Nov. 10, 2012; Pullman, WA, USA; Washington State Cougars mascot Butch celebrates a touchdown against the UCLA Bruins during the second half at Martin Stadium. UCLA won 44-36. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
The top 50 recruiting class that WSU head football coach Mike Leach was able to pull in for 2013 makes it tough to decide which player will have the best career at WSU. On the offensive side of the ball there are many players who will have an impact for the Cougars and help lead the football program in the positive direction that students, coaches and fans have dreamed of. However that one player that has the most upside and the potential to lead the Cougars to bowl games, and possibly championships is quarterback Tyler Bruggman from Phoenix, Arizona.
Bruggman is the highest rated quarterback to come to Pullman since 4-star rated quarterback Arkelon Hall in 2005. There hasn’t been this much hype and excitement for a WSU football recruit in years. The former Brophy Prep player (Bruggman) is a 4-star rated quarterback according to Rivals and Yahoo Sports, and is ranked as the 18th best quarterback in the entire country for the 2013 recruiting class. With double-digit offers from schools all over the country that include Ole Miss, Arkansas, Michigan State, and Arizona State shows how valuable of a player Mike Leach and his staff have.
Bruggman is the “real-deal” and will flourish in Mike Leach’s Air-Raid offense. His senior year at Brophy Prep, the quarterback threw for 2,497 yards and 37 touchdowns while having a 60.2 completion percentage. Since the Air-Raid is a “pass-first” offense, Bruggman’s the perfect fit. Leach is an offensive genius and has been known for molding quarterbacks into top players.
What Leach looks for most in a quarterback according to his book “Swing Your Sword,” is a quarterback who is accurate which is Bruggman’s best trait as a player. Bruggman can make any throw on the field and is a great decision maker. A weakness you could find in Bruggman could be his arm strength and mobility, but looking at his highlight tape he can avoid the rush and make big throws. Plus Bruggman is a straight-A student which shows that he’ll be able to pick up the Air-Raid offense easily. The quarterback is the most important player in the offense and the more confident the quarterback is in the offense equals more production.
We probably won’t see Bruggman hit the field until his second year in Pullman due to the fact that red-shirt freshman Austin Apodaca and red-shirt junior Connor Halliday have more experience at the college-level. I’d imagine the Brophy quarterback to red-shirt for the 2013 season, which will benefit his career. The four-star quarterback won’t lose a year of eligibility and will improve; adding weight, improving his arm strength and other weakness’ that critics have noticed. Once Bruggman hits the field, he has the opportunity to change the “view” on Cougar football and help bring the program back to where it was in the early 2000’s. Be on the lookout Cougars fans because the next football prodigy is finally here and ready to put WSU on the map.
Here’s Tyler Bruggman’s highlight tape from his junior year at Brophy Prep:
–Evan Baron (Follow Me On Twitter: @Evan_Baron)