Recruiting Coordinator and Tight Ends Coach, Phil Rauscher, has no problem inviting recruits to the Boise State, or any other, game, regardless of the results.  “They are going to find out about it anyway,” he said.

We have been talking to recruits on the phones constantly so we relish the opportunity to talk to them face to face at the games, to have them look into our eyes.  Some of the recruits are honest and tell us “you lose too much.”  We tell them you’re right, come help us win!!!  Many also feel they have a chance to play right away.

Rausch said that Coach Demarest had brought back a list of a number of recruits he had seen on his recent Florida recruiting trip.  They are now doing further evaluation of those players.

Regarding offensive line recruiting needs Rausch related that the O-line is not far away from where they want them to be.  They are looking to bring in about three more this year.  There were not a lot of tackles when the coaching staff arrived.  They want to go after bigger bodies, and depending upon foot work, convert some to guards.

Rauscher wants to have a conduit to Samoa and Australia.  When recruiting in foreign countries he said you need to have someone you trust on the ground.  In Australia, where American football is limited, you have to project whether you can turn an athlete into a football player.

Rauscher oversees the entire recruiting effort, and is assigned to Castle and Kailua high schools and various areas on the mainland.  He believes himself to be the only coach to have gone to Molokai to recruit.

The entire staff works on recruiting and sends out hundreds of letters.  We work hard at it (recruiting), and even when figuring out what player would serve as a good host for a recruit, we look at it from the standpoint of establishing a life long friendship. 

When we get a verbal commitment, we work even harder to hold onto the commit.  We try to find ways to have the player invest in the program, like recruiting his own peers to the program.  Players can be great recruiters and they establish a level of comfort.

“We want to get to the point where opponents look at our players and say how did they get THAT guy?”

Level of comfort has been a bugaboo for this year’s team with the combinations of mis-timed and mis-directed blocks, and mis-run routes. Although some people feel there should have been more of a transition from the run and shoot, the coaches felt the need to establish a new system right away where the O-line attacks!  They actually would like to run more 4 and 5 receiver sets at times, but even our receiver corps has been dinged up a lot which limits our options.

Level of comfort even affects quarterback Sean Schroeder looking for the wide receivers and a more familiar tight end target in Ryan Hall, who also transfered from Duke.  Rauscher feels the other TEs should see more passes.  But since they spend a lot of time in practice working with the offensive line, they only get to practice with QBs on a limited basis so level of comfort remains limited.

Ryan Hall is a good pass catcher who just showed up in Rauscher’s office upon the coach’s return from his honeymoon.  What a wedding present!  Greg Cofer, a converted defensive end, was also a gift since there was no one else at the position when the coaching staff arrived.  Cofer excels at run blocking and short pass situations.

Clark Evans is backing up Hall, and Freshman Ethan Watanabe needs some development time.  Harold Moleni returned from a mission and walked right back into football – and looked it!  He has a big body, good hands, and is now developing quickly.

Rauscher had high praise for John Hardy-Tuliau’s “unbelievable interception” in the Fresno State game.  He also lauded Mike Edward’s efforts and demeanor in the game: “he is truly a warrior, he never complains, when he puts the pads on he goes to work!”

Unfortunately Edwards suffered a shoulder injury in the game and had a MRI done.  Cody Afusia, with a high ankle sprain, is expected to be out for some time, and Chauncey Winchester-Makainai underwent an MRI.

Written by Gareth Sakakida