From Pullman — Once again the Cougars practiced late at night on Friday because of finals, and indoors because of the snow on the ground. But the day wasn't done when practice ended for the WSU football players. According to the recruiting websites, a whole host of recruits are in town to visit the school and check out the football team, and many of the current players will spend the weekend hosting the prospects.
“Who they have in common with, sometimes what position they play or where they're from, that type of deal. And then you get an idea of their interests and major,” coach Mike Leach said of how they determine the players who will host individual recruits.
A list of the recruits who are thought to be visiting this weekend can be found here. As you can see, they hail all the way from Hawaii to Florida.
“It's great,” offensive line coach Clay McGuire said. “We've got a lot to offer, Washington State's a great place and when you've got a good product to sell you're going to get some good kids up here and I definitely think we've got a big weekend with some real quality talent here.”
More on practice and WSU's recruiting weekend, after the jump.
Schools can host recruits on an “official visit” (meaning the school pays for travel, food and lodging) throughout the season, and in January. By bringing in many recruits on the same weekend, it allows the prospects to develop relationships and bond with their potential future teammates, while also helping the coaches efficiently manage their time.
“You want to have something going on. It's good if you have games, it's good if you have practices,” Leach said. “The trouble is they have games, too. The January visits are great visits and typically there are more of them but if you can get them when you have practice or games it's good.”
Leach also listed the players that impresses him in practice over this past week, when the veterans took a backseat to the underclassmen.
“We really got to work the young defensive line a lot. I thought Ivan McLennan looked really good, Daniel Ekuale, I mean a lot of them looked good,” Leach said. “Peyton Pelluer, Daquawn Brown, Theron West looked good, definitely. And then I thought Cody O'Connell, Cole Madison, the young offensive line in general. Devonte McCLain improved a great deal I thought. All three quarterbacks but (Tyler) Bruggman and (Luke) Falk looked really good in their work.”
Among the receivers, “Dan Lilienthal looked good at times, needs to get in shape. I thought the inside receivers did some good things as a group. Sometimes Robert Lewis, explosive. Consistency we're working on. Yeah I thought it was good, productive work.”
With a game on Dec. 21, the Cougars are no longer focusing on those younger players. However, they aren't quite ready to start focusing on the game yet either.
“These practices are fun,” McGuire, who has spent much of the last week on the road recruiting, said. “It's the extra ones you get and I'm excited to get back out there. There's a lot of rust to knock off but we've got a few more to go and have to get it done before we play.”