Ex-Washington QB Sam Huard, former 5-star recruit, signs up for Cal Poly

One of the best quarterback rookies in the 2021 class is stepping down to the FCS level.

Sam Huard, a five-star rookie who has spent the past two seasons as a backup in Washington, announced Monday that he will continue his college career at Cal Poly. Cal Poly is located in San Luis Obispo, California and plays in the Big Sky Conference.

Huard, a Washington native, was ranked No. 17 overall in his recruiting class by Rivals. Only four QBs were ranked ahead of Huard, including Heisman winner Caleb Williams and Quinn Ewers.

Huard has seen playing time in 2021 as a true rookie, completing 22 of 42 passes for 241 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions.

Last season, he was a backup behind Michael Penix Jr. for the Huskies. Penix threw for 4,641 yards and 31 touchdowns for freshman coach Kalen DeBoer and is expected to return for another season. With game time unlikely, Huard decided to enter the transfer portal.

Washington quarterback Sam Huard passes against Washington State in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Huard set to reunite with high school head coach

Huard is the son of former Washington and NFL quarterback Damon Huard and nephew of Brock Huard, the Fox analyst who also played QB at UW and in the NFL. At Cal Poly, he will reunite with his former high school head coach, Sheldon Cross.

Cross coached Huard at Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, Washington. He is Cal Poly’s new offensive coordinator under head coach Paul Wulff. Huard threw for 13,214 yards and 153 touchdowns to Kennedy Catholic, all under Cross.

Huard’s relationship with Cross and his comfort in his offensive system played a major role in choosing Cal Poly as his transfer destination.

“Obviously the relationship with Coach Cross that I had throughout my high school career and how much he pushed me to grow as a person and as a player… I know I I have so much confidence in him,” Huard said Monday morning. via the Seattle Times. “An opportunity to go and play again for him, that was decidedly hard to pass up. Then when I went there on my visit last week feeling the support, trust and love from everyone the coaches and the mentality of them and all the guys on the team, there’s such an urge to go and build something special there. It’s an amazing group of people. I just felt home with them, I’m super excited to be able to work with them and give my all to this team and this program.

Wulff, the former Washington State head coach, has served as Cal Poly’s offensive line coach for the past three seasons. He was promoted to head coach in December when Beau Baldwin left the program to become Arizona State’s offensive coordinator.

The Mustangs went 2-9 overall and 1-7 in Big Sky action last fall.

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