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HCA: Gage Gubrud’s search for a new home down to two schools

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The Eastern Washington quarterback has Utah and Washington State in his final two.

Eastern Washington v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

Eastern Washington grad transfer quarterback Gage Gubrud entered the NCAA Transfer Portal with hopes of not only finding new home but also being granted another year of eligibility. On Monday, he narrowed the list of possible landing spots down to the Washington State Cougars and Utah Utes, according to Ryan Collingwood of the Spokesman-Review.

Gubrud has a resume that stands out above most. In 2016 he was named FCS Player of the year, FCS All-American, and a finalist for the Walter Payton Award in a season he broke or tied 10 conference or FCS records. A year later he was named a the Walter Payton award finalist again and to the All-Big-Sky second team. Before the 2018 season he was on the watch list for the FCS Player of the Year award.

Five games into the 2018 season he would go down with a season ending injury that would hand Eric Barriere the role. Barriere then led the Eagles to the FCS Championship game. In those five games, Gubrud went 99 of 160 throwing for 1,416 yards, 13 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He finished his career at Eastern with 9,984 yards completing 65% of his throws and had 87 touchdowns and 32 interceptions. He also added another 1,042 yards and 13 touchdowns in his 259 rushing attempts.

The NCAA states that you must play in 13 or less of your schools games to qualify for a medical hardship waiver. Because the Eagles played 15 games this season it technically means he falls in that category, but it’s still unclear as to whether the NCAA will grant his request.

As someone who believes that Mike Leach and the Cougars don’t need a transfer quarterback this next season, I find his final two choices interesting. So, lets take a look at the two schools he has on his list.

Utah is returning Tyler Huntley, who has the ability to make guys miss on the ground and has also proven he can throw the ball well. After going down with an injury and missing the Utes’ last five games, freshman Jason Shelley, who stepped in for Huntley, has also proven that he can take over the starting role and not skip a beat. In his five games as a starter, he led the Utes to wins over the Oregon Ducks, Colorado Buffaloes and BYU Cougars, and he also kept them in contention in the Pac-12 Championship game against the Washington Huskies before losing to the Northwestern Wildcats in the Holiday Bowl.

Washington State on the other hand is losing their can-do-everything quarterback Gardner Minshew II. The quarterbacks on the Cougars roster have combined to go 10 of 14 for 80 yards and one touchdown and interception.

Leach has shown that he can successfully bring in a transfer quarterback and he does have some experience coaching against Gubrud as he threw for 474 yards and 5 touchdowns on 34 of 40 passing and added another 77 yards on the ground and another touchdown in his very first game as an Eagle. His stats this past season against the Cougars weren’t even close as he went 14 of 36 for 231 yards with 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

Outside of Washington State, he has only faced one other non-FCS school and that came in 2017 in a 56-10 loss to Texas Tech. He finished with 207 yards on 22 of 34 passing 1 touchdown and 1 interception.

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