Mike Leach talks spring football, recruiting and more

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

The Cougars officially wrapped spring football earlier in the week and Mike Leach discussed the session on Thursday.

The Pac-12 held a football coaches conference call on Thursday with the 12 head coaches weighing in on spring football, scheduling rules, recruiting rules and much more. Mike Leach, of course, was part of the call and spent most of the time discussing spring football.

Here are a few highlights from the call.

  • When asked about redshirt freshman who showed well in spring, Leach mentioned right tackle Cole Madison first. Madison started spring at the top of the depth chart at right tackle and impressed. There is still a long way to go until Rutgers, but you can pencil in Madison at right tackle for now.
  • Leach said he thinks if you are going to have a playoff system, every conference should play the same schedule structure, either everyone plays eight or everyone plays nine conference game. He didn't, however, criticize the SEC, instead saying the conference is "clever" to stick with eight games until they are required to do something different.
  • On the secondary: "Young, but lots of improvement."
  • Beau Glover drew significant praise with Leach saying he may have had the best spring of anyone.

That wasn't Leach's only media stop of the day, he also joined KJR to talk about his new book, bear hunting and some football. He spent a good portion of the time discussing the new football operations building and he didn't shy away from bragging.

"We have the best facility in the Pac-12. I knew that we did, but it's by a bigger margin than I realized."

Leach also said he felt the team should have won nine games, yes nine games, last year. Auburn and Colorado State are obvious near-misses, but I'm not sure where the ninth game comes from. Oregon State without the late collapse? The Apple Cup? Anyway, here is Leach joining Dave Mahler:

Want even more Leach? Britton Ransford of WazzuWatch.com transcribed another media session with Leach delving even deeper into spring football. Here is a taste of that:

Q: The running back situation appears to be competitive. Do you foresee a bunch of guys playing there or is one guy expected to take the reigns?

Leach: I think two will play significantly. I don't know how it's going to unfold as we get into camp. If we were to play today, it would be Theron West and Jamal Morrow.

Football:

Pac-12 football conference call highlights - ESPN
When asked to name a redshirt freshman that stood out this spring, Washington State coach Mike Leach mentioned right offensive tackle Cole Madison and a pair of defensive linemen, Daniel Ekuale and Emmitt Su'a-Kalio. He also lauded the play of CB Daquawn Brown.

Upland quarterback Tyler Hilinski commits to Washington State
"I loved the coaching staff and the atmosphere there. It felt like the perfect place," he said. "They really wanted me and I really wanted them so there was no reason to wait." Hilinski also hopes making a decision early will allow him to focus on his senior season and concedes that recruiting can be a major distraction. The league is tough enough and will be even more so with the addition of Chino Hills and Damien next year.

Pac-12 coaches call out SEC for not playing by same rules | Bud Withers | The Seattle Times
If you equate the fledgling college-football playoff to a political race, then the stumping began Thursday. At least it intensified, as Pac-12 coaches took part in a post-spring teleconference.

Three answers from WSU spring football - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - May 1, 2014
The Cougars came into the offseason with a number of question marks after their New Mexico Bowl loss. Who would take over for departing All-American Deone Bucannon? How will the Cougars compensate for the loss of three starters on the offensive line?

WSU coach Mike Leach lauds offensive line, secondary | Cougar Football | The Seattle Times
Two years ago, if he were asked how his first spring football session went at Washington State, Mike Leach might would have harrumphed and entertained the next question.

Director of Athletics Bill Moos Podcast - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
In addition, Moos discusses Spokane Week and Saturday's Spring Game at Joe Albi Stadium (pictured above, Coach Mike Leach signs autographs after the Spring Game). Moos also comments on Wednesday's release of the football non-conference schedule through 2018, the upcoming 2014 season, and Finals Week.

Leader On The Line - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
For a brief moment in time, Washington State redshirt-senior Kalafitoni Polé had the power to turn strangers into best friends. In 2012, thousands of fans at Martin Stadium fell into each other’s arms after Polé intercepted a pass that helped the Cougars prevail against their cross-state rival in overtime. That moment is cemented in Apple Cup history and most will remember it as a quasi-rebirth for the Cougar program. For Polé, it was all about motivation.

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