Jacob Thorpe of the Spokesman Review is reporting that independent sources have told him that Austin Apodaca has decided to transfer from the Washington State football program at semester’s end.
— Jacob Thorpe (@JacobThorpeSR) February 8, 2014
— Tom Giles (@TomGilesKXLY) February 8, 2014
To say anything less than that the Cougars are losing a good steward of the program would be in bad taste. Apodaca was a hard worker and will do good things at the college level, not to mention a valuable asset at back-up quarterback, even though he didn’t see the field as much as he would have liked.
The problem is that Connor Halliday returns for his senior season while heir-apparent Tyler Bruggman, a 4-star redshirt freshman quarterback out of Arizona, was likely to take over the backup role in the Spring. Recruiting coordinator Dave Emerick was quoted on a live Cougfan.com chat as saying the coaches were ecstatic about seeing what Bruggman (along with several other young teammates) could do this upcoming Spring.
Those are the guys that really stood out in Thursday Night Football last year and we look forward to watching them step up this Spring.
The writing was on the wall. Then to make matters worse for Apodaca’s opportunity, the Cougars signed stud QB Peyton Bender out of FL. It was at that time that I predicted the transfer of Apodaca by at the latest sometime this Summer. It has now happened. Here’s what Apodaca had to say about his initial decision to move on from Pullman:
There’s a lot of things that go into it. Being through the recruiting process already, coming out of high school it’s a tough thing to get right. I just want to make sure wherever I end up that I fit in, that I feel comfortable and like I said there were some different things that went into (the decision to leave) but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.”
Bender was yet another undervalued high school prospect this season that had something happen that allowed WSU to go almost unchallenged into the night with him, even though he is clearly a high-level FBS quarterback waiting to happen. In this case it was injury, but the Cougs had four or five prospects that made it easier than it normally would have been to recruit them. Penn State jumped on board early on Bender and he said “no thanks” to them too, so that may have played a part in his overall lack of recruitment.
We hope that Austin Apodaca does great things wherever he goes in his college career and beyond. He played the game with class and was on the cusp of significant playing time had it not been for some unexpectedly big signings at his position that only Mike Leach could have instrumented at WSU these last couple years. There is no shame in moving on to find a better situation. None whatsoever.