Western Michigan will enter the 2017 season having lost a ton of big names across the board from their program-best 2016 season, but there is still plenty of talent spread out around the field to perhaps repeat as MAC champions.
They entered their spring practices with a clear quarterback competition ready to unfold throughout the summer. However, that appears to have already been settled.
News broke earlier this week that junior Tom Flacco, younger brother of Super Bowl winning quarterback Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens, requested and has been granted his scholarship release and will transfer out of the school.
Tom Flacco, the younger brother of Ravens' Joe Flacco, transferring out of Western Michigan. From @TonyPaul1984https://t.co/ZaB5Hm3tC6 pic.twitter.com/gyOhjnUgwd
— Detroit News Sports (@detnews_sports) July 19, 2017
Flacco had played primary backup to Zach Terrell, who started each of the last four seasons for Western and set a school record for most career passing yards (12,100) and led the program to an unprecedented three consecutive bowl game appearances.
Terrell has since then been signed as an undrafted free agent, ironicially by Flacco’s older brother’s employer, the Balitmore Ravens.
The dual-threat talent had played in 13 games over his first two seasons in Kalamazoo, totaling 528 yards of offense, 340 of which came on the ground. Flacco did not see the field very much in 2016, however. He ran the ball just 10 times for 74 yards and made one pass attempt. All 188 of his passing yards as a Bronco came during his freshman season.
Flacco entered spring camps as the only quarterback — one of six QBs at the time for WMU — on the Broncos roster with any sort of game-time experience before. Now with him gone, it appears to have opened the door for a former 3-star prospect and South Christian High School (Grand Rapids, MI) product, redshirt sophomore Jon Wassink.
It was made known back in April that the quarterback competition was primarily a two-horse race between Flacco and Wassink. Based on how things played out, it appeared that the latter earned the starting job heading into the summer.
Western Michigan also has four other quarterbacks on its roster, none of which have any game experience like Wassink. As for Flacco, he has yet to make a decision on where will continue his playing career. The native of Voorhees, New Jersey may want to look play closer to home. Should he land at another Division I program, he would have to sit out the 2017 season due to NCAA transfer rules.