which players have the best chance of making an impact in the Pac-10 with this style? Please elaborate. Thanks Coach.
RASMUSSEN: In the spread gun offense, it is really important to have an athletic quarterback that can not only stretch a defense with his arm, but with his feet. Defensive coordinators hate quarterbacks that can run.

Howie_the_Hog: Coach, with a lot of JUCO's in the class, roughly how many of them figure to see significant playing time THIS season
Howie_the_Hog: Coach, out of the players in the new class, how many do you figure will start contributing THIS season?
RASMUSSEN: I would expect possibly the three junior college defensive linemen to participate and Chantz Staden, the running back, can hopefully add some depth.

IBC2991: Coach, first off welcome to WSU! Can you comment on our approach to Front-7 defensive recruiting this year? Did we focus on finding kids to fit a 4-3 scheme or a 3-4 scheme?
RASMUSSEN: We will make the determination on which type of front we are going to play after we have an opportunity to fully evaluate what we have here on campus. We want to put our guys in the best situation possible for them to succeed.

atomberg: Coach- What are some things you have to do differently by having a small recruiting budget like Wazzu has compared to other big PAC 10 schools?
RASMUSSEN: We have to build solid relationships with high school coaches. It's not about how much money we have or don't have. It is about people, and developing trust in each other.

vegascoog: Coach--- Coach Wulff indicated that he was surprised by the lack of depth on the roster....did this affect the recruiting strategy with so little time to get going?
RASMUSSEN: It gave us areas to identify that needed to be addressed right away. The defensive secondary and defensive line were two areas where we felt needed to be addressed from day one.

CougEd: Coach, when there is a coaching staff like the one WSU had fairly late in the recruiting season, is a good portion or some of the groundwork laid, or does the new staff start from square one from evaluation to offer?
RASMUSSEN: We basically had to start from ground one, other than the relationship that Steve Broussard had in the Los Angeles area. Unfortunately, Levy and I have been recruiting the same region for the past 12 years. And so although we knew that region very well, there weren't a ton of guys from that area that we felt were Pac-10 prospects.

Wazzu4288: Coach, Div-I football is Div-I football, challenging on all fronts. What in your mind though, is the difference between the recruits that were overlooked by Pac-10 schools, but get interest in the Big Sky?
cdlhot: The Scout boards and the critics say this class is EWU talent, not PAC-10 Talent coach, what do you say to that?
RASMUSSEN: At times it appeared that some of the Pac-10 schools were more concerned with how many stars a prospect had in their ranking, instead of doing the homework in evaluating a large amount of video to find the guys that may not have had the ability to attend summer camps or combines.

SheriffCoug: Of the players you directly recruited, who are you most excited about ?
Howie_the_Hog: Coach, I know this class is more like a traditional class of "no-namers" But of the players that have signed so far, which players do you think will turn the most heads (ie: Chima Nwachukwu last year)
RASMUSSEN: We think Zack Williams is going to be a great player in the future. The defensive linemen all bring high energy to the table. The receiving and tight end group is very athletic.

97Coug: Will you be making the summer camps a high priority at WSU, like at Eastern, and if so, what effect does that have on your recruiting efforts?
RASMUSSEN: Camps are definitely a priority for us. It's a great opportunity for us to evaluate individuals up close. Unfortunately, we don't have the same amount of field space available here that we had at Eastern. The camp won't be as large from a total population standpoint, but it will be imperative to get the best athletes in the area at those camps.

currcoug: Is Mackay going to be WR, LB, or DE? Congrats on getting him from the Dawgs.
RASMUSSEN: Cory Mackay is going to start out as a wide receiver. We are going to give him every opportunity to be successful at that position.

cougdadfan: Coach R What about the kid from Tri-City, Ledgerwood, and the kid from Hood River, Coerper. Is Coerper as Fast and as Big as His profile, if so great find Coach...
RASMUSSEN: Ledgerwood and Coerper were two guys that were under the radar for most people. They could be compared to Will Derting in that regard. Michael Vandenkolk is a very physical football player with very good feet.

CougEd: Is there a player or two you just thought out loud "how is this guy flying under the radar"?
RASMUSSEN: Guys that typically fly under the radar are ones that don't have the opportunity to attend summer camps or combines. Therefore, they do not have the exposure that a lot of other individuals do. A lot of times they attend schools that are off the beaten path and a little more difficult to get to.

RASMUSSEN: One more question is all we have time for.
currcoug: Coach, I heard Coach Bowden today boast of getting a commit from a Ninth grader. He also wants an earlier signing date. What do you think?
RASMUSSEN: I was just worried about filling this class. A ninth grader will graduate in 2011. I am not ready to start looking at that class yet.

RASMUSSEN: we never could have pulled off signing such a great staff without the help of our support staff here, Shawn Deeds - our DFO, Jason DiStephano, the assistant DFO and recruiting assistant; Marie Taylor our principle assistant; and Vanessa Mosby, our program assistant and all the GAs. Our entire staff did a great job of evaluating a lot of film in a very short time - almost 1,200 videos, and built some relationships very quickly that you normally have eight to nine months to build.

RASMUSSEN: Thanks for your time. We look forward to seeing you at the Spring Game.
COUGFANcom: Thanks to everyone, you asked some great questions and thanks to coach Rasmussen for taking time to lend his view on many of them on this busy day.

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