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WSU football retains its leader

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WSU football retains its leader

Redshirt junior quarterback Luke Falk attempts a pass against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27.

Redshirt junior quarterback Luke Falk attempts a pass against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27.

Redshirt junior quarterback Luke Falk attempts a pass against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27.

Redshirt junior quarterback Luke Falk attempts a pass against the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27.

JACOB MOORE and NICK THOMAS

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WSU quarterback Luke Falk announced Wednesday that he will return for his redshirt senior season. The decision reaffirms a statement he made earlier this year debunking rumors that he would declare for the draft leading up to the game against Arizona.

“The chance to play one final season with my teammates and friends, continue our development under a great coaching staff, and the opportunity to achieve more for Washington State football all went into my decision,” Falk said.

Falk, a fan favorite, sent out an electrified message through the team’s Twitter page before going into detail about his decision in a news conference.

“I felt like we still have a lot to accomplish,” he said. “We ended the season not the way we wanted to. I’m hungry for more. I want to go out the right way with the big senior class I came in with.”

Since walking on his freshman year and assuming the role of starting quarterback following Connor Halliday’s broken leg in Nov. 2014, Falk has become one of the most prolific passers in the country. He lead the nation in both pass completions and attempts over the 2016 season and found himself among the leaders in completion percentage and passing yards.

Falk will return for the 2017 season on the heels of one of the better Cougar football seasons in recent history, and a final season could help him push both the team and his draft stock to an even higher level.

While Falk will return for his last season, he will do so without leading receivers Gabe Marks and River Cracraft. In an offensive scheme that relies so heavily on the pass game, the offense will likely fall into the hands of Falk, who is experienced in the offensive attack.

Pro Football Focus ranked Falk as the third-best quarterback prospect heading into the 2016 season, but he has still turned away from the pro game to finish his college career. Falk gave a modest answer as to why he chose to stay.

“I honestly didn’t really want to make a big deal about it,” he said. “I just wanted to let people know so they weren’t in the dark. Honestly, I really wanted to come back. There really wasn’t a gut feeling (in me) to go out this year.”

The former walk-on has risen from a pulled scholarship by Florida State University to a top NFL quarterback prospect and has all but cemented himself in the WSU history books.

Entering the 2017 season, Falk sits just 420 yards and 1 touchdown away from being the all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns at WSU. Connor Halliday is the current leader in both categories.

Reporting by Jacob Moore and Nick Thomas

About the Writer
JACOB MOORE, Former Evergreen sports editor

Jacob Moore is a junior sport management major from Tacoma. He graduated in December 2016.

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WSU football retains its leader