Pac-12 Network’s Yogi Roth: New WSU QB Ward will be on NFL radar
The WSU Cougars had an interesting 2021 season, to say the least.
The Cougs entered the year with Nick Rolovich as head coach, but after he and a handful of other coaches did not get the COVID-19 vaccine, he was let go by the university for failing to abide by the State of Washington’s mandate for State employees.
Rather than fold after that, though, the Cougars rallied behind interim head coach Jake Dickert. They not only earned bowl eligibility, but WSU beat the UW Huskies in the Apple Cup for the first time since 2012. That earned Dickert the full-time head coaching job, and now, he and the Cougars enter the 2022 season with some bragging rights over rival Washington and armed with one of the more exciting transfers in the country.
Pac-12 Network’s Yogi Roth joined Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Bump and Stacy on Monday and was asked a question by Michael Bumpus, a former WSU receiver and one of the greatest players in program history, about where the Cougs stand entering 2022.
“What do you think of (quarterback) Cameron Ward over there with Washington State? (They’re) undersized at the receiver position, (have) questions on the offensive line, they’re extremely young. I think this defense is going to be better than people expected. Do you think Cam’s enough to to keep the Cougs relevant this year?” Bumpus asked.
Replied Roth: “If that means like in November (being) in the conversation of the Pac-12 championship in a revamped championship model? I don’t know. I think the questions that you asked are big … But I do think in every game, (Ward is) gonna have the ability to will them to stay in it. I think he’s that type of player.”
Ward comes to WSU after starring at FCS program Incarnate Word, where last season he threw for 4,648 yards and 47 touchdowns while completing 65% of his passes. Roth is very high on the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Ward as he enters his first season in the Palouse.
“I think he’ll be the guy along with (Stanford quarterback) Tanner McKee that people are talking about in NFL circles in a couple months,” Roth said. “And we’re already talking about Tanner in that way at Stanford. Nobody’s really talking about Cameron Ward. I think they will. I think he’s really special, man.”
What makes Ward so special?
“I think he’s really dynamic as a passer, especially off-platform stuff,” Roth said. “He’s as thick as (2021 Liberty standout and current Tennessee Titans quarterback) Malik Willis, but his game is a little similar in that regard of he’ll wow you with a couple throws … (Ward has) got all that stuff. And like Caleb Williams, he knows the system.”
Williams, like Ward, transferred this offseason, leaving Oklahoma for USC where he will play for his former Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley once again. Ward is in a similar situation as he transfers to WSU, following his Incarnate Word head coach Eric Morris, who is now the Cougars’ offensive coordinator.
“I’m excited for him, and I’m excited for that team, especially with how their schedule is laid out,” Roth said. “Once they really get going and get to Wisconsin in that Week 2 game, it’s going to be fun. And a player like him, kind of like (new UW Huskies QB) Michael Penix at Indiana a couple years ago, I think he’s got a chance to make them way more dynamic than people are giving them credit for.”
Listen to the full conversation with Roth at this link or in the player below.