In wooing quarterback Gage Gubrud earlier this year, Washington State football recruiters didn’t intend to sound like protection racketeers.
But Gubrud, now a graduate transfer for the Cougars, jokingly can say that’s how it seemed.
According to WSU coach Mike Leach, Gubrud recently pointed out something unusual about the recruiting video the Cougars had sent him before he committed to them. It included footage of Gubrud himself, as the Eastern Washington quarterback playing against WSU in 2018.
“When you recruit these guys, you put together a highlight video at the end of the year — ‘Hey, here’s all our highlights, check this out,’ ” Leach said. “So as we’re recruiting Gage, Gage is watching the same highlight video we’ve been showing all our recruits all year. And some of the highlights are Gage getting his (expletive) knocked off. We didn’t think to edit it.”
Leach laughed when he imagined how the Cougars’ recruiting pitch might have sounded to Gubrud, especially considering the other school that made his short list was Utah, which plays host to Wazzu on Sept. 28:
“Hey, lookie here, see, we won’t knock your (expletive) off anymore if you come to this school.”
Gubrud played the Cougars in Pullman twice in his EWU career, with widely disparate results. In 2016, he passed 34-for-40 for five touchdowns and rushed for 101 gross yards in a 45-42 upset victory. Two years later, he went 14-for-36 and was intercepted three times in a 59-24 loss, providing the Cougars with plenty of highlight footage.
He committed to Washington State as a one-and-done senior in January and made his WSU debut last week in a 58-7 win against New Mexico State, spelling starter Anthony Gordon late in the third quarter and throwing a 9-yard touchdown pass. Leach said it was the first time in his career a quarterback had thrown a touchdown pass for and against him.
The Cougars (1-0) play another nonleague home game at 2 p.m. Saturday (Pac-12 Network), facing Northern Colorado (0-1) of the Big Sky Conference.
Gordon, Ryan honored
The Cougars landed two of the six weekly awards doled out by the Pac-12 on Tuesday, with Gordon getting the overall offensive nod and left tackle Liam Ryan winning the inaugural Offensive Lineman of the Week honor.
Gordon peppered New Mexico State with 29-for-35 passing for 420 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions in his starting debut.
Ryan made a smooth transition to left tackle after starting next door at guard last season. Leach said Ryan drew the team’s highest grade among O-linemen for the week.
The Pac-12 has expanded its weekly awards this year to include offensive and defensive linemen honors and Freshman of the Week. As in the past, it also names offensive, defensive and special team players of the week.
NO JAHAD? Standout weakside linebacker Jahad Woods, who had left the New Mexico State game with an injury in the third quarter, appeared to be absent from practice Tuesday.
If he can’t play against Northern Colorado, the Cougars can start both Justus Rogers and Dillon Sherman, who have been rotating at middle linebacker. It might also mean more playing time for second-year freshman Hank Pladson, who relieved Woods last week and made a one-handed interception. Other options include Dominick Silvels and touted true freshman Travion Brown.
As usual, the Cougars don’t comment on injuries and run mostly closed practices once the season starts. After being treated on the field Saturday, Woods walked to sideline under his own power but saw no more action.
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