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Washington St enters camp with 4 QBs vying to be the starter

August 3, 2018

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — All four quarterbacks on the Washington State roster will get a chance during fall camp to make their case to start, though coach Mike Leach said he doubts they’ll all get equal reps.

Leach opened camp Friday with an eye toward naming a starter about 10 days before the Cougars’ Sept. 1 opener at Wyoming.

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

The Cougars head toward the season with the tragic offseason death of presumptive starter Tyler Hilinski still on the minds of fans and players. They’re also seeking to replace record-setting QB Luke Falk, who graduated and is now with the Tennessee Titans.

Three of the candidates have never thrown a pass in a game for Washington State. The fourth is a graduate transfer from East Carolina who just arrived on campus.

Leach said junior quarterback Trey Tinsley did a great job while playing with the first unit during spring camp, “probably did better than I expected.”

Leach also praised the spring play of junior Anthony Gordon and freshman Cammon Cooper, calling Cooper “arguably the biggest eventual talent of the group.”

Graduate transfer Gardner Minshew, who started at East Carolina, didn’t spend the spring in Pullman but has already opened some eyes.

“He came in as if he’s been on that team for three years,” receiver Kyle Sweet said at the Pac-12 media day. “But that’s something we desperately need.”

Minshew threw for 2,140 yards and 16 touchdowns last season at East Carolina.

“In the end, it’s who runs the offense the best, who elevates the players around them,” Leach said. “He’s a smart guy. He ran a system in high school that is similar to ours. He’s a smart, mature guy, so we’ll see.”

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