Originally posted on WSU Football Blog  |  Last updated 3/5/12

With a long history of stellar college Quarterbacks, at one point in time, we were referred to as Quarterback U. Those days have fallen by the way side since the graduation of Mr Husky Killer, Alex Brink. Hell, I got depressed when I did a Google search for "WSU Quarterback."

Some of the auto-generated searches that returned:

WSU Quarterback injury

WSU Quarterback liver

WSU Quarterback in hospital

WSU Quarterback in ICU

WSU Quarterback injured

How flipping depressing is that? Wow, it burns my retinas just looking at that. Now with all that being said, with Coach Leach's vaunted Air Raid Offense being employed this Spring, one thing is for certain. It won't be long before we're referred to as Quarterback U again.

This morning I am going to take a look at our QB sitch heading into Spring Ball, and this afternoon, I will be back with a preview of our Running Backs. Click the jump for more.

Yesterday Longball gave you his thoughts on Leach's Zero Tolerance Policy. If you missed out, quite the discussion came about, thanks for all your comments. There is nothing we love more than to hear what our reader's think. Our good friend Victory also shared their thoughts on the situation over he weekend.

What do you think about the QB sitch on the Palouse? Last year Jeff Tuel goes down amid controversy in the first quarter of the first game, and eventually returns to supplant Marshall Lobbestael by mid-October. Only to go down with a new injury his first game back against Oregon State. Then, RS Fr Connor Halliday takes the reins from The Lobster in the first quarter against ASU and throws up one of the gaudiest stat lines in the history of our program! Then, getting the start against Utah the following week, Halliday struggles early, then rallies the team to within inches of the victory, all while playing with a Lacerated Liver!

If this isn't the most intruiging position battle this spring, than I don't know position battles.

Known Commodities:

Jeff Tuel, Senior, 6'3", 220 lbs

Tuel and the coaching staff are current petitioning the NCAA for an additional year of eligibility, but until we hear otherwise, let's just assume he's a Senior. Tuel hopes to return to form in his final season, after a disappointing 2011 campaign, in which his name was uttered in the same sentence as Foles and Barkley heading into last year. Tuel has shown the moxie, leadership and grit you want in a Quarterback, but it's sad to think he only has two wins in his career. I guess that's what you get when the program goes 7-30 and yields 100+ sacks since you started playing. I am a firm believer that Tuel has the arm and accuracy to succeed in Leach's system, but then again, looking at Leach's ten years in Lubbock, which starting QB didn't succeed under Leach? The questions here are how is he doing healthwise and how does he handle the competition from Halliday?

Connor Halliday, RS Sophomore, 6'4", 185 lbs

Other than mop up duty against Idaho State and UNLV, Halliday saw his career thrust into the spotlight when he came of the bench to surplant a cold Marshall Lobbestael. How did he respond? With a night for the ages! 494 yards and four touchdowns in the Cougars’ 37-27 win over Arizona State! Wulff gave Halliday the starting nod the following week, on Senior Night, with Bowl Eligibility on the line, no less. He was shaky at first throwing three picks in the first half, but rallied the Cougs in the final minutes, in a blizzard, and came just inches shy of pulling off the second upset in as many weeks! After the game, it was revealed that his Liver was lacerated (insert WSU pun here) after taking a nasty hit from a Utah defender in the first quarter. Not much has been said by our new staff, other than Halliday is recovering nicely. Like Tuel, it appears Halliday has all the tools to become a star under Leach, the big question being, will that be in 2012 or in his final two years?

The Unknowns:

Cody Clements, RS Fr, 6'2", 205 lbs

Cody enrolledat Wazzu last summer after a storied Senior Season at La Habra HS in the Los Angeles area. in Clements' final two seasons in high school, he threw for more than 4,100 yards, 61 touchdowns against only six interceptions!Prior to his Senior campaign, he was rated the rated the No. 1 QB in all of Orange County by the Orange County Register. If I remember correctly, Clements was rated No. 1 ahead of Five Star Prospect and current USC QB, Max Wittek. While it would take a miracle as epic as the Cougs sweeping the Pac 12 tourney this week, to jump in-front of Tuel and Halliday in 2012, it looks as though we have a solid third string QB. Look for him to get his first bit of playing time in Week Two or Week Three this season when we face Eastern Washington and UNLV. Hopefully he takes to the film room this spring and summer and gets some valuable reps throughout.

David Gilbertson, RS Junior, 6'1", 200 lbs

Gilby, the son of longtime UW assistant and HC Keith, enters his fourth year in the program and is the definition of an unknown for us. According to the main athletics page, he as a Senior at Redmond HD, he was: second-team All-KingCo, throwing for 1,977 yards and 13 touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns. From the above picture my buddy Grimmace snapped at the OSU game last year, it appears he's really good at relaying plays to the QB. Other than that, speculating on his ability at the Pac 12 level seems a bit premature. Would imagine he is the fourth string QB come September, behind RS Freshmen, Cody Clements.

In Conclusion:

I would say our 1-2 Punch of Tuel and Halliday, however it winds up, is as formidable as any in the conference. Since Leach is not only the Head Coach, OCoordinator and QB Coach, there is no doubt that who ever emerges as our Starter has definitely earned the reins. It will be interesting to see if Leach names his guy by the end of Spring or if he waits right up until the middle to end of Fall Camp to do so. Call me crazy, I know ya'll did last week, but my money is on Tuel being named Starter by April 13th. We appear to have a solid option at #3 in Cody Clements and a very deep back-up in Gilby.

That's all for this morning, don't forget to check back this afternoon for my look at Running Backs.


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