Sep 14, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Washington State Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday (12) before a game against the UNLV Rebels at Sam Boyd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
When you think of Washington State football history the first thing that comes to mind for most is a great quarterback school. With a list of quarterbacks that include Jack Thompson, Mark Rypien, Timm Rosenbach, Drew Bledsoe, Ryan Leaf, and Jason Gesser it’s hard not to agree that the Cougars have put out quite a few big name quarterbacks. Coach Leach and crew are looking for the next big name quarterback who wants his name included in that list of greats.
Lately the Cougars haven’t had such luck when it comes to the quarterback position and have struggled finding that one player who can write their name on the list of stars that have made it to the NFL and succeeded. With both Connor Halliday and Jeff Tuel struggling and splitting time under center the past two seasons coach Leach went out and looked for a new quarterback in hopes finding the one.
Redshirt freshman Austin Apodaca and RS junior Connor Halliday will be competing this spring to get the starting job. It looks like Halliday will get the spot as he has been around for a little bit longer than Apodaca, but look for Apodaca to get plenty of playing time this season. To go along with Halliday and Apodaca RS freshman Connor Johnson and RS sophomore Jesse Brown will also be on the roster this upcoming season.
In 2012 Washington State ranked 9th in the country in passing yards per game with 330.4 yards per game and throwing for 3965 yards on 363 completions. The cougars had issues finding the right quarterback to use for the season as both Halliday and Tuel struggled to get in their groove. Look for more steadiness this year allowing the starting quarterback to get in a better groove and possibly pass for more yards in Leach’s second year as head coach.
The Cougars have already grabbed 2014 commit Peyton Bender who committed to Washington State on March 29th but are also still going after more. I don’t see them getting another big name commit to go along with Bender this year, but it’s not a bad thing to get another 2014 QB commit.