Oct. 06, 2012; Corvallis, OR, USA; Washington State Cougars offensive lineman Jake Rodgers (69) blocks Oregon State Beavers defensive end Fifita Rudolf (78) from diving on a fumble during the first half at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
The Washington State football team continues to look a little different every few days, mostly with the news that yet another player is leaving the program to find playing time at a new home. Versatile offensive lineman Jake Rodgers continues the movement, as he has unofficially left the program, CougFan reported earlier this morning.
While fans will undoubtedly continue to get a little worried that so many are leaving the fold, these instances are actually more a cause for rejoicing. The fact that Washington State has improved so much through the Spring in both depth and front line talent to have a 13 game starter stuck with the 2’s heading into Fall is significant. Granted, Rodgers (along with the entire O-line at times) struggled more than succeeded last season, but the trials and tribulations part of it generally transfers into a hardened player and is a bigger asset in the long run. In this case, the asset will transfer to another team, rumored to be Eastern Washington.
As CF.C’s article states, Rodgers was hurt with some sort of undisclosed injury in the Spring and simply could not participate. It may or may not have played a significant part in his relegation to the second tier, but is worth noting anyway.
Don’t fret Coug fans, your team is in better shape moving forward. Don’t be surprised to see at least a couple more transfers over the next couple of months, as the coaching staff is preaching “best player plays” mentality. If it’s close, the staff will likely go with a younger player because the upside is greater, so a couple sophomore’s and/or juniors could feel threatened enough to take on a new challenge at a less talented school. Also of possibility is a JUCO transfer or two coming INTO the program, as Paris Taylor did just a couple of days ago. It is uncertain whether or not the decision of Daniel Jenkins to return to Arizona played into that pick-up for Washington State.