Will Haskell was the quarterback who was supposed to rescue San Diego State from years of offensive issues, years of a well below average passing game and make the Aztec offense exciting.
If Haskell wasn't the savior of the SDSU's offense, then he was at least the quarterback who would help the program join the offensive revolution that is college football.
Less than 2 years after signing to play for San Diego State, Haskell's time as an Aztec player is over.
Tuesday morning, Haskell announced via his twitter account that he is leaving the Aztec program and entering the transfer portal.
Shortly after Haskell sent that tweet, Aztec football head coach Brady Hoke confirmed the move at a press conference.
Hoke said he met with Haskell multiple times the past 2 days to discuss the situation. Hoke also said, Haskell plans to finish classes this semester at San Diego State before officially entering the transfer portal.
"We wish him the best. I'd love for him to have stayed."
Haskell, a sophomore, played in 2 of the Aztecs 3 games this season, completing 3 of 6 passes for 11 yards against Arizona, then going 1-1 for 1 yard against Utah on Saturday.
The game at Utah was a clear line of demarcation when it comes to Haskell's career at San Diego State. After replacing injured starting QB Braxton Burmiester in the 1st half, Haskell played one series. Following hand-offs on 1st and 2nd downs, Haskell completed a pass on 3rd down for 1 yard. After that series, Haskell was replaced by freshman QB Kyle Crum.
As Haskell finished the game on the sideline, it was clear something was not right.
Asked why Haskell was pulled after just one drive and one pass, Hoke said the decision was made right after the drive and was based on "where we should have gone with the football."
Hoke pushed back on insinuations that the decision to pull Haskell from the Utah game was a rash decision, "We've been practicing for 12 weeks or more, there's a lot of stuff out there."
Haskell, a 6'4 dual threat quarterback from Glendale Ironwood High School in Arizona, signed with SDSU instead of various Power-5 programs.
Haskell is the 4th quarterback from last seasons team to leave the Aztec program. Hoke addressed questions about the turnover at the QB position by saying, "I think guys want to play and if they're not playing, they're not staying, and I get that."
The Aztecs inability to find and or develop quarterbacks in recent years has translated to a lack off success on the field in the passing game. Three games into this season, SDSU's passing game ranks 129th in the nation out of a 131 teams. The only teams worse at passing the football than the Aztecs are Air Force and Massachusetts. After the first 3 games of this season, San Diego State has 230 total passing yards, an average of 76.7 yards per game. For comparison, Tulsa, the top ranked passing offense in college football, averages 413 yards per game.
Asked about his confidence in Aztec offensive coordinator Jeff Hecklinski, Hoke said "I think Jeff has done a nice job, would we like him to do better? Yeah, but it's not just Jeff. There's a lot of things other than just one guy, I have a lot of faith in him for his work ethic, for what we're doing and trying to get done. I have a lot faith in that whole offensive staff."
While acknowledging an improved passing game would benefit the Aztecs offense, Hoke cautioned that more pass attempts and more passing yards is not the answer.
"What we want to do is win. Whatever is going to give us the best opportunity to win, whether it's running for 390 yards, even though we want to be more balance, whatever it takes for us to play our best football and win."
Since Haskell signed with San Diego State in December of 2020, many Aztec fans thought this young, exciting athletic quarterback was the player who would give SDSU the "best opportunity to win," but now that train of thought has left the station. So, the question now becomes does San Diego State have another quarterback or an offensive scheme that will allow for a "passing" grade when it comes to offensive football in 2022 and beyond.