The depth chart at quarterback will look a lot different his fall as Peyton Bender has "rendered himself academically ineligible" for the 2016 season, according to a report from Cougfan.com.
The report, citing multiple independent sources, states that Bender will remain in school to work on his academics, though he will not practice with the team. The plan, Cougfan says, is for Bender to rejoin the team for spring football next year.
The surprising news comes on the heels of Washington State signing City College of San Francisco quarterback Anthony Gordon, a late addition to the 2016 recruiting class, late last week. Gordon, a full-qualifier with three years of eligibility remaining, will arrive at Washington State for summer school this week.
Early Monday evening, a source told CougCenter that Mike Leach and staff were aggressively looking for a junior college quarterback to arrive at school this week after losing a scholarship quarterback recently, which is clearly now Bender.
In addition to Gordon, Washington State was looking at Sierra (Calif.) College quarterback Cole Brownholtz, per a source, though they eventually settled on Gordon. Brownholtz, also a full-qualifier, has also been receiving interest from Boise State.
Bender's absence shakes up the Cougars' depth chart entering fall camp, as Tyler Hilinski, a redshirt freshman, now appears to be the favorite to handle backup quarterback duties behind redshirt junior Luke Falk. Second-year freshman Christian Jorgenson and fellow walk-on Bryce Missey, who will arrive as a true freshman, figure to compete for the third-string job.
There may be an additional arm added to the mix, however, as Fullerton College quarterback Trey Tinsley, another full-qualifier with three-years of eligibility remaining, appears to have committed to Washington State, likely as a preferred walk-on, according to several tweets this evening. Attempts to reach Tinsley have gone unreturned as of tonight.
The tweets — one from Tinsley and another from his former high school teammate and current Washington State receiver Kaleb Fossum — indicated that the 6-foot-3, 205-pounder was headed to Pullman. He lists himself as a Washington State commit in his Twitter bio, as well.
Tinsley was lightly recruited out of El Toro (Calif.) High School in 2015, opting to go the junior college route. He earned the starting quarterback job as a true freshman, starting 10 games and throwing for 2,185 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. He completed 61 percent of his passes and threw six interceptions. You can view his highlights below.