BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) --- Sports fans around Bowling Green have their eye on March 19th for a number of reasons. Tuesday marks the start of the NCAA Tournament along with the NIT which features Bowling Green native Skyelar Potter. It also marks an important day for WKU football fans as Former Arkansas Quarterback, Ty Storey, ignites his Hilltopper career in his first day of practice.
The WKU graduate transfer put an end to his recruitment as he announced his commitment to Western Kentucky on February 27th. Storey drew a lot of attention from division one programs as he made his transfer known in early January. The Tops had plenty of competition to sign the former Razorback, but made a lasting impression on the quarterback by showing a level of commitment that couldn’t be matched.
Storey said, “It was just the love that they showed and the offense they planned to run.”
This transfer is significant to the WKU football program in multiple ways. It helps answer some questions that were left about the quarterback position following last season. It also marks the first major transfer for the Hilltoppers under the new transfer portal system.
On October 15, the NCAA gave division I athletes much more freedom in transferring schools by creating the transfer portal. Before, if a player wanted to transfer, then the coach had the ability veto their request at his will. This rule discouraged coaches from recruiting other D-I athletes, but in turn led to college coaches preventing their athletes from transferring regardless of the situation.
The transfer portal gives student-athletes the chance to freely talk with other college coaches, but still choose to remain at their original university. If an athlete wants to transfer, they must inform their current university, then the university would be required to enter the student into an online database within two business days.
This new system has helped Storey in his transition to the WKU system during spring practice and breathed life into The Arkansas-native’s spring semester. The Arkansas native seemed locked in as he flung the ball to his new teammates and studied every play that he wasn’t a part of.
Storey said, “It’s been so much fun – so much excitement – just getting to go back out there and throw the football around when guys are coming at you.”
He continued with a smirk as he said, “It’s hard to even explain the excitement. Just seeing the guys go out there and make a big play and seeing those guys get fired up. That’s something that’s hard to match anywhere else.
One of the first decisions Head Coach Tyson Helton made when he was hired in late November was to look for another quarterback. At the time, Helton was just looking to bring depth to the squad, but he found so much more in the veteran Storey. Through four years of SEC experience, he built a skill set that fits the mold of WKU’s offense.
WKU offensive coordinator Bryan Ellis assertively rattled off Storey’s skill set, “he’s able to run a little bit and get himself out of trouble. He’s got quick hands so he can get the ball out fast and has deep ball accuracy.”
The two-time Gatorade Arkansas Player of the Year will fit nicely into Helton’s remake of the Western Kentucky Air Raid Offense that demolished teams across the NCAA. In fact, Storey’s first impression of the Hilltoppers goes back to 2014 when Helton was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Storey said, “I knew about Western a couple years ago when they were one of the best offenses in college football, and I know that at Arkansas we were stealing stuff from them – everybody was – just because it was such good stuff.”
Coming into college, Storey was a very highly touted prospect. Rivals, ESPN, and 247Sports rated him a consensus four-star prospect. He decorated himself with many individual and team accolades as he had back-to-back undefeated seasons including three state championships. He finished his high school career with numbers that will make you fall back in your chair. He had over 12,000 passing yards with 154 touchdowns and a 66% completion rate, which statistically made him a top three quarterback in Arkansas high school football history.
Storey continued his career as a Razorback after receiving offers from Auburn and Alabama. Storey didn’t see significant time on the field until last season when he became the go-to guy for the Hogs. He started 9 out of their 12 games throwing for over 1500 yards with 11 touchdowns and a 57% completion rate.