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Former Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers committed to Washington Friday, giving the Huskies a clear successor to star quarterback Michael Penix Jr. for the 2024 season. Rogers is one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in SEC history and will spend his final season on the West Coast to help aid UW's transition to the Big Ten.

Rogers signed with Mississippi State in 2020. He owns the SEC career completions record. His 12,315 passing yards and 94 passing touchdowns rank second and fourth in conference history. Rogers ranked as the No. 53 overall player available and the No. 11 quarterback available in the 247Sports portal rankings.

The veteran signal caller had a chance to chance to break the SEC's all-time passing record held by former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, but a shoulder injury suffered in an Oct. 7 win over Western Michigan forced him to miss some time. In his final game at Mississippi State against Ole Miss, Rogers completed 25 of his 39 passes for 207 yards in a 17-7 loss. 

Washington coach Kalen DeBoer used the transfer portal to land Penix from Indiana when he took the job in 2021. Penix revived his career with the Huskies and led the program to a 13-0 record and a spot in the College Football Playoff, earning an invitation to New York City as a Heisman finalist along the way. 

Using the transfer portal to get a veteran 

In the new era of college football, it has become more and more common for a program to get a proven signal caller through the transfer portal over a highly-touted quarterback out of the high school ranks. Washington signed Sam Huard — the No. 3 quarterback in the 2021 recruiting cycle — and elected to instead start Penix last season. The Indiana transfer ranked as the No. 23 quarterback available at the time. The move paid off big time, as Penix was just a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.

Rogers is one of the most experienced quarterbacks in all of college football. He doesn't have the same amount of eligibility left as some of the big names at the top like Dante Moore or Aidan Chiles, but he's proven he can compete and put up numbers against elite SEC defenses. Going into the Big Ten next year with a proven quarterback should be seen as a major win. With big names like Jalen McMillan and Rome Odunze likely off to the NFL Draft this spring, Washington can at least count on a veteran presence under center to stabilize the offense. 

New offensive system for Rogers

Rogers will have to learn yet another offensive system -- the third of his college career -- when he puts on a Washington uniform next season. He started his career in the late Mike Leach's Air Raid scheme, where he thrived. In 2021, Rogers threw for a career-high 4,739 yards and 36 touchdowns. He followed it up by passing for 3,974 yards and 35 touchdowns in 2022.

After Leach's passing, Zach Arnet installed a more run-heavy attack. Between that and some injury problems, Rogers' numbers came back down to earth with a a career-low 1,626 passing yards in 2023. DeBoer and offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb have been refining their offensive system for the last 15 years. The duo have developed a scheme that shares many principals with Leach's original Air Raid attack, but with their own unique spin on it. It's certainly working. The Huskies averaged 343.8 passing yards per game this past season, which ranked No. 1 in the country. There will be an adjustment period for both the Washington coaching staff and Rogers as they get on the same page, but they should have plenty of familiarity to build on.