Cougars hope to snap up next QB in student tryouts
Not a whole lot about the Washington State football team has screamed must-see TV this season, but coach Paul Wulff may have unearthed the...
Special to The Seattle Times
PULLMAN — Not a whole lot about the Washington State football team has screamed must-see TV this season, but coach Paul Wulff may have unearthed the next great reality TV concept on Monday.
An all-campus quarterback tryout.
Television stations and all forms of media were on hand, as was an estimated 200 observers who watched 29 eligible students looking to become the next scout team quarterback for the Cougars.
Wulff said extreme circumstances forced him into the extreme measures. Two weeks ago, quarterbacks Kevin Lopina and Gary Rogers both suffered spine injuries against Portland State.
Rogers is out for the season, Lopina is out indefinitely, and just three healthy quarterbacks remain for the Cougars.
"There is just a lot of things that are unheard of right now," Wulff said.
If such an event has taken place at a BCS school before, nobody in attendance Monday had heard of it. Wulff said the closest he knew of a midseason tryout was at kicker.
The 29 students performed five-step drops, followed by agility drills, then threw on the run and finally threw long distance. Each quarterback got one chance at each drill.
Coaches cut 25 players out and interviewed the final four after dismissing the others.
"It was definitely a little nerve-racking only getting one chance," said Brian Walton, a sophomore who started at quarterback at Yelm for two years. Walton had to leave abruptly to be on time for his regular job — mowing the campus golf course lawn.
Before the drills, coaches had the students line up and stretch. One observer was heard cracking: "Should you automatically be disqualified if you can't touch your toes?"
Wulff said he was pleasantly surprised with the turnout.
"I honestly figured we'd get five or eight guys — 29 surprised the heck out of me," Wulff said.
All interested students were required to provide a stack of paper work, including a physical, a copy of insurance, a medical waiver and pledge to take a drug test.
The finalists were Jon Koepfgen, Mark Gray, Peter Roberts and Cameron Gredler. Wulff and the coaching staff met last night to make a decision, and will post the results on the window outside the football office at 9 a.m. today.
"I have to be in a lab at 9," Koepfgen said. "I'll have to have my fraternity brothers text me and let me know."
• Whitman County prosecutors Monday announced two charges of misdemeanor fourth-degree assault against Andy Roof, former Washington State defensive tackle.
Police who investigated an early-morning fight in which Roof was involved last spring recommended six charges, including one felony. Roof, who had been expelled from school earlier in his WSU career for alcohol-related violations, was again kicked out of school in late August by the WSU student-conduct board.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 8:27 PM
UCLA extends win streak in Pullman to 18