Malzahn, Red Wolves Staff Working To Visit All 215 Football High Schools In State This Week

by Chris Bahn  on Monday, Apr. 23, 2012 7:58 am  

Arkansas State coaches will visit all 215 football playing high schools in the state of Arkansas this week. (Photo by ASU Media Relations)

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

Arkansas State football recruiting begins with the state of Arkansas. That was Gus Malzahn’s pledge when he began coaching the Red Wolves in January.

It's typical for coaches to speak of recruiting their home states. But Malzahn and his staff showed Monday they’re doing more than talking about it.

All of ASU’s assistants are spending the first five days of the spring evaluation period in the state of Arkansas. They’re calling it the “A-State Ambush on the Natural State” and the goal is for the staff to visit all 215 football-playing high schools.

"I said we'd recruit this state like it's never been recruited and this is the start of that," Malzahn said. "We're wanting to identify players, but at the same time we want to develop relationships and give these coaches ownership in what we're doing."

How productive will it be to visit Decatur or Cave City? We’ll see how hitting every school in the state translates to finding talent that can play at ASU.

Sure it's gimmicky, but the idea is a good one on two fronts: It should help the staff build relationships in the state and it’s a headline grabber.

Both areas — relationships and visibility — are critical when it comes to recruiting. 

During the time he was at Auburn, Malzahn was part of a staff that drew national recognition for its recruiting practices. This is an extention of that. Recruiting coordinator Casey Woods was a graduate assistant with the Tigers while Malzahn was on staff there.

"We did some different things there and had success with it," Malzahn said.

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