Papa Apodaca: 'No bitter feelings'


AUSTIN APODACA leaves the Washington State football program with "no bitter feelings at all," his dad, Mike Apodaca, told today. The decision to leave WSU was one the rising third-year sophomore quarterback had contemplated since the season ended. After initially deciding to come back for spring ball, he changed his mind over the last week.

There was no single factor that led to the decision, Mike said. And there was no sense of "writing on the wall" in terms of playing time with record-setting Connor Halliday back for his senior year in 2014 and touted redshirt freshman Tyler Bruggman coming on fast.

"He's a competitor and there's competition no matter where you are," Mike Apodaca said. "This wasn't what it was about. This is more about a 19-year-old kid trying to find direction .. over the last month I just think something clicked … he just needed a new landscape and opportunity.

"He really loves Coug Nation, and has since his first visit," Mike said. "He really enjoyed the opportunity the university and the coaching staff gave him and the relationships he's made with the players."

He said Austin wants to focus on his studies and move on to the next chapter in his life so was unlikely to do media interviews about his departure. He will finish this semester at WSU and then transfer to another school. Beyond finding "a great fit academically and with football," he has no schools in mind at this point, Mike said

Apodaca has at least two direct connections to other football programs. Paul Wulff, who first recruited him to WSU, is the new offensive coordinator at South Florida, and Apodaca's brother Andre, a linebacker, just signed a letter of intent with Azusa Pacific.

Apodaca came to WSU from Longmont, Colo., and Silver Creek High, where Mike is the head coach. He verbally committed to the Cougars when Wulff was the head coach and then was offered and signed by Mike Leach, who dubbed him one of the most accurate prep QBs he'd ever recruited.

Apodaca redshirted in 2012, put up a solid bid for a starting role in spring ball of 2013, and saw limited action this past season, completing 21 of 42 passes for 187 yards, two interceptions and two touchdowns.


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