Leach wants to name starting quarterback prior to season opener

Cougars start fall camp Friday, team hopes to develop depth at offensive line



WSU football kicks off fall camp 2 p.m. Friday at Rogers Field and Martin Stadium.

DYLAN GREENE, Evergreen deputy sports editor

WSU Head Coach Mike Leach discussed his timeline for naming a starting quarterback, the Cougars depth at multiple positions and the current front runners for starting on the offensive line during a conference call with the media Thursday.

The Cougars kickoff fall camp Friday and Leach said he hopes to name a starting quarterback more than a week before the season opener against University of Wyoming on Sept. 1.

Leach said that the Cougars are currently evaluating four quarterbacks for the starting job.

“We’ll look at all four of them but we’re going to try to channel it toward the top two as quickly as we can and then go from there,” Leach said.

Those four quarterbacks are redshirt juniors Trey Tinsley and Anthony Gordon, freshman Cammon Cooper and graduate transfer Gardner Minshew.

Minshew is the only quarterback of the four that has taken a snap at the Division I level and played in 10 games for East Carolina University last season, throwing for 2,140 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

“Picking a quarterback is easy from the standpoint of, regardless of how good they are, you figure out who the best one is,” Leach said, “and in the end, the most important thing is who moves the offense the best.

Leach also highlighted the depth at the wide receiver position and the need to establish depth on the offensive line. He said the first group on the offensive line currently consists of redshirt senior Andre Dillard, redshirt sophomore Josh Watson, junior Frederick Mauigoa, redshirt senior Robert Valencia and redshirt freshman Abraham Lucas.

Leach said he and the team are anxious to get on the field after a long offseason, which he noted is important to developing players. But Leach admitted he wouldn’t mind coaching year round and receiving little time off.

“If they let me reset football, we’d go year-round,” Leach said. We’d expand the roster … we’d have to have a varsity season in the fall and then we’d have a season in the spring where we work younger guys that didn’t play as much, get them some games. Everybody would have a great time and of course they’d televise the games and it’d be great for everybody.”

The Cougars start fall camp 2 p.m. Friday at Rogers Field and Martin Stadium.