If this current Husky coaching staff wants to return Washington to the top of the conference, it is going to take the same type of recruiting effort that was done in the late 80s/early 90s. They have to be really strategic and get the right mix of players and talent. They will also have to be willing to take some chances on kids that they think are really good without having to have them 4 & 5 “starred” by the scouting sites. There are so many football programs with countless kids on the West Coast. Talent is always sneaking through, developing late and flying “Under The Radar”. Coaches can’t be lazy. They have to spend the time watching the film and beating the bush.
Understanding the dynamics of what is going on in college coaching helps you understand the dilemma that coaches find themselves in. Assistant football coaches that are not coordinators are spending most of their time recruiting and managing personalities. Coaching is not the real focus. Coaches are usually kept or promoted based on their ability to recruit and land top prospects. With practice and meeting time reduced significantly by the NCAA, the focus has been put on getting players that are ready to play and require less preparation. Getting better players is thought to be the answer to having less practice time. Also, because there is so much focus by fans and the “experts” on recruiting, that has become a game in and of itself. Winning the “Signing Day” championship is akin to winning a conference championship. Recruiting holds a lot of weight and has a lot to do with the how coaches are evaluated.
So at almost all cost, coaches are trying to get recruiting classes that are ranked highly by the “experts”. Ironically, the experts are usually people who are self-appointed and know little to not much about college football. Athletes are usually ranked by rumor. The writers get a lot of their info from other people. If you think about the process, very few people get a chance to see the kids in action. The circuit is arduous and a bit grueling. There are literally THOUSANDS of kids playing football. Knowing everything there is to know about kids all across the country is impossible.
Smart coaches use all the resources they have available and do as much as they can to see kids on their own. Paying attention to kids who compete well against the top talent is a great way to find kids who may have been looked over. That is how Coach Chris Tormey found me. He was recruiting a wide receiver named Scott Miller from Saddleback College (JC) at the time and saw me “blanketing” him and decided to take some interest. But I don’t know if coaches are as inclined to go “off-road” like that to get kids because it may or may not add to their resume of top recruits even if the kid can really play.
It will take some BALLS, but when its all said and done, “Why sit here and perish?” Coaches have to trust their own instincts, have a standard of what they are looking for and stick to their guns. They may have to pass up on a 5-star or two if the kid is a bad apple. They may also have to sign a relatively unknown kid if they find him to be a really good fit. The goal has to be focused on winning FOOTBALL GAMES not the off-season recruiting playoffs.