Allan Henry-US PRESSWIRE
We begin our series of breaking down WSU's position groups in preparation for signing day. The series begins with a look at the quarterback position.
Signing day is less than a month away and while WSU continues to add to its 2013 recruiting class, we begin our series of looking at where the incoming players will fit on the roster.
We begin things at quarterback where WSU will usher in a lot of new in 2013.
Who's here now?
After the departures of Jeff Tuel and Cody Clements, the Cougars currently have two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. Add in the departure of walk-on and third-stringer David Gilbertson and there is exactly one quarterback on WSU's roster who has played in a game. Not the ideal situation.
Halliday is penciled into the starting role and is likely to remain there to open the season. There may be some sort of quarterback competition during fall camp, but the chances are that barring injury Halliday will be in the shotgun for the first snap against Auburn.
As for what that means for WSU's chances next season, I have no idea. Halliday's 2012 season was up-and-down with the lows so low that some have written him off. That seems decidedly premature to me, especially considering the time he missed last spring and fall.
Originally a Paul Wulff recruit, Apodaca's film won over Mike Leach. He redshirted this past season, but has all of the tools a Leach quarterback needs. He's accurate, but also has a strong arm. Tyler Bruggman has more stars and is the first "Leach pick" but Apodaca has a future, possibly a bright one, at WSU.
He's likely going to be the No. 2 quarterback this fall and could even challenge Halliday. While he may not win the job out of camp, there is a good chance he sees the field in some capacity next season.
Who's signing in February?
The Cougars currently have two verbal commitments. Tyler Bruggman was one of the first players to verbally commit while Isaac Dotson made the pledge recently.
Bruggman is a composite 4-star recruit according to 24/7 and has been well hyped due to the number of stars next to his name as well as an appearance on ESPN. He'll be the first quarterback to come to WSU who was hand-picked by Mike Leach, but will have an uphill battle to earn playing time. He does, however, have accuracy in his favor.
Kyle's take: Well hello, accuracy. Bruggman's game is mainly in the short to intermediate range, which makes him perfect for Mike Leach's offense. I understand arm strength is tantalizing, but accuracy and an understanding of the offense are more important in this case. Seriously, Bruggman is crazy accurate. Think Rich Gannon with the Raiders accurate.
Dotson has some definite quarterback skills and will initially get a shot to stick at quarterback, but his future position is still very much TBD. A composite 3-star quarterback, some profile Dotson at wide receiver or safety. Either way, WSU is getting one heck of an athlete.
Kyle's take: Extremely raw, but has a lot of upside. Probably winds up elsewhere, but I do find him to be quite the intriguing prospect. He does what no other QB on the roster does and makes plays with his feet. While I like Apodaca's ability to make plays with his feet, I'm not sure he's a threat to break a 90-yard run. Dotson is a threat to house it every time he touches the ball. I'd love to see him making plays at wideout, and using him as a gadget or wildcat QB would be interesting.
Who else could WSU target?
With two quarterbacks already committed, WSU isn't likely to pursue any more signal callers in 2013.
Kyle's take: Baker Mayfield is still a possibility, but I don't think he comes to WSU now that both Bruggman and Dotson are in the mix. He probably winds up somewhere else where the path to starter has less resistance. I'm going to guess Rice. Other than Mayfield, I doubt we bring in another signal caller. I'm surprised we brought in Dotson, to be honest. But Mike Leach be cray, so who knows, you know?