Washington State coach Mike Leach is never shy about offering opinions.
On a radio show on Thursday, the Cougars’ head man offered his feelings on New Jersey high school football. They were less than flowery.
Recalling a recuiting trip to the Northeast while he was an assistant at Kentucky, Leach said, “One year we went to New York and New Jersey. Basically, New Jersey has good players, but bad football. They got a lot of people and some of them can play, but overall, my opinion, they start the season late and end it early.
“Statistically, they send a lot of players to the NFL. They tend to have smaller schools population wise. There’s a bunch of teams I could play on.”
He didn’t stop there while speaking with Bud Nameck of Spokane’s KXLY.
Statistically, they send a lot of players to the NFL. They tend to have smaller schools population wise. There’s a bunch of teams I could play on.
“There’s guys out there who are great players (in high school) and turn out to be good ones, but based on competition, you won’t get a feel for it. I didn’t think I could evaluate New Jersey. Some of it was just experience with the leagues there. If you have a feel for quality, you can make a better judgment.”
St. Peter’s Prep head coach Rich Hansen spoke with NJ.com on Friday about Leach’s comments.
“It’s unfortunate,” Hansen said. “I think coaches have the right to their opinion, but overall, the upper echelon teams in New Jersey have a good national reputation. I think we’re similar to a lot of good states reputation wise in football. We have our upper-tier group, a lower-tier group that struggles and a lot of places in the middle.
“To say it’s bad football, though, it sounds like he’ s been a head coach too long and hasn’t really looked at us. To be honest with you, and I know I’m biased, take a look at the scores and the competition. New Jersey can compete with anyone in the country and we do. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is.”