COLUMN: Levi Williams must start Arizona Bowl
LARAMIE -- Most of us have put in a two-week notice before.
It's the courteous thing to do. It gives the boss time to digest what you just told them. It gives the company time to find your replacement.
However, it also means things are going in a new direction. While you are focused on your next adventure, the people you are leaving behind still have a job to do.
That's the scenario right now at the University of Wyoming with Tyler Vander Waal.
The Pokes quarterback added his name to the transfer portal before the holiday break, essentially making him a free agent. While he is free to discuss his future landing spot with coaches coast to coast, the Sophomore is still preparing for Tuesday's Arizona Bowl against Georgia State in Tucson.
Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl has been non-committal about who will be under center when the Cowboys offense takes the field in the desert.
He shouldn't be.
The obvious answer is true freshman Levi Williams.
This decision has little to do with knowledge of the offense or experience, but the fact that Williams fits into the Cowboys' future plans. Vander Waal does not. One will be here -- theoretically -- for four more seasons. The other is packing his bags.
What does it matter if Vander Waal literally takes the first snap and Williams takes the second? Very little as far as the game plan goes. It's about the statement it makes.
One is the future. The other, the past.
Vander Waal, by all accounts and personal experience, is a great young man. I've enjoyed our interactions from day one. He's honest, mature and confident. That's a dream for any sports reporter. He also has all the physical gifts to be a solid quarterback somewhere. Sometimes, things just don't fit. Clearly, Vander Waal hasn't found his footing in a run-heavy offense that comes with very little rhythm in the passing game.
That doesn't make him a bad person, let alone a villain.
And kudos to him. He is working hard these past two weeks to help his teammates and leave on a positive note, Bohl has said. That says a lot about his character. And while most coaches who take jobs after the regular season leave their teams high and dry when it comes to bowl season, that never crossed Vander Waal's mind.
Memphis, who plays in the Cotton Bowl against Penn State today, will be without former head coach Mike Norvell, who is busy decorating his office in Tallahassee.
Kudos to Bohl and Co., too. They could've said thanks, but no thanks to Vander Waal remaining on the squad.
The future is now for the Wyoming Cowboys.
Williams has played in part of the final two regular season games, completing 8-of-13 passes for 109 yards. The Canyon Lake, Texas, product has also rushed for 128 yards on 28 carries and scored a touchdown in a 17-7 victory over Colorado State.
He has proven he can make big plays with his legs. Williams has shown the ability to throw the football into tight spaces. He's big, strong and brings a boyish enthusiasm to the yard. He's excitable. He's young. He's eager to show what he can do.
The moment, so far, hasn't seemed too big for him.
Still, that's not the only reasons he should start this game. It's the principle.
Do I think Vander Waal should see the field? Absolutely. He has put in the work. But can the Pokes afford to get into another failed rotation at the quarterback spot the way they did in the season finale in Colorado Springs? No way.
Not if they hope to win. Not if they hope to get a real look at Williams running this offense.
Tuesday, this needs to be Williams' team.
He needs to start. He deserves the reins. Wyoming needs to see what they have in this kid. Will he challenge Sean Chambers for the starting gig next fall? This is where we should all find out.
This should be his audition.