The Tyler Bruggman saga: Just what the heck happened?

Tyler Bruggman finally makes it official. - Richard Obert (Arizona Republic)

Here's a timeline of Arizona State's last-minute push on National Signing Day to land the 4-star quarterback that sent WSU's entire fan base into a tizzy. Welcome to the wild and wacky world of recruiting!

Heading into National Signing Day, WSU's morning was expected to be fairly benign. Unlike last year, the Cougars weren't in the mix for any high profile players who were making their decisions during the day, and Mike Leach's top recruit -- four-star quarterback Tyler Bruggman, out of Phoenix, Ariz. -- had been committed since July.

Then someone flipped. And the whole thing went haywire.

Josh Dobbs is a consensus four-star dual-threat quarterback out of Georgia who committed to Arizona State back in mid-June. He appeared solid to the Sun Devils, but took an official visit to Tennessee a week and a half ago. Early this morning, Dobbs signed with Tennessee:

It wasn't a shocker -- SB Nation's recruiting bros predicted the flip -- but ASU, suddenly without a quarterback in its class for the second consecutive year, was left scrambling. Where did Todd Graham turn his attention?

To the four-star quarterback in his own back yard: Brophy Prep's Bruggman, of course.

Jewell is Scout.com's guy in the southwest U.S., and the "event" he referred to was one where the top recruits in the Phoenix area were supposed to sign their letters. No shocker that WSU fans -- as we are wont to do -- went into full freakout mode. Bruggman is the king of this class, Leach's hand-picked quarterback of the future! He's a name recruit who legitimizes the class! He represents where we're going!

Not to worry, Coug fans. There's a perfectly logical explanation for all this:

Obert is about as close to Bruggman as you're going to get from a media member -- he's got his pulse on the Phoenix area prep scene better than anyone. Except that Jewell says Bruggman really was at the event and really did leave without signing.

Turns out, Jewell wasn't the only one who saw him there.

It could've been that Bruggman just wanted to stop and save his ceremony for his school. Who knows? Obert, trying to get to the bottom of it, talked with Bruggman's coach again.

Whew. Surely the coach is tapped in if he's confident enough to say that Bruggman's going to keep his word. But then there was this:

Well, that hardly inspires confidence. Then word started leaking out that Bruggman really was, in fact, mulling over ASU:

If you don't know Deis, he's a news anchor in Spokane who covered the Cougs for years on the sports desk. He's also a WSU grad. While it initially seemed a little odd that a guy with no obvious connection to Bruggman had information on what was going on, it's equally odd to think that a journalist would just throw out something baseless and risk his reputation. Plus, it made sense.

And this is what goes on in the world of recruiting that WSU doesn't get to experience all that often. One kid changes his mind, and it sets off a chain reaction that knocks over dominoes in other people's classes. Some recruits defected from USC today, which led to some recruits defecting from UW -- the Huskies fell from 10th overall last night to near 20th by the time this afternoon rolled around.

Yesterday, even if Bruggman wanted to play close to home, it just wouldn't have made sense to go to a school that was signing another highly touted quarterback. But today? Suddenly, the option of playing in front of the family was on the table again. You might say, "If that was such a big deal, why didn't he pick ASU over the summer?" Which, of course, is silly -- a kid's in the middle of his senior year, realizing he's hanging out with all his buddies for the last time, and he suddenly starts thinking, "You know maybe I don't want to go 1,500 miles away from here."

It's not crazy. And it's why this stuff happens on this day.

Perhaps the most nerve wracking thing for WSU fans was what didn't happen after Deis' tweet. Not a word from anyone. Not Bruggman. Not his coach. Not the local media.

For more than two hours.

Then suddenly, out of the blue ... relief.

There would be no flip. Bruggman was signed, sealed and delivered. Obert had the initial explanation of why Bruggman stuck with his commitment:

Bruggman expanded on his decision in an interview with Cougfan.com ($):

Bruggman speaks after his decision

"It was pretty much a 51-49 decision seven months ago," Bruggman said. "I've been able to watch some the season. I've been a big fan of not just ASU but the coaches there and what they stand for. ... It was just an opportunity to clarify that the decision that I made seven months ago was the right one. Ultimately I'm a man of my word and that commitment meant something to me."

And with that, it was done. Well, except for Mike Leach weighing in on the jewel of his new class.

Did you talk with Tyler at all this morning Mike? Did Arizona State make a late push?

A wacky day deserves an equally wacky answer to cap it all off. Totally fitting.

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