Cougar recruiting hits high gear this month

WASHINGTON STATE will spend the next four weeks out on the recruiting trail -- it's a full-on crimson recruiting blitz this time of year, as each WSU coach will average about eight high schools a day. The Cougs already have three verbal commitments, more than they've ever had at the start of May, and they've extended 40-plus offers already. But those numbers now only figure to increase.

WSU during the May Eval is expected to have a coach in California every day, excluding Memorial Day and Sundays, and criss-cross the states of Washington, Arizona, Hawaii, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Texas, Utah, Alabama and Florida, and possibly others.

Alabama and Florida -- doesn't that seem a bit off the beaten path for WSU recruiting?

Yes, it does. But co-defensive coordinator Chris Ball has ties to those areas and Paul Wulff has offered Alabama middle 'backer Desmond Lavelle, plus four from Florida -- WR Henry Eaddy, WR Isiah Myers, S Corian Hamilton and MLB Darryl Monroe. So count on Ball to have plane tickets in hand for 'Bama and The Sunshine State.

Note: Bump that list from five up to eight. It was reported Monday morning WSU has offered three more Florida prospects out of Tampa -- ATH Frankie Williams, WR Ruben Gonzalez and DE Tevin Newman out of Robinson High received scholarship offers Monday from Washington State.

With this trio, the connection to WSU is special teams coordinator/running backs coach Dave Ungerer, who mentored former Robinson star Javier Arenas at Alabama.

DURING THIS recruiting period, the Cougar coaches rotate -- seven coaches are allowed on the road at any one time, so the nine WSU assistants will sub in and out, with each likely to spend three weeks in canvassing high schools and burning up the jet fuel.

During that time they'll hit as many high schools as they can, talk to as many high school coaches as they can, and ferry back miles upon miles of highlight tape for Paul Wulff to evaluate along with the rest of the WSU staff.

The May Evaluation Period actually started on April 15, and it runs six weeks. But a school is allowed only four weeks of the six, excluding Memorial Day and Sundays, to visit high schools and evaluate prep football prospects. With Wazzu's spring ball running through April 26, the Cougs have backloaded the process, and will use their four weeks to hit the trail from now until the period's end.

IT SOUNDS STRANGE to say but in the current climate, the Cougs are actually being judicious with their offers to this point -- some schools have taken the 'cast a wide-net' approach and have tossed out offers to 70-plus prospects already, while WSU has offered about 47.

Still, the number 47 represents a sea change from where things were just a few years ago. Three years ago, WSU hit the road for the May Eval period having extended just 11 offers. The 47 full rides at the start of May this year is also thought to be a record for WSU.

  • A rules change enacted in 2008 keeps Wulff and every other college head coach home during the period, so it's up to the assistants to hit all of the recruiting hot spots.

  • The Cougs' three known verbal commitments are: S Max Gama, TE Max Hersey and RB Bishop Sankey, though Sankey's pledge should be viewed as extremely soft.

  • During the May Evaluation Period, schools are allowed one 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.

  • Cougfan Top Stories