Washington football whiffs on grad transfer QB

For better or for worse, Washington football missed out on Stanford grad transfer K.J. Costello, who will be joining former Washington State head coach Mike Leach at Mississippi State

It looks like Washington football is going to head into the season with three quarterbacks, with the potential of taking a walk-on as a fourth after K.J. Costello officially announced that he’ll be heading to Mississippi State for the final season of his college eligibility. Costello would’ve been a great fit with the Huskies, and if he did end up winning the job for Jimmy Lake and offensive coordinator John Donovan, they would’ve had an experienced quarterback to run their new offense.

Even if Costello had decided to pick Washington, there were probably no guarantees he would’ve automatically been named the starter for the season opener against Michigan, as there have been lots of people in the comments saying that someone will transfer if Costello had decided to pick the Huskies. Jacob Sirmon, who entered the transfer portal for a short time last spring, would get a fair look as the starter, as would redshirt freshman Dylan Morris, and true freshman Ethan Garbers.

There’s an upside and downside to losing Costello, let’s run through some of the major points.

The Downside

Costello would’ve been a major experience boost to a quarterbacks room that has made three combined attempts in live game action over their college career. He’s smart with the football, and has proven that he can perform at a top-tier level in the Pac-12, as his 2018 passer efficiency rating was tops in the conference, while also being responsible for the most touchdowns in the conference. Costello also had experience running a pro-style offense, similar to what Lake has talked about implementing at Washington.

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Going into a season with three quarterbacks isn’t ideal, because injuries can happen, suspensions, academic issues (which I’m not saying any of them will, but you have to be ready for anything), and when only one quarterback on the roster has taken snaps in a college game prior to the season, and no meaningful ones at that, it’s nice to have some experience on the roster.

The Upside

Sirmon made throws that would rival Jacob Eason‘s in practice. Morris was the scout team’s offensive MVP in 2019, and Garbers was one of 247 Sports’ biggest risers in their final recruit rankings, shooting up over 400 spots in the composite rankings. The room is not short on talent whatsoever, they just lack experience and chemistry with the receivers. With the Huskies installing a new, (hopefully) less-complex offense, they’ll give their talented wide receivers an opportunity to shine.

Sirmon, a top-100 overall recruit coming out of high school should be the favorite to win the job right now. He’s got a strong arm, the ability to make plays on the run, and he’s been in the program for three seasons now, so he should be ready to shine, and once Husky fans get a better look at him in the spring game, they should be very confident about the direction of the program.

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