Mississippi State made the shocking hire of Mike Leach, after the late decision to move on from Joe Moorhead. He may be bringing in a quarterback from the Pac-12 to compete for the starting job as well: Stanford’s K.J. Costello.
The Cardinal QB was a second-team All-Pac 12 performer in 2018, throwing for 3,540 yards and 29 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, with a solid 8.6 yards per attempt.
Unfortunately, his 2019 was marred by injury. He suffered a concussion in the season opener, and injured his thumb later in the year. Costello wound up playing in five games, throwing for 1,038 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions.
Before Leach was hired away, he had looked into Costello as a potential transfer option. Wazzu thrived with a transfer in 2018, as Gardner Minshew played his way into a spot in the NFL Draft after being largely unknown at ECU.
Per 247Sports, K.J. Costello may still be an option for Leach, and some analysts expect him to make the jump to the SEC:
“According to the Crystal Ball, Costello is slated to end up at Mississippi State with new head coach Mike Leach. Mississippi State insider Paul Jones and Notre Dame insider Tom Loy predict the Bulldogs as Costello’s last stop before a potential run at the NFL.
“Before Leach became the head coach of Mississippi State, Costello was a fit at Washington State with Leach in his air-raid offense.”
Costello entered the transfer portal in December. Three analysts have logged predictions for his decisions on 247Sports, all of whom have chosen Mississippi State.
Last year, freshman Garrett Shrader wrestled the Mississippi State quarterback job from the injury-prone Tommy Stevens, a Penn State transfer who had played for Moorhead when he was the Nittany Lions’ OC. He put up pretty impressive dual-threat numbers, but he may not be a perfect fit for Leach’s famous air raid offense.
Whether or not Costello winds up in Starkville, the team will look very different in any event.