Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Washington’s Will Rogers withdraws from transfer portal, giving new coach Jedd Fisch experienced QB option

Washington quarterback Will Rogers withdrew his name from the transfer portal Tuesday, 247Sports reports. The former Mississippi State quarterback committed to the Huskies last month, but re-entered the transfer portal Jan. 12 following the departure of coach Kalen DeBoer to Alabama. His withdrawal provides new Huskies coach Jedd Fisch an accomplished veteran signal caller to work with as he stars his tenure in Seattle, Washington.  

Rogers originally signed with Mississippi State in 2020. The SEC career completions record holder is second in conference history in passing yards (12,315) and fourth in passing touchdowns (94). Rogers ranked as the and the No. 14 quarterback and No. 90 overall player available in the portal, according to 247Sports. 

The veteran signal caller had a chance to chance to break the SEC’s all-time passing yards record held by former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray last year, but a shoulder injury suffered in an Oct. 7 win over Western Michigan forced him to miss some time. In his final game at Mississippi State against , Rogers completed 25 of his 39 passes for 207 yards in a 17-7 loss to Ole Miss

Veteran leadership for a new offense 

When Fisch came over from Arizona, he convinced 2024 Wildcats quarterback signee Demond Williams to come with him. Many believed 2023 Wildcats starting signal caller Noah Fifita would be next to make the move. However, Fifita recently reaffirmed his commitment to Arizona and new coach Brent Brennan. 

Rogers isn’t just a consolation prize, though. One of the most experienced quarterbacks in all of college football, he’s proven he can compete and put up numbers against elite SEC defenses. The Huskies must replace a large portion of its offensive starters from last year’s College Football Playoff run and having a seasoned veteran under center should help Fisch’s new group jell a little faster. Ideally, this also means Williams should be able to sit and learn behind Rogers for a year before he is asked to take the reins of the Huskies offense. 

New offensive system for Rogers

Rogers will have to learn yet another offensive system — the third of his college career — when he puts on a Washington uniform next season. He started his career in the late Mike Leach’s Air Raid scheme, where he thrived. In 2021, Rogers threw for a career-high 4,739 yards and 36 touchdowns. He followed it up by passing for 3,974 yards and 35 touchdowns in 2022.

After Leach’s passing, Zach Arnet installed a more run-heavy attack. Between that and some injury problems, Rogers’ numbers came back down to earth with a career-low 1,626 passing yards in 2023. Fisch helped oversee Fifita’s rapid maturation this past season. Now he’ll be charged with revitalizing the career of one of the most prolific active quarterbacks in the FBS. 

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