clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WSU opens 2019 fall football camp in Pullman today

Football season has (sorta) arrived! Let’s talk quarterbacks.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NCAA Football: Washington State at Stanford
We don’t have any pictures from practices, so just enjoy a picture of this adorable child.
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

It’s August 2, which means football season is kinda sorta officially upon us: The Washington State Cougars open up fall camp today in Pullman, where they will spend a day in shorts and helmets before heading out for six days at famed Sacajawea Junior High in Lewiston. They’ll then return to Pullman for the bulk of their preparation for the 2019 season, starting with their first scrimmage on August 9.

As usual, there are lots of storylines to follow, and Theo Lawson of the Spokesman-Review does a good job of covering the big ones here. About the only one that you’ll be able to follow in any kind of real time is the quarterback competition between Gage Gubrud, Anthony Gordon and Trey Tinsley.

Coach Mike Leach indicated on his conference call yesterday that he’d handle the QB competition as he did last year; if you don’t remember, he started camp by having two of the three guys take the bulk of the team reps each day, rotating which two day-by-day. That’s mostly a practical matter, as splitting the reps three ways in a day makes it difficult to get any of them enough reps to be meaningful.

Leach was asked about Gardner Minshew’s philosophy on QB competitions, in which he famously said “the team selects the starter.” Leach agrees ... to a point.

“A little bit – I don’t think that’s the whole picture,” he said. “Gardner, by describing it that way – and I did think it was quite impressive – has always been very flattered and honored by the way the team accepted and embraced him, which they did. But with that said, he earned a significant portion of that (through his play).

“I also think the team is going to accept and play for whoever they think is doing a good job. Last year I felt like we had three guys like that. But I did feel like Gardner did a good job of leading the unit, then continued to get better as the season went on.”

Summed up: The team will probably like you a lot more if you’re the best QB. That’s the challenge in front of all three guys.

Last year, it was pretty clear by about two weeks in — by the time the second scrimmage wrapped up — that Minshew was likely to be the guy. He seemed to be getting more and more of the reps, and doing more with them when he got an opportunity. That’s probably the same time frame you’re looking at here, too, since Leach has said he wants to zero in on someone with a couple of weeks to go until the opener. If it extends past that, it’s actually probably not a great sign.

For what it’s worth, I think Gubrud is going to be the guy. Put simply, I don’t think you go to the trouble WSU went to in order to get him to Pullman to not have him be your starter, and he also benefits from the softest of landings to open the season as he continues to try and quickly master the Air Raid. Maybe Gordon or Tinsley can step up their game, but I think one of those two is really going to have to show out to convince Leach they should get the nod.

If you’re interested, here’s the full camp schedule. The Lewiston practices are open to the public, as are the scrimmages, if you’re so inclined.


Which of Theo Lawson’s five story lines are you most interested in during camp?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    QB competition
    (130 votes)
  • 16%
    Jalen Thompson’s replacement
    (41 votes)
  • 8%
    Deon McIntosh
    (22 votes)
  • 11%
    Defensive line development
    (29 votes)
  • 12%
    Freshmen who might force their way into the lineup
    (31 votes)
253 votes total Vote Now


For Cougs, an echoey story at QB | Sports |
At some point late last season, Gardner Minshew expressed the philosophy that preseason quarterback competitions are essentially decided by teammates — that a candidate for a starter’s job needs to

Five storylines to follow as fall camp gets underway at Washington State | The Spokesman-Review
With one fewer mustache than it had last season, Washington State’s football team will take to the large patch of turf at Rogers Field this Friday at 3:30 p.m. for the first time this fall, before moving to Lewiston’s Sacajawea Middle School for the next six days.

Transcript: Washington State’s Mike Leach talks QBs, replacing Jalen Thompson on eve of fall camp | The Spokesman-Review
On the eve of Washington State’s first fall practice – Friday at 2 p.m. in Pullman – eighth-year Cougars coach Mike Leach broached a number of topics with reporters in a conference call.

Power Five commitment recap: July 27-Aug. 2
July 27: Christian Fitzpatrick | WR | Waterford Mott (Mich.). 247Sports Evaluation: Great size. Big frame with long arms.

The 25 best nonconference games to watch in 2019 | Yardbarker
Washington State at Houston (Sept. 13)

2019 College Football Rankings: No. 24 Washington State continues to shake up Pac-12 - Orlando Sentinel
Washington State has become a consistent contender in the Pac-12 North under Mike Leach, with the Cougars winning more than 62% of their games during the past five seasons. The Cougars are ranked No. 24 in the Orlando Sentinel 2019 preseason college football rankings.

Odds to Win Washington State Starting QB Role Is a Tight Three-Way Race Between Gubrud, Gordon & Tinsley | SBD
Gage Gubrud is favored over Anthony Gordon and Trey Tinsley to win the starting QB job at Washington State when the 2019-20 CFB season begins.

Washington Huskies Would Duke It Out With Ducks And Utes -
The Pac-12 Conference is looking to bounce back in a big way and restore the lure of the glory years past. The teams will be far more competitive and stronger than last season’s where only the Washington Huskies garnered any National attention, but it will take a few more seasons of improved recruiting for the teams to be mentioned among the NCAA Championship contenders.

Pac-12 predictions 2019: Odds, conference picks, sleepers, big games, Heisman hopefuls and more
The perception of the Pac-12 is lower than any of the other Power 5 conferences. Can Oregon, Washington, Utah — anyone — help reverse that in 2019?

Springtime standouts | Sports |
Take the 270 west for seven miles, and there’s another batch of local athletes to be found at Washington State, the eldest of whom is Chandler Teigen, a Washington State captain distance specialist from Asotin.

College roundup: WSU’s Weaver a must-watch | Sports |
Washington State star soccer senior Morgan Weaver was named to the watch list for the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, as announced Thursday by the organization.

Two Added to Cougar Rowing Staff - Washington State University Athletics
Allie Eaton and Sam Clifford have been named assistant coaches.

Burckel, McCoy Notch U.S. Olympic Qualifying Times - Washington State University Athletics
The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trails are a scheduled for next summer.