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The ones who got away: Quarterbacks

WSU quarterback recruits have had varying degrees of success.

National Funding Holiday Bowl - Minnesota v Washington State Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

It’s always fun to look back and wonder might have been. I find it fascinating to look back at the What If? Scenarios of the Cougar universe. In that spirit let’s take a look back at the quarterback recruits that spurned WSU during the Mike Leach era. Leach being a quarterback guru which means anything could have possible had fate worked differently. Here is a Where are they now? look at the past 5 years in WSU quarterback recruiting.


Leach stayed the course for his first recruiting class as he retained Paul Wulff’s quarterback commit Austin Apodaca. Apodaca ended up transferring to New Mexico where he threw for 654 yards and 5 touchdowns in his senior season.


Cougar fans were elated with the signing of 4-star recruit Tyler Bruggman, but the real story of the class was a walk-on out of Utah. Luke Falk is of course one of the great Cougar quarterbacks of all time, while Bruggman has had subsequent stops at Louisville, Scottsdale CC, and Montana State. He has just announced that he is transferring again, believe or not, after being a part-time starter at MSU last year. WSU’s other big quarterback target that year? Oklahoma all-American Baker Mayfield.


Not a lot to speculate about here, with Peyton Bender committing early out of Florida and never wavering. Bender transferred after some academic difficulties and is now at Kansas. He’s battling for the starting job this fall.


Leach got his man early again as Tyler Hilinski committed in the spring. Jake Browning and Brett Rypien were also big recruiting targets for WSU that year and both have found success at UW and Boise State. The early returns on Hilinski are very encouraging, so Cougar fans shouldn’t feel too bad about losing out on the other two.


This is where it gets really interesting because WSU had not one but two quarterbacks commit and de-commit during the recruiting cycle. El Dorado quarterback Ian Book committed early before reneging to head to Notre Dame. Book is currently the back-up for the Irish and had an impressive performance in the Blue-Gray game. praised both his release and accuracy. As for Quentin Davis, who spurned the Cougars for Fresno State? He’s already transferring after failing to make a move up the depth chart.


Conor Neville committed to the Cougars early and stayed true to his word. The Cougars continued to recruit Chase Garbers as a second quarterback, but he ended up at Cal.


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