Dang. This is too bad. Calvin Schmidtke, the QB who tore it up last year in a pass-happy offense and a guy many compared to Jason Gesser, Chase Daniel and Todd Reesing among others? The kid who looked like the perfect fit in the new Todd Sturdy offense? Well, according to today's TNT, Schmidtke is OUT. That's right, Paul Wulff and Jim Sterk made the decision to release the promising young QB before he ever set foot on campus. From the article:
The Lakes High standout, who was The News Tribune’s 2007 All-Area co-player of the year, will be released from his national letter of intent for a series of traffic citations and other criminal charges.
Seven of his 11 citations in the past 18 months have been traffic-related stops, but Schmidtke will be at Fircrest Municipal Court this morning facing DUI and other alcohol and drug-related charges.
OUCH. I bolded the "11 citations in the past 18 months" for a reason. This isn't one or two mistakes. This is a disturbing pattern of trouble. Even more, the article states that on a recruiting trip, the WSU coaches told him to stay out of further trouble, yet even after that trip he went out and got into more hot water.
This is another example of the changing culture implemented by Wulff. Not to suggest that Schmidtke is a bad kid. I don't know him, and the only things we've heard about him in the past have been positive. His father was even at the WSU Football Dinner in Seattle in February. It looked like the beginning of a strong relationship. But this is more about setting an example for all others to follow. Don't screw up, period, or else. Given all the negative publicity we've received in off-the-field incidents, better to nip something like this in the bud, now, before his demons follow him to Pullman.
Too bad though, really, for the young man to blow a chance at a full ride, playing college football at a Pac-10 school. Maybe he'll head to a JC, or even another program will step forward and offer him a scholarship. But it is a sad story all the way around. We profiled him back in January, and he sure looked like a great fit. You can see that profile here (but given the news, you might just want to skip it altogether).
For the program, Schmidtke's loss isn't the end of the world, but it does hurt the QB depth for the future. A check of this year's signing class and you see that Schmidtke was the only QB. You can bet that QB is now front-and-center on the 2009 recruiting class priority lists! A check of the Cougfan recruiting prospects list shows several QB's in the mix, so we'll see.