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Let’s look at WSU’s quarterback situation in the wake of Jayden de Laura’s move to the transfer portal

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Will it be Ward lining up at quarterback, or Ward?

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 26: Washington State position Player Name (number) “description of play” “time of game” of the Apple Cup rivalry between the Washington Huskies and the Washington State Cougars on November 26, 2021, at Husky Stadium in Seattle, WA. Jack Ellis/CougCenter

With yesterday’s news that Jayden de Laura will likely take his talents elsewhere, fans of our beloved Washington State Cougars likely started to wonder who would be atop the depth chart when WSU hits the field for spring football. De Laura’s departure, coupled with Cammon Cooper’s intention to transfer, leaves a lot of questions.

In case you’re unaware, WSU is in the transfer portal quarterback market, having hosted Cameron Ward, the now former quarterback from University of The Incarnate Word. Loyal readers will remember Ward announced his offer from WSU right around the time of the Sun Bowl’s conclusion.

As we wrote back on New Year’s Day, WSU’s quarterback room would have just two scholarship quarterbacks in de Laura and Xavier Ward. Well, now that’s down to one, with Ward having completed his redshirt year. He could be joined by another Ward—Cameron Ward—giving WSU two scholarship quarterbacks.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Cameron Ward also has Power 5 offers from Arizona, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss and Indiana, as well as G5 Houston, among others. On one hand, that’s some solid competition. On the other hand, Ward’s former head coach isn’t the new offensive coordinator at any of those schools.

Some brief thoughts on Ward: Yes, he’s an FCS quarterback, and while the FCS-to-FBS quarterback transfer results are 50/50 (Vernon Adams was good, Dakota Prukop was not), he is rated as the third-best quarterback in the transfer portal behind Caleb Williams and Quinn Ewers. That’s promising. But again, we all remember Gage Gubrud, don’t we? Ward’s offer list is impressive, so plenty of others think he is a legitimate P5 quarterback. I hope they’re right!

So, for now, WSU has one scholarship quarterback. Not great! Victor Gabalis, he of the valiant effort in the Sun Bowl’s second half, is still (to our knowledge) a walk-on. Assuming WSU nabs Cameron Ward, Jake Dickert and his staff needs to grab at least one more quarterback and maybe two. Ideally a team would have a QB in each class.

It’s quite the task for Dickert, the first year head coach. The most important position on his roster is suddenly depleted. Dickert proved he could keep a team focused on winning after the tumult experienced in October. Now we’ll see if he can restock his quarterback room heading into the 2022 season.

The Return of Klay

Links

Football

Reports: Quarterback Jayden de Laura enters transfer portal as Washington State football switches gears | The Spokesman-Review
During his second year in Pullman, Jayden de Laura lifted Washington State's football team with his charisma and energetic playing style, guiding the Cougars through a midseason coaching change and spearheading an unforgettable Apple Cup victory.

Washington State Cougars QB Jayden de Laura enters transfer portal
Washington State QB and Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year Jayden de Laura has entered the transfer portal after one season with the Cougars.

Behind the ‘Cinderella-like’ rise of elite transfer QB Cameron Ward
The FCS transfer is hearing from the likes of Ole Miss and Washington State as he nears a decision.

Basketball

Cougs Battle But Fall At No. 4/5 Arizona - Washington State University Athletics
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Washington State women’s basketball hung tough with No. 4/5-ranked Arizona on the road, but the Cougars were unable to knock off the Wildcats.

'We just gotta keep punching': Washington State drops another close game, falling to Colorado in Boulder | The Spokesman-Review
Colorado prevailed in a tight game for the sixth time this season. Washington State dropped yet another close one.