clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WSU football recruiting: The crootin' never stops

The evaluation period is over, however the WSU coaching staff will kick off the quiet period with satellite camps. Plus, notes on verbals, targets and more.

Connor Neville - Student Sports Photos

Since roughly mid-April, the WSU football coaches have been boarding airplanes and flying all over the United States in search of the next crop of freakishly talented 17-year-olds to don the Crimson and Gray. They can't really do that anymore, but sort of can.

As of Wednesday, the crootin' calendar went quiet. From now until July 31, off-campus contact is no longer permitted, however electronic communication with prospective student-athletes, such as texting and sliding into DMs, is still allowed, as well as unofficial visits to campus.

There's a catch that allows them to continue to "recruit" on the road, though!

You may recall that back in April, UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero made a lot of football humans in the Pac-12 very upset, and rightfully so. That silly man overseeing of Bruin athletics did a thing that served his interests but not the rest of the Pac-12's interests, as previously voted on, which resulted in a ban on satellite camps.

That was a dumb thing to do, and thankfully the NCAA Board of Governors remarkably did something that was good and rescinded the ruling until the "recruiting environment" could be examined further. End result: satellite camps are happening still.

For obvious reasons, satellite camps are vital to Washington State's recruiting efforts. The WSU staff can head back on the road and "work" camps in conjunction with high school and college coaches, allowing the staff to further evaluate prospective athletes and gain more exposure for the program.

Campin' on satellites

Beginning today, the coaching staff will split into two teams, with half of the staff headed to the Seattle area for the NW Elite Camp and the other half of the staff will be invading Portland for the Northwest Collegiate Showcase.

The staff as a whole will then head back to Pullman this weekend for Washington State's annual football camp, which doesn't feature many big names in the recruiting game, but usually results in an offer or two down the road.

From there, beginning June 9, the two-week satellite tour continues to California for camps in Oceanside, Redlands, Calabasas, Los Angeles and Sacramento. They'll wrap things up June 16-18 in Layton, Utah for the All-Poly Camp, which is loaded with talent every year.

This kind of exposure and ability to work one-on-one with a vast majority of the kids they're recruiting on the West Coast is invaluable for the WSU staff, who travels on the team bus from stop to stop. There will be some offers that get sent out and likely a commit or two — they've landed double-digit commits in the month of June over the last two years.

A new quarterback

Mike Leach has a new toy behind center, which he officially announced yesterday. Anthony Gordon, a junior college quarterback transfer, signed a financial aid agreement with Washington State yesterday, two days after receiving an offer and ultimately committing as a member of the 2016 class.

Brian Anderson dropped the news of Gordon's commitment over here, which I encourage you to read because the words he typed about Gordon are much better than what I'll be writing here, and you'll be smarter because of it. Here's a snippet.

"Gordon has excellent pocket mobility, doing exactly what you need to do in this offense -- sliding, stepping up, keeping eyes downfield -- to buy time for receivers to hit windows," Anderson says. "His touch and accuracy are ridiculous for his age.

"Nearly everything is on-numbers and in-stride, doesn't matter if its a running back flaring to the flat or a receiver on a skinny post. You get a heavy dose of corners, seams, and posts in the first few minutes."

Washington State signed 22 players in the last cycle, none of whom where of the true quarterback variety. They don't teach scholarship math in MATH 105, so I'm guessing a little here, but it seems as though they may have saved one spot in the previous class for one potential late addition.

How does this impact recruiting in 2017, you ask? I usually stay away from comment sections, but happened to gander over to the Gordon post comments and saw a lot of questions that are probably better answered here.

Prior to Gordon's offer and subsequent signing, the Cougars were aggressively recruiting the quarterback position in the 2017 class, extending double-digit offers to the position. Even after landing Connor Neville, a three-star composite prospect, the staff continued to send out offers, looking to take two signal callers in this class.

Gordon's commitment as a 2016 pledge with three years of eligibility remaining likely means they stick with just one quarterback in the 2017 class.

But, you guys, Neville wants to play early, he's probably going to bail now! First of all, the staff has been very transparent with Neville in regards to their plans at quarterback. He knows that he's going to have to compete to play regardless of who's on the depth chart. It's a non-issue, in my opinion.

Croots on the camp circuit

Washington State verbal commits have been making waves on the camp circuit this spring, most notably wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins, running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio, and Neville. At the The Opening Oakland Regional, the trio worked together and turned a lot of heads on a big stage.

"We've seen Hodgins a ton this spring and this was the best the Washington State verbal looked," Scout.com said of the three-star receiver's performance. "Consistently catching the ball, stretching the field and showing good body control."

Neville, like Hodgins, earned high marks from nearly every analyst at the event. He also participated in The Opening Seattle Regional, earning QB MVP honors. You can check out some highlights here.

Here's a look at Habibi-Likio and Hodgins in one-on-one drills, courtesy Habibi-Likio on Twitter.

Offensive tackle commit Dontae Powell also showed well at The Opening Seattle Regional. The 6-foot-5, 314-pounder is slated to play left tackle at the next level.

Powell talked about his commitment to Washington State with Scout.com here.

Who could be next?

Neville, Hodgins and Habibi-Likio have been putting in some recruiting work of their own in recent weeks, hammering on a few big names to join them in Pullman next year.

Nick Pickett, a three-star athlete from Los Angeles, is high on Washington State, and it shows on his Twitter account. The 6-foot, 180-pounder could play on offense or defense at the next level and currently holds offers from Fresno State, Nebraska, San Diego State, San Jose State and Washington State.

Like Pickett, three-star defensive back Jeffrey Manning Jr. is another recruiting target the staff and current commits are recruiting hard. The Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco product is high on the the Pac-12 schools that have offered — Oregon State, Utah and Washington State — and is expected to take an official visit this fall.

All-name nominee Fa'avae Fa'avae will also visit this fall, which he noted on his Twitter account recently. The three-star linebacker out of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei currently holds offers from Arizona State, Boise State, Louisville, Washington State and several others.

That's about it for now. I'll update this thing if anything cool happens over next few days. Questions? Hit the comments and I'll maybe answer, probably.