Chase Garbers, a junior quarterback out of Newport Beach, Calif., throws footballs and runs an offense better than most high schoolers his age, so naturally that caught the eye of Mike Leach, who offered the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder a scholarship this week.
When Leach is huddled away in, I assume, a dimly lit room, staring at high school football highlights throughout the wee hours of the morning in search for his next record-breaking quarterback, the first thing he looks for is accuracy. Well, Garbers has that and then some.
In a 58-13 win over Irvine in early November, the 2017 standout was surgical, completing 23-of-23 passes for 337 yards and five touchdowns. In the first half! With 23 consecutive completions, Garbers broke the CIF Southern Section record of 20 set in 1978 and his passer rating, which was perfect, tied a state record. Decent.
For the season, Garbers thew for 2,715 yards, 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions, completing 68 percent of his passes in the process. A true pocket passer, Garbers displays a clear understanding of the offense, makes quick, accurate decisions, and shows off excellent footwork, each traits Leach drools over.
"He's got some special talents," Corona del Mar head coach Dan O'Shea said of Garbers. "No. 1, he's special physically. He's also got some special talents as a leader. And, No. 3, he's got a phenomenal special talent mentally, to be able to process scheme, process opponent coverage and opponent fronts. We run as complicated offense as you'll find and he calls it the entire game."
Leach, however, isn't the only program after Garbers, who also picked up offers from Boston College and Boise State in recent weeks. Surely, his recruitment is just gaining steam as programs enter an important time for quarterback recruiting.
Every school would love to have their quarterback committed around April or May, so you'll see a number of 2017 prospects taking unofficial trips to Pullman in the next couple months. Who might be making the trip?
There's a number of targets the Cougars are after in the 2017 cycle, in addition to Garbers. First up: Tristan Gebbia. The No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the country, according to Rivals.com, recently announced a top five of Ole Miss, Nebraska, West Virginia, Washington and Washington State, and he's probably at the top of this cycle's wish list.
Two more names to watch for are Connor Neville and Tyler Lytle, both of whom have held WSU offers for quite some time. Neville, a 6-foot-1, 180-pounder out of Wilsonville, Ore., is ranked the No. 10 dual-threat quarterback in the country by Rivals.com and also holds offers from Boise State and Hawaii. Lytle, listed at a towering 6-foot-5, 205-pounds from Anaheim, Calif., earned a No. 19 pro-style quarterback ranking from Rivals.com and has picked up offers from Boston College, Cal, Miami, Oregon State and others.