Quarterback prepares for final season

Falk denied the NFL draft for another season as the Cougar’s leader


LUKE HOLLISTER | The Daily Evergreen

Redshirt senior quarterback Luke Falk sits in Martin Stadium before the season opener against Montana State on Saturday.

JACOB MOORE, Former Evergreen sports editor

Redshirt senior quarterback Luke Falk is passionate about a lot of things — but almost nothing meets his eye more than an old-fashioned chocolate chip cookie.

“I can’t be in the room with them,” Falk said. “I consider myself to be a pretty mentally-tough person, but when I see a chocolate-chip cookie, I’m gonna have a bite.”

Much like his love for cookies, the Utah-native holds a soft spot for country music.

“I like country music a little bit,” Falk said before hesitating, “not a little bit, I like it a lot.”

That’s not all. Falk enjoys a good movie now and then — emphasis on “good.” Redshirt senior offensive lineman and teammate Cole Madison does not understand that emphasis, Falk said.

“[Madison] likes films that were made in Japan that nobody’s ever heard of,” Falk said. “He’s a nut. I sat through a thirty-minute movie with him and I’m like ‘I’m outta here, this sucks.’ ”

Falk does not concern himself with what others think of him. He beats his own drum, lives his own life and obsesses with cookies and country music. What he is concerned with though, is leading WSU football.

LUKE HOLLISTER | The Daily Evergreen
Redshirt senior quarterback Luke Falk sits and smiles in the lower stands of Martin Stadium.

As a three-time Pac-12 player of the week and 2015 Sun Bowl MVP, Falk already has a lot to showcase in college. For this reason, some fans questioned whether Falk would return to play for a final year on the Palouse or declare for the NFL draft after last season’s conclusion.

There was no question in Falk’s mind. He released a statement in January reassuring the Cougar nation that together, they “have much more to accomplish.”

Many school records have already been broken while Falk gnaws at the heels of even more. But that’s not why he returned to WSU.

“I’m trying to get win records,” Falk said. “That’s the only stat I care about.”

Getting to the top of the Pac-12 as a team — not as a record-breaking player — is his overarching goal. He wants to make more lifelong memories in a Cougar uniform.

Going to Oregon and beating the Ducks is one of Falk’s greatest memories on the field. Before that 2015 victory, the team morale was low and there was an absence of team identity, Falk said. The Cougars previously lost to California, and it looked as if they were going to drop another in Oregon.

WSU came roaring back from the ten-point deficit to tie the game in just a few minutes. It took until double-overtime, but the Cougs pulled away on top. A defining moment in Falk’s collegiate career.

Head Coach Mike Leach helped bring the starting quarterback to the Palouse four years ago. Falk gives an immense amount of credit to Leach for allowing him a shot at leading the team.

“You never know what story you’re gonna get,” Falk said of Leach with a chuckle. “He’s been a great asset for me, really, I’m just so grateful and appreciative for him … he just lets you play.”

Competing is more than a task, Falk said. He hopes to one day turn his passion into a career.

EZEKIEL NELSON | The Daily Evergreen
Falk talks about his preparations for his senior year in an interview after practice last week.

The rabid Tom Brady fan paints his future five years down the road.

“I want to play in the NFL. I want to be a starter in the league and live in a great town or city,” Falk said, “hopefully married to my girlfriend and living a happy, peaceful life.”

With the first of five straight home games set to begin at 7:30 p.m., Falk and the Cougars will march out of the tunnel tomorrow evening. Montana State stands in the way of Falk’s first game of his final season in Pullman.