Baker Mayfield transferring from Texas Tech; could WSU be in play?

Cooper Neill

Would the one-time WSU target consider making his way to Pullman? It's doubtful, based on the depth chart.

It's being reported that Texas Tech quarterback Baker Mayfield is planning to transfer, leading Cougar fans -- always in the lookout for the next great QB -- to wonder if the guy who was once a WSU target in the 2013 class might be interested in finally making his way to Pullman.

If you don't know much about Mayfield and why he'd be potentially desirable for WSU, here's the pertinent information.

Mayfield caught the eye of the college football world earlier this year when he won a preseason battle to become Texas Tech's starting quarterback. That wouldn't normally be cause for any kind of special recognition, except for this: He was a true freshman walk-on, the first ever to start a game at quarterback for a major conference school as near as anyone could figure.

When he went on to throw for more than 400 yards in that first game, a star was born. He showed excellent accuracy and good mobility -- he actually looked a lot like Jeff Tuel, stylistically.

Unfortunately for Mayfield, the season wasn't the stuff of fairytales. Yes, he led the Red Raiders to a 5-0 start, but a knee injury suffered against Kansas put him on the shelf for four games. He eventually regained the starting job when an ineffective Davis Webb (the guy he beat out in the summer) was benched against Kansas State, and he started the rest of the year.

However, it appears Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury has opened up a three-way QB competition in advance of the Red Raiders' appearance in the Holiday Bowl, and one could make a reasonable assumption that it didn't sit very well with Mayfield.

So now the speculation begins as to where Mayfield could end up. Washington State has surfaced as a possibility for a number of fairly obvious reasons. First off, WSU reportedly was the only AQ school to offer Mayfield a scholarship out of high school. Second, Mayfield ran the Air Raid at Tech. And third, there are lots of connections between the Tech coaching staff and WSU, particularly TTU offensive coordinator Eric Morris, who was on Leach's staff last year and presumably was the one to recruit Mayfield, since Texas was his area (Mayfield is from Austin).

But here's where the move stops making sense.

After redshirting next year on the heels of a transfer, Mayfield would be in the same class as four-star recruit Tyler Bruggman, a freshman who redshirted this year. Presuming Connor Halliday remains the starter through all of next season and assuming that current backup Austin Apodaca sticks around, Mayfield would find himself in an open competition in 2015 with Apodaca, Bruggman, incoming three-star recruit Peyton Bender and perhaps even current walk-on Luke Falk.

In that scenario, the deck probably is stacked against him -- precisely what it seems he's trying to get away from at Texas Tech, where Kingsbury seems to be doing everything he can to give the job to Webb or sophomore Michael Brewer.

Beyond that, if earning a scholarship is a primary objective, common sense says that it's tough to envision WSU using one on him, since they'll already have four quarterbacks on scholarship.

While the idea of him coming to WSU is great, and as fan's we'd love to have as many talented quarterbacks as possible, here's to betting Mayfield ends up somewhere where there is a clearer path to starting.

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