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January 12, 2012Heading into this new recruiting process a few weeks ago, Oregon State transfer quarterback Ryan Katz had one big criteria for his next school.
"I wanted to go to a school that wanted me," he said.
On the West Coast, there may not have been a school that needed the Pac-12 quarterback more than San Diego State did.
With its fifth-year senior quarterback Ryan Lindley graduating, and nothing left in the cupboard except for an inexperienced sophomore, a redshirt freshman and a true freshman, SDSU desperately wanted Katz to be a part of its program this upcoming season.
So Aztec offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig sought out Katz, visited him in Corvallis, Ore. and tried his best to sway the QB to San Diego.
"He was pretty persistent in the search," Katz said of Ludwig. "He seemed really interested and really eager to get me down there to fill that void."
Ultimately, Ludwig's determination paid off for SDSU. Katz announced on Thursday he will officially make the transfer from Oregon State to the Aztecs, and has received his NCAA waiver that will allow him to play immediately at SDSU.
"I've enjoyed my four years at Oregon State; it's been a good ride," Katz said. "I'm ready to start a new chapter in my life and get back on the field at San Diego State and hopefully bring some wins to San Diego State next season."
Katz started 14 games for the Beavers in three seasons, throwing for 2,737 yards, 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He lost his starting job early in 2011 as Oregon State opted to go with a younger quarterback, and Katz decided to look elsewhere for a better opportunity when the year ended.
Because he's set to graduate in May (he'll finish his undergrad at SDSU and transfer the units to OSU after the spring semester) and is set to enroll in a masters program at SDSU next year, he'll bypass the rule of sitting out for a year and can take the field for the Aztecs as early as spring ball next month.
Ideally, SDSU would have a competition with Katz, sophomore Adam Dingwell, redshirt freshman Chad Jeffries and true freshman Matt Morin for the starting job, but given Katz' experience and ability, the Aztecs expect to have him penciled in as the starter from day one.
"I'm not looking for anyone to hand me anything," Katz said. "I've earned everything I've had my whole life. But they've definitely told me there's an opportunity there (to start). I've made sure to go in the situation where I knew I would definitely have a shot at doing that. Talking to the coaching staff, they've said that I definitely will have that opportunity."
Katz picked SDSU over San Jose State, Hawaii and UNLV. He said he'll start his drive down from Oregon to San Diego on Friday, check in with the Aztecs sometime this weekend and will start classes at SDSU sometime next week.
"I'm looking forward to the opportunity," he said. "And I can't wait to get started."