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How big of a priority should recruiting the Northwest be for WSU football?

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Is this something that should be considered when hiring for the two vacancies on Mike Leach's staff? We explore.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

We authors had a little email conversation about recruiting the Northwest last week.  Specifically, how PNW recruiting hasn't been particularly stellar in recent history and whether strengthening area recruiting would be a factor in hiring a new defensive coordinator. As with any text-based conversation, it wildly swings around some topics, but there are some interesting thoughts.

Enjoy.

Brian Anderson

Just dawned on me we don't have (and haven't had for a while) a Northwest area recruiter. It was Eric Russell, with a little Mike Breske. Kinda makes me think Mike Leach either doesn't really care about winning Washington recruiting battles (sorta plausible) or doesn't think it takes someone with local ties to recruit the area (also sorta plausible -- the HS coaches and communication structure in WA isn't as back room handshake niche as a place like Texas or Los Angeles).

Just thinking out loud about whether it's dumb for people to be suggesting DC candidates based on their ability to recruit the NW, or if that's actually something WSU is factoring in at a critical level.

Kyle Sherwood

I don't think that had much to do with Joyner. UW was in his house the night before he decommitted. Wouldn't shock me if they helped him script the reason he flipped so he didn't look like a bad guy. How many west side kids is WSU really going to be in the mix for?  I think maybe they should look there for walk-ons but I have a hard time believing many west siders are going to be any good if UW doesn't want them.

BA

Oh I'm with you 100% on the "Joyner-needed-a-good-PR-reason-to-flip" angle. I don't think he was coming here with Breske around either. UW isn't really my main concern -- it's Boise St. right now. I think UW mops up the West side regardless of who WSU has talking to kids; we just gotta make sure nothing slips through the cracks to Boise St. from the east side and CDA. That shouldn't be happening as much as it is.

KS

Has Boise ever had a better recruiting class than WSU? I thought the reason Brett Rypien was news was because that stuff never happens. Hell, they owe their whole existence to Timm Rosenbach passing up on Kellen Moore.

Jeff Nusser

Our WSU bag men clearly need to learn something about Boise's bag man game.

BA

Class? Not off the top of my head, but they get a few guys every year that WSU should be getting. Rypien is the big name, but I wasn't trying to be specific to him. That has more to do with Boise being vacant at QB than anything else, I think.

JN

In 2013, Boise finished one spot behind us via 247 and in 2012 finished one spot ahead of us via Rivals. I think it's fair to say that we've more or less been occupying the same rent space for a while now.

Of course, this says more about us than them, but whatevs.

KS

Here's what I found on Scout.  Boise has been in the 40s exactly once since Wulff took over.  And I think our goal should be the 30s every year.

2009:  Washington State 43rd, Boise State 60th
2010:  Washington State 41st, Boise State 96th (!!!)
2011: Washington State 57th, Boise State 65th
2012: Washington State 50th, Boise State 56th
2013: Boise State 42nd, Washington State 45th
2014: Washington State 58th, Boise State 66th
2015: Washington State 29th, Boise State 57th

JN

I think 247 and Rivals show roughly the same thing. Reality is that I don't think there's a lot of difference between 45 and 65. At that point, you're hoping to develop a bunch of 3-star kids and praying some 2-stars turn into something.

BA

Eh, I don't know, there's less of a difference between 45 and 65 than 45 and 25, but it's still a difference.
My whole comment about being concerned with Boise wasn't that they competed with us in terms of national class ranking, just that every year there seems to be a 3-star-type kid from eastern WA or Oregon or CDA that considers WSU and Boise and goes there. That's where it'd be nice to have someone be able to lock in those players. That's our depth chart and special teams, potentially, essentially.

Are you saying being concerned about Boise is pointless, not worth it? I'd be fine with that too if we develop a depth chart pipeline in Texas for under recruited guys (which was probably this staff's aim when it started - guys like Morris etc).

KS

Here are our Washington recruits lately. I think I'm good leaving Washington entirely.

2011 -
3*Max Hersey (Tacoma)
3*Rahmel Dockery (Tacoma)
2*Tana Pritchard (Lakewood)

2012 -
2* Sam Flor (Seattle)
2* BJ Salmonson (Everson)
2* Jacob Tuivaiave (Tacoma)

2013 -
3* Cole Madison (Burien)
3* Peyton Pelluer (Sammamish)
3* Matt Myer (Lynden)
3* Isaac Dotson (Bellevue)
2* Cody O'Connell (Wenatchee)
2* Markell Sanders (Sammamish)

2014 -
3* Deion Singleton (Pasco)
2* Andre Dillard (Woodinville)

2015 -
Nothing

JN

I just meant it more like, when both schools are consistently hanging out between 45 and 65, they're basically recruiting the same kinds of kids and more or less compiling the same kinds of classes over the course of time. I'm with Kyle - we need to get regularly in the 30s, and I don't think going to war with Boise is that big of a deal in that respect.

If we can keep local kids home, great. I'm not losing sleep over the handful of kids who jump ship, though.
Actually, I never lose any sleep over anything, so maybe that was a bad metaphor.

BA

In the context of recruiting the PNW, I think it's better to compete over local kids than just not even worry about it...but like I said, I don't think a guy needs to be familiar with the NW to recruit it, and I'd be more concerned with Boise grabbing 3-star kids (a battle we should be able to immediately win) than the UW west side stranglehold (a battle that we might possibly win with years of success and a Husky collapse), but whatever.

Does this mean we all think hiring a DC based on NW ties to recruiting is low on the "importance" totem pole?

KS

Start winning and the eastern Washington kids won't leave. Agreed that Seattle is more trouble than it's worth. Unless you're an LA school, you're not getting your foot in the door at Bellevue. Oregon's been kicking Washington's ass for a decade plus now and they still can't get anyone from King County.

JN

I want the DC to be able to coach. I could give a crap about his ties. Whoever they hire to replace Volero can have ties to the NW if they think that's spiffy. Or not. Don't really care. I'm in agreement with Kyle - win and it won't matter where the coach's ties are when it comes to eastern Washington. They'll stay.