As we approach a new football season, we will see another fight for the starting quarterback role. With first-year Head Coach Nick Rolovich coming in from Hawaii, who will he choose to be this year’s starting quarterback? He has a wide spectrum to choose from, yet none have any game experience for WSU. Here is a list of the current quarterbacks who will have their shot under Rolovich:
Redshirt-Junior John Bledsoe – Bledsoe is the oldest QB on the 2020 roster. He redshirted as a freshman in 2017 and was out last year with a leg injury. Bledsoe is 6’3, 215 and was an all-state Junior and Senior at Summit HS in Bend, Oregon. Throughout high school career, Bledsoe threw for 6,908 yards and 82 TDs.
Redshirt-Sophomore Cammon Cooper – Cooper, a lefty slinger, is 6’4 and 216 pounds. He threw for 11,372 passing yards and 118 TDs for Lehi HS. He was named Utah Gatorade POTY as a Senior. He has participated in both the 2018 and 2019 WSU Spring games but has yet to see any playing time during
the regular season.
Redshirt-Freshman Gunner Cruz – Cruz is 6’5, 229 pounds, making him the biggest all-around quarterback in the bunch. As a Junior, Cruz was named All-State POTY. He threw for 9,383 yards and 100 passing touchdowns in his career at Casteel HS in Arizona.
Redshirt-Freshman Aaron Angelos – Throughout his high school career, Angelos (6’0, 172 lbs.) threw for 61 TDs and upwards of 5,220 passing yards. Angelos played his high school ball in Florida, California and finished in Philadelphia, PA.
Freshman Jayden de Laura – Named High School All-American (MaxPreps) and Gatorade Hawaii POTY (2019). Jayden de Laura (6’1, 190 lbs.) was a two-time state champion for St. Louis HS in Hawaii. He threw for 5,752 yards and 48 passing touchdowns
WSU also added preferred walk-on Will Heckman. The quarterback for Roosevelt HS (Seattle) until his Senior year, Heckman (6’3, 215lbs.) spent his most recent season at Santa Rosa Junior College in California.
With Rolovich, comes the “run-and-shoot” offense. Last season, Hawaii threw the ball on 63% of the plays, which is not a drastic change from Mike Leach’s “Air Raid” scheme. Rolovich will look to his quarterbacks more as running threats.
This is where Freshman Jayden de Laura gains an advantage due to his duel-threat abilities. His disadvantage: he will be a true freshman who will have limited practice time before the start of the season. De Laura will arrive in the Summer, which means he has not been a part of the Zoom meetings with the team.
Cammon Cooper and Gunner Cruz found themselves to be the second and third strings last year behind Anthony Gordon, with Leach at the helm. Both are more pocket passers with missile arms, who also have the ability to do some scrambling/throwing on the run.
John Bledsoe will be returning from his injury, so he will see his first big shot as well. Based on his high school highlight tape, he shows that he has a solid arm who can also do a bit of scrambling himself.
My prediction: Cammon Cooper will get the nod if he adapts well to the new offensive scheme
(Photos by: Jack Ellis – Cougar Sports Network)