Football inks evergreen talent

Della Babcock, Staff Reporter

The recruiting process for CWU Football hit its peak on National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 5.  

The Process

Head coach Chris Fisk discussed how he observes high school football players throughout a year long process. This takes place during  the football player’s senior year of high school. 

The coaches review player film online as well as bringing the sought athletes to CWU for official visits. Fisk said they attempt to have nine interactions with an athlete by the time January rolls around. He does this so athletes can feel comfortable signing at CWU by National Signing Day. 

Inside Wide Receivers Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Leon La Deaux spends his time heavily organizing the recruitment system and all of the parts that go into it. 

La Deaux said he spends about 12 hours a day working on the recruitment process. His job entails things like setting up a variety of visits for athletes on campus or making sure the coaching staff has what they need to complete the visit with athletes as well. La Deaux said even though the recruitment process can be stressful at times, he enjoys getting to know the athletes and helping them through this process. 

Teagan Kimbro

“They are great kids, that’s why we want them in our program,” “La Deaux said. “We want them in our community and on campus.” 

Fisk said the main pool of athletes they look through come from the state of Washington. This is due to wanting high retention within the program. 

“A big part of coaching any sport, if you can retain your student athletes and coaches, over time it shows that you’ll be successful,” Fisk said. 

However, there is a small pool of athletes they look to recruit from California, Oregon and Hawaii.  

After the coaching staff finds an athlete who meets the football criteria for their program, they look in depth at what type of person an athlete is and if the athlete meets the core values the football program at CWU has. Fisk said the core values are character, strength and honor.

“We are looking for high character guys that want to succeed as students,” Fisk said.  

The coaching staff is also looking for players who primarily love the sport of football itself. 

Oftentimes within the recruitment process they run into two different types of athletes: some who love the sport and some who love being recruited. The athletes who like the recruitment process more than the sport are less likely to stay and play throughout their four years of eligibility. 

“We try to filter out the best we can those guys that just love being recruited,” Fisk said. “We are looking for guys that love football.”

Fisk also spends time analyzing the programs these athletes come from. Fisk wants athletes who are willing to put in the time and effort it takes to win a Division II national championship.   

“And if the answer is no, they are off the list,” Fisk said. 

La Deaux said CWU signed a great class this offseason who will contribute to the program. La Deaux believes they obtained athletes who are going to translate well from highschool due to their personalities, grade point averages and experiences. 

La Deaux talked about the mentality of the athletes they are looking for when recruiting.  

“We want our guys to cheer for other people, we want them to encourage other guys,” La Deaux said. “We want them to be individualistic but fit it in that team standard.”


One of the newly signed athletes, Lewa Emmsley, is someone the coaches felt fit into what it takes to be a part of the program at CWU. 

“[Emmsley] was a kid we worked really hard on for a number of months, and really got him committed about two days before signing day,” Fisk said. “We are really excited about him.” 

Emmsley is excited to pursue his football career this coming fall at CWU. He felt fortunate to be able to go through this recruitment process with the CWU coaching staff. 

“I feel amazing,” Emmsley said. “I’m just speechless, I was super happy and my family was happy for me.”

After visiting CWU, Emmsley felt like he clicked with the coaching staff and players more than at other schools he visited. He said the coaching staff made the recruiting experience one he will remember.   

“I’m very happy with my decision,” Emmsley said. “When it comes to playing [at CWU], I just want to play for my family and represent myself, my last name on my back, Hawaii and where I come from.”