Cougs trip Spokane QB as preferred walk-on

THE GREATER SPOKANE LEAGUE has a long and storied history in producing quarterbacks. A 2012 class member, Conner Johnson out of University High, took an official visit this past weekend to Washington State and the Cougars have offered him a preferred walk-on role.

Conner Johnson exploded this past season, throwing for 2,215 yards in league games to move into the No. 2 spot on the all-time single season GSL passing list.

Johnson finished just behind Connor Halliday and two spots ahead of Mark Rypien.

Johnson had a so-so season as a junior, nothing like what he put forth in 2011. That senior campaign came about after an intense spring and summer, working one-on-one with U-High coach Bill Deidrick -- and focusing particularly on footwork and mechanics.

Deidrick has been a quarterback maker over a long and illustrious coaching career.

A long-time quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at a variety of college stops (WSU, UW, Notre Dame, Stanford, more) as well as the CFL, some of Deidrick's former pupils include Drew Bledsoe at Washington State, Brady Quinn at Notre Dame and Marquess Tuiasosopo at Washington.

Months before a quarterback's senior season rolls around, the vast majority of schools will have made their offers and landed their guy.

But Johnson, after that so-so junior year, is still available and could take one of the Cougs' preferred walk-on spots for 2012.

"Recruiting now is done when they're juniors and he didn't have that good of a junior year," Diedrick told the Spokesman-Review near the end of the 2011 season. "And he wasn't with us at camp as a junior. He'll be a good find for somebody. He's a big kid with a strong arm. He's very intelligent. He's got such an upside. Look at what he's done basically in a year. His best growth and development are ahead of him."

Conner Johnson profile

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