Casteel quarterback Gunner Cruz is the first Casteel football player to commit to a Division I program in school history after pledging to Washington State on Thursday.
— Gunner Cruz (@GunnerCruz) May 31, 2018
Cruz, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound pocket quarterback led Casteel to a 3A state title last year and threw for 5,775, 70 touchdowns and 11 interceptions over the past two seasons.
“There are so many different things that play into (a commitment), and you have got to find the best balance of all of it,” Cruz said. “Obviously that offense that they run and Coach Leach over there, I think that complements my playing style very well…You’re throwing ball like 60 times a game, you’re working from inside the pocket with weapons you can throw the ball to.
“Having a chance to be coached by Coach Leach, who is one of the best coaches in our generation, that doesn’t come around a lot.”
Cruz said he has felt like Washington State was his choice for a few weeks and that not only the program but the community stuck with him when he visited there.
“It felt right, I felt like I fit in there and was comfortable there.”
Cruz now joins Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma), Jacob Conover (BYU) and Kedon Slovis (USC) to as a 2019 quarterback to commit in the 2019 class.
“It’s been cool to see and be a part of. We’re all excited and fired up for each other when we get offers and stuff like that,” Cruz said. “Probably two minutes after I tweeted I had committed to Wazzu, (Williams Field quarterback) Zack Shepherd had texted me and told me how excited he was. I think a lot of us have pretty good relationships. It’s exciting to see Arizona putting big name players out there, not even at the quarterback position but all over the place. Arizona is definitely becoming a hotbed for recruiting.”
Cruz and the Casteel Colts make the jump from 3A to 5A this upcoming season and will kick things off against the defending 5A champion Centennial Coyotes.