TYLER BRUGGMAN won't put on a Cougar uniform for more than a year, but he's already set a crimson record. His verbal commitment attracted a high of 1,070 Coug fans to the CF.C message boards at one point yesterday, eclipsing the Jonathan Stewart Sweepstakes of January 2005 -- when 812 were logged on at once -- as the most-electric recruiting announcement in our 14-year history. But get this ...
The Bruggman-fest wasn't just a recruiting phenomenon. That high-water mark of 1,070 yesterday also turned out to be the fifth-highest message board moment of any kind since CF.C debuted in 1998.
The only four more-trafficked single moments were the December 2002 day Mike Price confirmed he was going to Alabama (1,206 on the boards at one time); this past letter-of-intent signing day (1,322); the day Paul Wulff was fired (1,348); and the day Mike Leach was hired (1,462).
So what fueled the fan fascination with
to such record-achieving heights?
Suspense. He said two weeks ago he was down to two finalists, WSU and hometown Arizona State, and that a decision would be coming sometime soon. Day after day the anticipation built, with the young man very honestly telling reporters he was torn over what to do. And the fact WSU was competing with the school he grew up cheering added a fun element of upset-pulling to the mix.
Scarcity. The Cougars made known scholarship offers to five QB prospects with ratings of 4- to 5-stars and Bruggman was the last one who hadn't verbally committed elsewhere.
History. With more than a dozen scholarship offers from the likes of Michigan State, Arkansas, Purdue, Arizona, UCLA and BYU, Bruggman held the promise of being the most-sought quarterback WSU has landed since Drew Bledsoe in 1990.
Of course, none of this will mean hill of a proverbial beans once starts competing on Rogers Field with the other WSU quarterbacks. But in the meantime, there's no denying his talent and a ton of fun to be had speculating what the future holds for him in Pullman.
NOTABLE WSU QB RECRUITING NOTES:
Bruggman is the third 4-star QB WSU has landed since the Scout.com database went into effect in 2002. The others were Carl Bonnell (who transferred to Washington) in 2002, and Arkelon Hall (who transferred to Memphis) in 2005.
Bruggman currently is ranked the No. 26 QB prospect in the nation by Scout.com. If that ranking holds steady through Signing Day, that would make him the fourth-highest Cougar QB signee since 2002 behind Hall (No. 16 in ‘05); Bonnell (No. 23 in ‘02); and Connor Halliday (No. 25 in 2010.
If you want further proof that star ratings and position rankings are a bit of a crap shoot, consider that the most prolific passer in Washington State history (Alex Brink) was rated 2 stars and ranked No. 74 in 2003. And if the 2012 season plays out injury free for Jeff Tuel, some might be shaking their heads that he was the No. 59-ranked QB in 2009.
The most heralded quarterback recruit (in fact, the most heralded recruit at any position) in WSU history was Mark Rypien, a Parade All-American widely considered one of the top two or three QBs in the nation in the recruiting class of 1981.