Washington State struggled mightily under first year head coach Mike Leach in 2012, finishing with a disappointing 3-9 overall record and a dismal 1-8 mark in Pac 12 play. Their struggles could have been a result of having to learn a new offense, a spotty offensive line or just a lack of talent to compete with the upper echelon teams in the conference.
As the Cougars begin spring practice on March 21 they will have plenty of questions to answer but at least one of their major issues was solved this past week with the addition of a walk-on.
Luke Falk, a 6-foot-4, 220 pound quarterback, decided to walk-on to the program instead of following through on his plans to play at Cornell. Falk felt it was in his best interest to join the Cougars and Washington State will be glad to have him for multiple reasons.
First, Falk provides great insurance and protection for incoming 2013 recruit Tyler Bruggman. One of their top recruits in the 2013 class, Bruggman is also their quarterback of the future but he will likely red shirt in his first season on campus. The Cougars were lacking any type of depth at the QB position and now, with Falk entering the fold, Bruggman won’t have to be forced to burn his red shirt early if any of the other QB’s get injured.
Second, Falk ran a similar style of offense to the Air Raid in high school so he will have a familiarity to Leach’s system right away. Picking up the Air Raid scheme is rather difficult, as evidenced by last year’s struggles, so having someone like Falk who already knows a bit should help.
Lastly, Falk will add another body to an already thin QB corps and he will provide some stability depth wise. Connor Halliday or Austin Apodaca will likely get the starting position once the 2013 season rolls around in September but Falk will be some much need insurance in case one of those two guys go down, which is a distinct possibility due to WSU’s poor offensive line play.
A walk-on player usually does not provide much of an impact but Falk has the potential to do that strictly due to his previous experience playing in an Air Raid system. He can help the other guys pick up the reads quicker and adapt to the schemes quicker in practice and in film sessions.
Falk’s addition may go unheralded but his importance to the team’s depth can’t be overstated.