750 The Game Staff
Jake Dickert is entering his third full season as head coach at Washington State after taking over as interim HC in 2021 for Nick Rolovich. He joined John Canzano (Weekdays 3-6 p.m.) on Tuesday and talked about the identity of Cougar football as one of the two remaining schools in the Pac-12 Conference going forward along with Oregon State.
Dickert talked about WSU’s approach to talent acquisition in the advent of NIL and the transfer portal, and said it is imperative for the Cougars program to recruit and develop from the high school ranks.
“At the end of the day we’ll always be a developmental program here at Washington State,” Dickert said on 750 The Game. “And I’m just really proud. We’ve talked about year three, and we’re finally getting to that, and getting our roster stable. And the only way to do that is high school recruiting, especially in the Pacific Northwest.”
College football increasingly is rewarding high-end talent with immediate benefits, both monetary and playing opportunity. But Dickert says his Washington State program wants to go about things differently.
“We want to put people in the slow cooker,” Dickert said. “We live in a microwave society. They want instant access, instant success, instant opportunity. Well, life doesn’t work that way. You got to put in the time, you got to develop. We got to find specific traits that we love, and then be willing to develop the deficiencies.”
Dickert says it is imperative for the coaching and recruiting staff to find the right individual fits for the Washington State program before committing to the development route.
“When players are individually their best, that’s how we become the best collective team,” he said. “And it starts with recruiting high school players that have buy-in, and finding the right guy, not the best guy. Meaning: Better be blue collar, better love the game, better be in it for the right reasons, because that’s what Washington State is.”
Dickert recently made comments that raised eyebrows concerning the deficit of Washington State’s NIL funds from their collective compared to their Pac-12 peers. The Cougs coach said since making those comments, the donor base and collective at WSU has responded.
“My job sometimes is just to speak the truth,” said Dickert. “And we got tons of passion to be a Coug and want to be a part of it, but there is a real harsh reality of what it takes now. And as the game evolves, I think players and programs and fanbases have to continue to evolve with it. There’s a lot of ways you can go with the NIL piece of it, but at the end of the day, it just needed to get out there the realities of where we’re at.”
Dickert also said that with the rapid changing landscape of college football and what it takes to win, it limits the amount of time and energy a head coach can give.
“I know this, I’m 40, John,” Dickert said. “And I can see myself doing this for another ten years and probably taking a break. Because it is investing everything of every ounce of what you’ve got and trying to be successful. And I think that’s what our players deserve and our program deserves. But there’s also so long that you can do that.”
Listen to the full interview with Washington State’s Jake Dickert and John Canzano at the podcast below.
John Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.