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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Chat on signing day with recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen from 12-12:30
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 02/04/2008
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 Rich Rasmussen
2008 Signing Day Chat With Rich Rasmussen
Moderator: Good afternoon Cougar fans! Today is a very exciting day for Cougar Athletics as it is National Letter of Intent Signing Day. For the next 30 minutes, Rich Rasmussen, recruiting coordinator for the Cougar football team, will answer your questions. Rich, before we begin with questions, would you like to make any opening comments?
Rich Rasmussen: Yes I would. First of all, we are very excited to be here as a staff. The past six weeks have really been somewhat of a whirlwind. We never could have pulled off signing such a great class without the help of our support satff here: Shawn Deeds, our Director of Football Operations; Jason DiStephano, the Assistant DFO & recruiting assistant; Marie Taylor, our principal assistant; Vanessa Mosby, our program assistant, and all of our GA's. Our staff did a great job of evaluating a lot of film in a very short time (almost 1,200 videos) and built some relationships very quickly that you normally have eight to nine months to build.
Moderator: Okay, thanks Rich. Now, let's get to some questions.

Ray (Spokane): Welcome to WSU, we are all excited about the future. How many academic non-qualifiers do you estimate are in this class? Sincerely Go Cougs
Rich Rasmussen: Thirteen of our commitments have over a 3.0 GPA and an 1100 SAT or above. We really focused on high character individuals who will have an opportunity to succeed both athletically and academically at the Pac-10 level. We are not projecting any academic casualties with this class.

Dave (Oakland): Which of these signees do you think will play immediately as freshmen? Will most of them redshirt?
Rich Rasmussen: Hopefully, we can redshirt all of them. They need time to become acclimated to college and our program. We really want to focus on recruiting freshman who will be here the entire four or five years of their career.

Eric (Kent): Coach, What are your plans to increase the "product awareness" of WSU football in Southern California? WSU is a great school (biased) but I feel like the word just hasnt gotten out yet to those kids.
Rich Rasmussen: We need to build relationships with high school coaches and that will come in time. Steve Broussard, Travis Niekamp, Malik Roberson and Jody Sears did a great job of establishing some relationships in a short amount of time and we will continue to build on those throughout the spring. Todd Sturdy and Harold Ethridge will also be recruiting in that region for us.

Greg (Richland): Coach very happy to see you guys in Crimson and Gray, I think you guys will do a great job! My question for you is with these multi-position players being signed most seem to think they will end up being either DE,TE,DT, or OT. I was wondering whether there was a chance that some of these DB's/WR's grow into linebackers, like say Jay Matthews and if you guys envision that happening? Go Cougs
Rich Rasmussen: Speed and athleticism were key components we were looking for. We've always felt through proper weight training and nutrition we can get guys to become bigger and stronger. That's why we've always emphasized recruiting TE/DE type bodies ... you just don't know how some of those guys will develop over time. Examples of this would be Keith Millard, Dorian Boose, Mkristo Bruce, and Michael Roos, who played for us at EWU. We signed him as a 6-foot-6, 225 lb TE that grew into a 6-foot-7, 300lb second round draft choice of the Tennessee Titans.

Sue (Spokane): Hello Mr. Rasmussen: When do NCAA/WSU rules permit parents of a high school football player to contact colleges and submit info/videos/bios regarding their son's desire to attend and play at that college and to talk to a coach or staff in person? Who at WSU would one contact? If the parents and the player attend this evenings' signing party at Northern Quest, would it be possible and acceptable to introduce the player to Coach Wulff and let him know of the player's interest and perhaps relaying info to the coach verbally or in writing of the player's stats and other athletic and academic achievements? The player is currently in his sophomore year of high school. Thank you.
Rich Rasmussen: You can send videos and information at anytime to us and we would be happy to evaluate them. In order to meet with coaches in person, please consult with the compliance link on our website (wsucougars.com) for permissible dates.

Frank Meyer (North Las Vegas, NV): Given the shortened window you had to work within, in what ways did you bend your overall recruiting philosophy to fulfill this first class?
Rich Rasmussen: We didn't bend our philosophy much; we stuck to making our own evaluations off of video and talking to coaches instead of worrying about what other schools were recruiting individuals and how many stars they had by their name.

Columbia, MO: What position's were of major concern, that you needed immediate help for the upcoming season?
Rich Rasmussen: We felt we needed help on the defensive line. With our lack of depth, the three junior college lineman we signed in Luapo, Wolfgram, and Sanchez should be able to help in that area.

John (Seattle): Do you see this program and coaching staff recruiting throughout the US? or sticking to moslty WA recruits and some CA?
Rich Rasmussen: First of all, we're going to focus on the state of Washington and the west coast. We will consider potential prospects from other regions; however, we project having the most success in recruiting in these areas. It's difficult to ask a young man to come from the midwest or back east where his family will have limited opportunities to see him play.
Moderator: Just enough time for a couple of more questions.

Corey (Yakima): Rich, What is the word on Tyson Pencer? Has he been cleared by the NCAA?
Rich Rasmussen: We are still working with Tyson and the NCAA to clear up this matter. We fully expect him to be on campus this summer ready to participate in fall practice. He was recently on campus and is still fully committed to being a Cougar.

Matt (Portland): Are there 2 or 3 kids you are particularly excited about?
Rich Rasmussen: We feel Zack Williams is going to be a very good player for us. He has a redshirt year available and our plan at this time would be to use it, in order to give him an opportunity to become more familar with our program and become bigger and stronger. All three of the corners bring exceptional quickness to the position and Jay Matthews is a very athletic and physical safety. The receiving and tight end group are all very athletic and have a great deal of upside, some may grow into other positions, only time will tell on that. Calvin Schmidtke is a very competitive quarterback who has proven to be extremely accurate throughout his career.
Moderator: That's all the time we have. Thank you Rich for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with us. Please check back to wsucougars.com for future online chats.

Washington State Cougars Football
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