The most common phrase of the college football offseason seems to be “has entered the transfer portal” and the Washington State Cougars are not immune. 247Sports and Rivals each reported Friday within minutes of each other that Jayden de Laura, the Cougs’ starting quarterback for the past two seasons, had put his name into the portal.
There had been whispers de Laura would be testing the transfer waters for a few weeks leading up to the Sun Bowl loss to the Central Michigan Chippewas, and today’s news confirms that. The redshirt freshman will have four years to play three and though there’s always a chance he could return to WSU, this almost certainly means he’ll be headed elsewhere.
In just two seasons, the Hawaii native made quite an impression on this team. His improvement from the beginning of his time as the starter during the COVID-shortened season to guiding the team to their first Apple Cup win since 2012 was frankly incredible. De Laura seemed to have everything a Wazzu quarterback needed: a good arm, the ability to move in the pocket and outside of it, and that all-important swag.
QB Jayden de Laura plants a WSU flag in Husky Stadium after the Cougs’ Apple Cup win over UW pic.twitter.com/GtNfxbycdV— Seattle Times Sports (@SeaTimesSports) November 27, 2021
At this juncture though, I can’t really blame him for going elsewhere. The coach he committed to, Mike Leach, left before his freshman year. The next guy, Nick Rolovich, got fired three months ago. No matter what, de Laura was going to have yet another offensive coordinator to play for, and he might have felt he wouldn’t be a great fit with new offensive coordinator Eric Morris, who will run a variation of the Air Raid instead of the Run and Shoot he’s been accustomed to.
There’s also a chance Cameron Ward, who played for Morris at Incarnate Word, could end up at Wazzu and you can imagine he wouldn’t be transferring to sit on the bench. Although you never want to read too much into it, this could be an indication the FCS’s best passer in 2021 is leaning towards following his former head coach to Pullman.
All the best to Jayden wherever he ends up. We’ll always have 40-13.