Ex-Washington QB Sam Huard, former 5-star recruit, commits to Cal Poly

One of the top quarterback recruits in the 2021 class is dropping down to the FCS level.

Sam Huard, a one-time five-star recruit who spent the past two seasons as a backup at 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 rated No. 17 overall in his recruiting class by Rivals. Only four QBs were rated ahead of Huard, including Heisman winner Caleb Williams and Quinn Ewers.

Huard saw some playing time in 2021 as a true freshman, completing 22 of 42 passes for 241 yards, one touchdowns 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 first-year coach Kalen DeBoer and is set to return for another season. With playing time unlikely, Huard decided to enter the transfer portal.

Washington quarterback Sam Huard passes against Washington State on Nov. 26, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Washington quarterback Sam Huard passes against Washington State on Nov. 26, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Huard set to reunite with his high school head coach

Huard is the son of former Washington and NFL quarterback Damon Huard and the 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 the new offensive coordinator at Cal Poly under head coach Paul Wulff. Huard threw for 13,214 yards and 153 touchdowns at Kennedy Catholic, all under Cross.

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

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

Wulff, the former head coach at Washington State, was 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 the offensive coordinator at Arizona State.

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