Petersen: It doesn't matter who you are, you have to know what fights to pick

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday June 27, 2017

Coming off a College Football Playoff appearance, Chris Petersen sees more recruits interested in Washington. But are they really interested?

It’s one of the biggest questions Petersen and the staff always try to figure out in recruiting, and one all schools struggle with. How much do you put into a recruit if you don’t think the chances of landing him are high?

One of the things in the recruiting process that you have to pay so much attention to — it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are — is knowing what fights to pick,” Petersen said on Brock & Salk. “We can get anybody in the country to visit here if we want. I know that. But is it the right fit? At the end of the day, is the kid really going to come here?”

As the coach put it, coming up just short on a kid is the worst feeling.

I’m not into getting into second. I’d rather get 10th and know that early,” he said. “Let’s get the kids that have a sincere interest in Washington, a sincere interest in an elite degree, that the school’s important to them, that they’re about the team, that they want to be part of an organization bigger than them.

“These are hard things to figure out and know. But if you really do a ton of research, you find the guys, and that pool starts to dwindle pretty fast. It’s slightly different (after last year), but we have to stay focused on things that got us to where we were last year.”

Petersen & Co. built Washington up through three years into a Pac-12 champion and national contender, after much of the staff helped keep Boise State as an annual top-tier program.

If you trust the program’s development ability, Petersen says they don’t need to overreach too high.

There’s maybe kids from a little further away who are interested in us, but I’m not really looking for kids different from what we got a couple years ago,” Petersen said. “Look what those kids did, the guys we still have in our program. They were underrated kids. We’re trying to find those kids that fit our culture, that have a big upside, that will buy into who we’re all about. But I’ve also been through this many times.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to