In Rettig, Cougs have offered tough QB

WSU HAS HAD some tough customers play quarterback over the years. Hayden Rettig, a 2013 class QB recently offered by Mike Leach, certainly fits into that category. After tearing his ACL in Week 2 this past season, he wanted to play the next week. Rather than rub some dirt on it, he thought about strapping a couple pieces of PVC pipe on both sides of his knee and wrapping some duct tape around it.

That didn't happen, Rettig had surgery that week and his season was done. But his abbreviated junior campaign at Los Angeles' Cathedral High hasn't stopped the full rides from coming in. Washington State, ASU, Auburn, Boston College, Purdue, Rutgers, UCLA and Vanderbilt have all offered. Miami, Oklahoma and others are showing increasing interest, he said.

Rettig plans to travel up to Pullman later this spring.

"I'm going to go to Miami and I'm going to go to Washington State...B.C. and Rutgers, too… I plan on heading to Washington State and I'm going to hang out with Mike Leach for a while next month," said Rettig.

Rettig, a pocket passer, has read up on several coaches and college programs, and he's been fast forging a relationship with Leach. Quarterbacks have thrived in Leach's system -- four times at Texas Tech, Leach quarterbacks threw for more than 5,000 yards in a season. From 2002-08, Leach's QB each season surpassed WSU's all-time record holder (Ryan Leaf, 3,968 hashes in 1997). They are statistics not lost on Rettig.

"I call him a lot, he's a cool guy. And I also talk to (area recruiter) Dennis Simmons quite a bit. Coach Leach has said WSU is a place I can go and throw for 5,000 yards... He told me he saw my highlights from my opening game last year and said, ‘I saw you passed for (508) yards, I can train you to do that every game at Washington State,'" said Rettig.

THERE ARE SEVERAL schools that intrigue Rettig, however. Auburn is just one example.

"I know auburn has had a couple good quarterbacks, but they've never really had a passer who will hit it, hit it, hit it. It would be great for them to have a West Coast kid," he said.

While his junior season was mostly wiped out, he had already done enough in his sophomore year, and in his first two junior season games, to establish himself. Another big positive – Rettig is on pace to graduate early, thereby enabling him to join a school in January and go through spring ball.

Working in WSU's favor could be one of the incoming wide receivers in Mike Leach's first recruiting class.

"Gabriel Marks is one of my good friends," said Rettig.

RETTIG SAID HIS KNEE is "doing great, it's 100 percent". When reached by CF.C, he was just completing some 7-on-7 work and was anxious to get in a little bit of extra work with the receivers.

"Sometimes I think it was a good thing," said Rettig. "I always felt like I was in a hurry before …now everything is good. I'm loose… I'm doing 7-on-7's, making the drop backs, doing all the throws…I'm working my tail off.

"I can see everything open up better and my arm had a good rest. I threw it 75 yards the other day. But the injury helped me to (also) be able to spend a lot of time studying all the film."

And as mentioned earlier, Rettig is a student of the game – and that includes high school, college and pro.

"If you look at the NFL, take the four best QBs… They know what they're doing so well, they could be great defensive players if you put them on that side of the ball. It's like playing chess, you're having a defense in front of you and you're reading them, you're protecting yourself, and then you're (attacking)," said Rettig.

  • Rettig is the younger brother of Boston College starter and junior-to-be Chase Rettig, and BC has long been recruiting the younger Rettig.

  • Rettig is the third known prep QB to receive a WSU offer. The others are Jared Goff of Kentfield, Calif., and Tyler Bruggman of Phoenix. They are rated the Nos. 19 and 23 QBs in the nation. Rettig is ranked No. 27. Two sources in the prep coaching ranks told CF.C a month ago that the Cougars have offered Max Browne but CF.C has thus far been unable to confirm that with Browne.

  • Rettig completed 30-of-47 passes for 508 yards, 6 TDs and 1 interception in the 52-36 win over Banning last year.

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