Wulff has entire West in his sights

THE ZEAL THAT Paul Wulff and his staff brought to in-state recruiting paid off nicely on Wednesday, and California was a crimson bounty as usual. But pulling a handful of nuggets out of Utah, Hawaii, Idaho, Colorado and Alberta has given Wulff confidence that the magic of the Palouse sells well all over the West.

"There's no reason we can't go anywhere in the West -- and go after players that we think fit our program," Wulff said this week.

The Cougars clearly won't take their foot off the pedal in the home state, where Wulff landed six of the top 10-ranked Evergreen prospects in this recruiting season.

But the footprint that Wulff plans to continue to draw from reaches into the Rockies and over the Pacific.

"I think our net here has to be a little broader than what we've done in the past here -- and when I say net, I mean a net that's still attached to Washington and the region," said Wulff.

That net of course is also anchored in California, which traditionally has been the No. 1 source of crimson talent over the years. In fact, Wulff prepped at Davis High near Sacramento before becoming a four-year starter for the Cougs in the 1980s.

Making a crimson run at the rest of the West also means Wulff will dedicate recruiting efforts toward states such as Utah and Hawaii.

It makes sense for three reasons, he said.

First, parents want to see their kids play on Saturdays, and WSU works from a travel standpoint.

Second, Utah and Hawaii are in the regional footprint of Washington State's television markets -- also a key for parents.

And third, Pullman offers a charming, safe environment to go to school.

"We have something to offer to kids in those states...in Utah, there are no Pac-10 schools in that state. And I think regionally, it's pretty convenient to get to Pullman. And with Hawaii, same thing," said Wulff.

Utah, which Jody Sears and other Cougar coaches canvassed this past year, looks to be flush with talent in the 2010 recruiting class.

In Hawaii over the past year, WSU recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen racked up 25,000 air miles just on his own. His recruiting efforts weren't limited to the '09 class -- he was also strengthening Washington State's bond with prep coaches in the Islands.

THE JUST-SIGNED Cougar class could also help future recruiting efforts. If Hawaiian Jordan Pu'u-Robinson develops over the course of his time in Pullman the way WSU coaches envision, Wazzu's chances for success in winning recruiting wars in Hawaii become that much greater. The same holds true for every other WSU '09 signee and their region.

Recruits notice when local players develop into all-conference standouts.

BOTTOM LINE, Washington State will go after the best football players that fit the program.

"Regardless of where they're located -- whether it's California, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona and so on and so forth," said Wulff.

"And obviously we'll be in Seattle, where there are thousands and thousands of Cougar alumni and people that have just unbelievable (WSU) experiences and who show their great spirit and passion about Washington State University. It's pretty hard to, as a young player, ignore (that) and what Washington State has to offer."

Washington State will still spot recruit elsewhere (think Texas), but it will be primarily about the West, said Wulff. "There's no reason whatsoever there won't be players (from the West) coming to Washington State University, period."

Actually, we'd give that last one an exclamation mark, coach.

Coming Monday, CF.C takes a look at 12 local prospects to watch in the 2010 class.

Cougfan Top Stories