Cougfan.com Q&A with Tyler Bruggman

TYLER BRUGGMAN

MIKE LEACH has yet to coach a game at Washington State, but the new Cougars football coach may have scored his first major victory this week when he received a verbal commitment from Arizona all-state quarterback Ty Bruggman of Phoenix.

Bruggman, ranked 26th in the nation by Scout.com among college quarterback prospects who will be high school seniors this fall, chose WSU over the Arizona State Sun Devils. ASU is located in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe.

"I'm pretty sure I'd be at ASU if Coach Leach wasn't there," Bruggman said in a lengthy phone interview Thursday afternoon with CF.C.

CF.C: How did ASU coaches react when you informed them that you had picked Washington State?

Bruggman: They handled it real well. Coach Graham (new head coach Todd Graham) just wished me the best and I wished him the best.

CF.C: What was Leach's reaction when you phoned him with the good news Wednesday morning?

Bruggman: He was excited. I just wanted to make sure that I'm doing what's best for me.

CF.C: Since you seriously considered a school that is basically in your back yard and close to family and friends, what would you say to WSU fans to convince them you won't change your mind before letters of intent can be signed in February?

Bruggman: I've always been a big Coach Leach fan. I'm excited for the opportunity to play for him. Arizona State is a great program, and Coach Graham is doing a great job over there. But I think getting away and really growing up, it's going to be a great experience.

CF.C: When did you first become familiar with Leach?

Bruggman: When he was at Texas Tech. We (Tyler and his father, Curt) went to the Insight Bowl when he was here in town (in 2006 at ASU's Sun Devil Stadium). Just loved his offense.

CF.C: How much interest did WSU's former coaching staff show in you before Leach was hired in December?

Bruggman: I never talked to anyone specifically on their old staff. Just a little mail, but nothing too serious. This January was the first time I seriously heard from them (WSU coaches).

CF.C: Who did you consult during the recruiting process?

Bruggman: I talked to my parents a lot about it, and my coach (Scooter Molander) a little bit as well. But it was pretty much my decision.

CF.C: Did it affect your decision to make a choice between WSU and Arizona State this week because both schools had other quarterbacks they were considering?

Bruggman: It did ... I didn't want somebody to make a decision for me by picking one school .. I knew time was of the essence.

CF.C: As someone who's been recruited by schools all over the country, what has the recruiting process been like for you?

Bruggman: It's been fun. It's been awesome to be in this position, knowing I'll have the opportunity to play college football. It's great.

CF.C: How's it feel to finally have your school picked out?

Bruggman: I'm just relieved. It was pretty stressful, making a decision, because I could see myself at ASU and at Washington State. I'm excited to be a Cougar.

CF.C: You passed for 37 touchdowns and just two interceptions last year while completing 60 percent of your passes for nearly 2,500 yards. How would you describe your strengths and weaknesses?

Bruggman: I would say decision making is one of my strengths, and preparation as well. Watching film and being able to see what defenses you're most likely to see on Saturday(s). That helps you make quick decisions and good decisions with the ball. Weaknesses – I'm mobile enough, but people wouldn't classify me as a dual-threat runner type.

CF.C: Since you're an outstanding student at Brophy College Preparatory, is there any chance you will graduate early so you can enroll at WSU in January?

Bruggman: Going to a private Catholic school, we need more credits to graduate, so I won't be able to enroll early. I'll be enrolling in the summertime next year.

CF.C: What is your grade-point average?

Bruggman: It's 4.1-something (on a standard 4.0 scale). Honors classes, you get a little boost in GPA.

CF.C: Have you settled on a major?

Bruggman: I'm considering kinesiology, sports medicine or business.

CF.C: What did you think of Pullman when you visited this spring?

Bruggman: I haven't seen too much of it, but people rave about it. I like the small-town atmosphere. I think it'll be great.

CF.C: Pullman winters can be harsh, particularly for a Phoenix kid. One more time – why WSU over Arizona State?

Bruggman: I just really like Coach Leach. I had a great time up there (during his spring visit). I know he's going to turn the program around, and I'm excited that I can help.

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