Gunner Cruz has taken his last snaps in a Washington State uniform, but the Cougars will probably cross paths with the quarterback in the next few years.
One day after it was learned Cruz had entered the NCAA transfer portal, the big-armed redshirt freshman from Queen Creek, Arizona, announced on Twitter he’ll be transferring within the Pac-12 Conference to the University of Arizona.
“Coming home. #ItsPersonal,” Cruz tweeted Saturday morning.
Cruz, who didn’t initially acknowledge reports of his transfer, left a parting note to his WSU coaches and teammates on Saturday morning.
“I want to say a huge thank you to Coach Leach, Phelps, Mele, and all those who were on the original staff that gave me an opportunity to play for WSU. Also to the current staff of Coach Rolo and Stutz (Craig Stutzmann) for all they were able to teach me this year,” Cruz wrote in a Twitter note. “Mostly a thank you to the community of Pullman for making such a great home and introducing me to such great people these last 2 years. I am grateful for my experiences here and will never forget it, but my time in Pullman has come to an end. Thank you to everyone who has impacted me while here!”
Cruz and fellow underclassman Cammon Cooper lost out on a position battle to true freshman Jayden de Laura in fall camp and Cruz got his only snaps of the season in the fourth quarter of a blowout loss at USC. De Laura and Cooper are returning to the Cougars in the fall and the program recently signed graduate transfer Jarrett Guarantano, who started 32 games at Tennessee.
There should be an opportunity for Cruz at Arizona under new coach Jedd Fisch. Grant Gunnell, who started the last wo seasons in Tucson, recently transferred to Memphis, and freshman Will Plummer, who made one start, finished the season completing just 53% of his passes for no touchdowns and three interceptions.
Though an official 2021 schedule hasn’t been released, and it’s unclear how the Pac-12’s North-South rotations will be shaped by the COVID-impacted 2020 season, WSU and Arizona are tentatively scheduled to play in Pullman during the upcoming season and in Tucson in 2022.
• Seattle U earned a weekend sweep of WAC newcomer Tarleton State, winning 59-47 at home on Saturday. No Seattle U player broke double digits (four scored nine points each). Georgia Kehoe had nine points, eight rebounds and three blocks for the Redhawks (6-7, 2-2 WAC). Marissa Escamilla had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Texans (3-10, 0-4), who shot just 23.6% from the field.
• Maisie Burnham had a career-high 22 points and 11 rebounds, but Eastern Washington (5-8, 4-4 Big Sky) lost a home game to Northern Colorado 74-55. Alisha Davis scored 22 to lead the Bears (6-9, 5-5).
• Ashley Alter had 17 points and six rebounds as Seattle Pacific (3-2) handled visiting Lewis-Clark State 72-63. Kiara Burlage had 25 points and eight rebounds for the Warriors (6-3).
• Kim Aiken Jr. had 17 points and eight rebounds as Eastern Washington (4-6, 3-2 Big Sky) earned a split at Northern Colorado 82-76. Matt Johnson had 23 points to lead the Bears (8-7, 5-5).
• Washington opened the season with a loss at Oregon State 194.925 to 192.875. The young UW team had four gymnasts make their debuts.
• The Washington State women claimed eight races in route to a 161-100 win at Seattle U. The Cougars (3-1) remained perfect in the all-time series with the Redhawks, posting their ninth straight win.