First, some background. Just a few days before the Sun Bowl, Mike Leach pulled a stunner in offering 2016 class three-star QB prospect Quentin Davis (6-1, 205) out of Bellflower, Calif. Davis told CF.C he was offered by Wazzu as a QB.
The Cougs already had a verbal pledge from two-star Texas QB prospect Cody Brewer (6-6, 215) from back in August – and that’s considered late in the QB recruiting process. The reason for it was three-star QB Ian Book, who verballed to WSU back in April, decommitted in early August and pledged Notre Dame. A short time later, Brewer came on board at WSU. So the Cougs, for the second time this recruiting cycle, seemed all set at QB for the ’16 class -- until last week.
CF.C has projected all season the Cougs would take one quarterback this class. So either Leach is going to surprise us and sign two quarterbacks in the 25-man class, or there are more machinations to come. The possibilities there are multiple.
It’s far from a given but what seems most likely from our chair is for WSU to sign one quarterback and for the other to delay enrollment until January 2017, the process formerly known as grayshirting. But which one?
Brewer’s father told CF.C last week Cody was visiting WSU either Jan. 15 or Jan. 22. Davis just set his official to Washington State yesterday, for Jan. 22.
There’s also the possibility of blueshirting. That would enable WSU to effectively take both QBs but count one of them towards the 2017 class.
That would require the prospect NOT to take an official visit to WSU, and to initially walk on to the WSU program in the spring or summer. The way blueshirting generally works is a verbal agreement, not enforceable, is made that the blueshirting prospect will be put on scholie sometime during fall camp or later, while still retaining eligibility for that initial season. Why would that make sense for a QB?
Another possibility is that WSU would choose to sign/take two QBs in this class if one of their current roster QBs was transferring, a college football trend continuing on a sharp rise. Former Cougar QBs Austin Apodaca and Tyler Bruggman both opted to transfer in search of playing time. The Cougs have but three scholarship QBs on the 2015 roster: Luke Falk, who will be a fourth-year junior in 2016; Peyton Bender, a third-year sophomore next season and Tyler Hilinski, who will be a second-year freshman in ‘16.
Still another possibility – one of the two 2016 class quarterbacks ultimately heads elsewhere.
In general, schools don’t take two QBs in the same class in large part because it’s very hard to convince two high-value quarterbacks to come in the same class – they often won’t come in if there’s another scholie QB in the class. While the vast majority of recruits are concerned with the current depth chart and their fellow class members at the same position, QB is a different animal altogether when it comes to that.
Quarterback recruiting is almost always the most compelling storyline of the recruiting season at any school. It is particularly the case at Washington State with Mike Leach’s Air Raid – where its success is so heavily predicated on the quarterback.
But we didn’t think the QB recruiting storyline at Washington State would still be compelling as ever headed into January.
If you’re wondering why Davis holds offers from only WSU and Fresno State, this is his first year playing. Prior to this season, Davis was St. John Bosco’s backup to star quarterback Josh Rosen, now the starting quarterback at UCLA as a true freshman. Without tape to show, it’s hard to draw interest from schools who want to lock up their quarterbacks the spring before their senior years, or sooner. Davis’ senior tape:
Hudl does not have a senior highlight reel recap on Brewer but it does have extended looks at two of his senior season games: