Even if it wasn’t true before, it’s true now. Jayden de Laura is looking to transfer.

The Washington State quarterback, the reigning Pac-12 offensive freshman of the year, entered the NCAA football transfer portal Friday, seemingly confirming recent rumors that he’s disgruntled.

Players entering the portal aren’t necessarily committing to transfer, but they generally do.

De Laura’s move might be associated with reports that Incarnate Word quarterback Cameron Ward, who led the FCS in touchdown passes this past season, is mulling a transfer to WSU.

Labeled a sophomore in 2021, Ward has played two seasons for UIW, in San Antonio, whose coach Eric Morris left his job there to become Washington State’s offensive coordinator in December.

De Laura’s move comes three weeks after new WSU head coach Jake Dickert denied rumors the quarterback was looking to transfer.

“That would obviously be news to me — that’s why I shut it down,” Dickert said Dec. 18. “Until I hear from any sources, that’s my mindset always.”

The rumors drew some credibility from the fact that Dickert had recently hired Morris, who plans to exchange the Cougars’ run-and-shoot offense for a version of the Air Raid. De Laura has been ensconsed in the run-and-shoot since his Honolulu high school days and has run it for two seasons at Wazzu, first for Nick Rolovich, then for the final six games of 2021 under Dickert.

Even Rolovich, in a curious comment, had mentioned “portal” and de Laura in the same sentence in September. When the coach chose Jarrett Guarantano as his starter for a season opener against Utah State, de Laura “was down ... which he should be,” Rolovich said. “But he didn’t throw his helmet down and go jump in the transfer portal. He put his head down, went to work and was here for his teammates. I think that’s something everyone can respect.”

Besides de Laura, the Cougars’ only scholarship quarterback at the moment is freshman Xavier Ward (no relation to Cameron). Junior QB Camm Cooper entered the portal in November, and Dickert signed no signal-callers during the early signing period in December. But he said he might acquire two during the traditional signing period starting Feb. 2.

De Laura showed flashes of high promise as a starter during his true freshman season at WSU, then took his game to a new level this past year, improving his deep-ball accuracy and taking firmer leadership reins as he led the Cougs to a 7-6 season despite the midseason coaching change. He topped the Pac-12 with 23 touchdown passes, against nine interceptions, and completed 63 percent of his throws.

The Cougs called him a sophomore, but the conference considered him eligible for freshman awards because of the NCAA pandemic policy, which leaves him with three more years of eligibility.

De Laura has worked with three coaches at WSU. He signed with Mike Leach in December 2019, watched the coach jump to Mississippi State weeks later, then was pleased to see the Cougs hire Rolovich, a fellow member of the Honolulu run-and-shoot community. Rolovich was fired Oct. 18 for failing to follow a state vaccination mandate.

Cameron Ward, 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, threw for 47 touchdowns against 10 interceptions and rushed for 327 gross yards in leading Incarnate Word to a 10-3 season and a first-round win in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. He also has three remaining years of eligibility because of the pandemic policy.

He entered the transfer portal Dec. 9 and, shortly after Washington State’s loss to Central Michigan in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31, announced via Twitter the Cougars had offered him a scholarship.

He is said to be considering offers from Mississippi and Houston as well.

Grummert may be contacted at daleg@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2290.

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