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Mike Leach: ‘If we were to play today, we’d play (Anthony) Gordon’

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It appears that the QB race just might be over.

Washington State v USC Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

On the heels of his praise for Anthony Gordon after Saturday’s scrimmage, Mike Leach took another apparent step toward naming a starter at quarterback for the Washington State Cougars on Sunday night when he declared to the assembled media after practice: “If we were to play today, we’d play Gordon.”

Much like Saturday, Leach also left himself some wiggle room, stating that they’ve still got “some time” to get it figured out. But it’s awfully hard not to listen to this and think that a decision probably already has been made in favor of the fifth-year senior who has five career passes to his name.

Is there anything that Gage Gubrud — the graduate transfer with 1,165 career pass attempts — can do to change Leach’s mind at this point?

It’s hard to know with Leach whether his hedging is a legitimate chance for Gubrud to show a little more, or if it’s just a way to keep all of us (including the New Mexico State Aggies) from being 100% sure of who the starter will be. It’s probably worth remembering that Minshew was never formally announced as the starter before taking the field against the Wyoming Cowboys, as Leach elected to release his depth chart with his famous series of “or”s.

After initially feeling like Leach was challenging Gubrud with Saturday’s comments, I think Leach is now signaling that this race is all but over. And if it is ... wow, what a cool story. Gordon’s selection harkens back to Leach’s series of fifth-year QBs with the Texas Tech Red Raiders, but this is a kid who has had quite the journey to get to this point:

  • Drafted out of high school ... in baseball;
  • Heads to City College of San Francisco to play both baseball and football, where he has a standout year in football;
  • Transfers to WSU as a late addition to the 2016 class, signing in June;
  • Sits for for two years before getting a legit shot at starting, only to get beat out for the job by a grad transfer;
  • Looks to have a strong shot at being the starter as a senior, only to watch the staff recruit another grad transfer;
  • Now seems to have won the job.

If Gordon is indeed the guy, I’m legitimately excited to see what he can do, because I’m confident Gubrud would have been fine. If Gordon’s the guy Leach wants? There’s a chance he’s more than fine.