With most of the 2014 recruiting class signed, sealed and delivered, Mike Leach met with the media Wednesday afternoon to discuss the newest additions to WSU's roster. While he said a lot of the usual things, he praised the overall quality of the class several times.
"We didn't settle on any of them," Leach said. "They're all great players."
The quarterback in the recruiting class often draws the most attention. Peyton Bender is that player for WSU this season and Leach had high praise for the signal-caller from Florida. He said Bender improved more during his high school career than anyone he can remember recruiting. He made sure to note how impressive that is, saying it wasn't as if he started from a low point.
Leach said the class is the best he's had since coming to WSU and praised the coaching staff and current players for that. He said the players did an excellent job of selling the program and helping WSU identify players who would be a good fit for the Cougars. He also praised the assistant coaches.
"Our coaches are excited to be here and it rubs off on the recruits."
He said he pays virtually no attention to national recruiting rankings, other than when someone mentions it to him. He added that when he does start paying attention to recruiting rankings is the same time he'll start calling the media and others to help prepare gameplans. He said the Cougars are better off relying on the wisdom of coaches and others connected to the sport.
"There's been four and five star guys, historically, that I thought were awful."
Now that the players are signed, the attention will shift to when they will contribute on the field. Leach said he expects some to play as freshman, noting that the players who enrolled early have a head start. The theme of the 2014 class was adding players with a combination of size and speed. He said WSU did that this season and the 2014 crop was "a more polished group than we had the last two years."
The Cougars had several players decommit during the process, but he simply called that business as usual. He said one of the biggest things in recruiting is finding players who are interested in WSU. That is especially a factor when recruiting players from other states, and the goal is to target those willing to leave home.
He did not mention unsigned corner Sulaiman Hameed. Hameed is still expected to sign with WSU, but his letter of intent has not officially come though. Leach said there is a chance the Cougars would add more players to the class, possibly hinting at Hameed.
Leach gave a brief rundown of each player. Listing their hometown, position and measurables. When discussing offensive lineman Andre Dillard, Leach summed it up rather succinctly.
"Tall. Huge hands, huge feet," Leach said about the 6-foot-5 prospect from Woodinville.