FROM PULLMAN -- We said the week would get busier as it progressed, and we weren't lying. More WSU reading material awaits you after the jump, should you choose to soldier on.
Our series of profiles on WSU's assistant football coaches continued today with a look at inside receivers coach Eric Morris, the youngest member of Mike Leach's staff at age 26. (It's been brought to my attention that the music on the Morris highlight video was a tad explicit -- I had my speakers muted when I first watched it -- so I've taken it down. A YouTube search of Eric Morris will take you there, if you'd still like to see it.) ... Ken Bone spoke on the Pac-12 coaches teleconference yesterday, and we recapped what he had to say in this blog post. Bone will conduct his weekly call with local reporters later today, and we'll be there for that, as well. ... Howie Stalwick covers a number of topics in this WSU notebook. ... Bid Withers examines the prospects of each Pac-12 team for next season. His conclusion: it gets better. ... The Pac-12 only has itself to blame, says another columnist. ... It's a brief note, but Lorenzo Romar likened Brock Motum to Klay Thompson during his press conference on Tuesday, also saying Motum is the most improved player in the conference -- "a matchup nightmare. Like a Nowitzki type. He's not Dirk Nowitzki right now, but that's the kind of matchup problem he brings to the table." Also, a quote of interest from Romar about the atmosphere at Beasley: "If they seat 11,000, it just seems like 10,000 of them are students. ... It will be a rowdy, raucous atmosphere."
Around the Pac-12: Sean Miller isn't sure whether to use guard Jordin Mayes this week. Miller called USC's injury situation "astonishing." ... Former Arizona State cornerback Omar Bolden has plenty to prove at the NFL combine this week. ... An interesting look, from a California/St. Mary's perspective, at last week's mock tournament selection. ... Concussions won't keep Chris Owusu from pursuing an NFL career. ... Andrew Luck heads to the combine. ... California ain't what it used to be when it comes to college basketball. ... Still, the amount of talent coming out of the Bay Area, at least, is impressive. ... Colorado has impressed its head coach. This columnist thinks the Buffs may be at a disadvantage if they don't embrace new scholarship rules. ... There's still time for Utah to end the season on a positive note. ... Aziz N'Diaye could be key for Washington down the stretch. ... Oregon needs to force Oregon State out of its comfort zone this weekend. ... Players who transferred from Oregon have found homes elsewhere. ... More legal trouble for Oregon State's football team, and this one would have Cliff Harris rather impressed. ... UCLA is after that ever-important fourth-place spot in the Pac-12 standings. ... One bright spot for USC -- Kevin O'Neill hasn't lost his team.
Morris made some interesting comments about recruiting in Texas during our interview, and there wasn't room for them in the story. So I'll pass them along here, because I figure folks might be interested.
(On his recruiting philosophy) "All my roots are Texas. My dad’s a coach in Texas, we have some good ties. I’ll be in Dallas/Fort Worth, we’ll have coach (Jeff) Choate in the Houston area. It’s something that we have good relationships down there. The coaches know what coach Leach is about, his program’s about. I know coach Choate recruited Houston when he was at Boise State. It’s just like anything else that you do in life, it’s all about relationships. If we can get three or four kids a year from Texas I think would be really good. Just a difference in the amenities they have down there, all the resources they have down there. High school football is just a totally different deal down there where it’s almost like a college program, where they have spring football, there’s nine coaches on staff, these staffs all have good backgrounds, go to all these clinics, understand football, they’re coached really well, coached really hard. I don’t think the talent’s better there, I just think … you go to California, some of these big schools, and they have one or two football coaches on staff full time, which amazed me when I got here, which is just a difference – having nine guys full time on staff, the facilities. They have indoor facilities down there, huge weight rooms, it’s all based on money. I don’t think the talent’s better. I think the kids might come out more ready to play because of the offseason, strength coaches and everything down there. If we can get a couple kids based on our relationships, I think it’ll help our program.”
(On it being more difficult to recruit Texas from out of state) “Absolutely. For one, I think everybody in the nation recruits Dallas/Fort Worth and they recruit Houston, especially big time guys. You see people from all over recruiting those areas. And I definitely think that it’s worth it, seeing as I think what we’re going to focus on is Washington, we’ve got to compete in Washington, which will be key for us. And we’ve got to get into the Seattle area and be able to pull a couple kids out of there. We have to go head to head with all these schools in the Pac-12 and beat them on some kids from Washington and all the California schools and Utah. The reception we’ve had here so far is great, especially with coach Leach coming here. We just have to be grinders out on the road and find the kids that fit our program. There’s definitely a lot of talent in Washington, a lot of talent in California and we have to be able to evaluate these kids and pick the right kids.”
All for now.