Mike Leach went back to Utah in hopes in replacing the best quarterback in Washington State history.
Four years ago, Luke Falk, a little-known recruit from Logan, Utah, picked the Cougars from a pile of big-time offers highlighted by Cornell and Idaho. Ten thousand yards and 89 touchdowns later, Falk has far exceeded expectations and will chase a Pac-12 title as a senior in 2017.
When the record-setting quarterback departs for the NFL, Leach will likely give the first opportunity to then-redshirt junior Tyler Hilinski, who enters 2016 with just 30 career pass attempts and barring a injury to Falk, won't attempt more than that in 2017. Leach, may, however opt for a true freshman, Cammon Cooper.
“The offense, I feel like I can really succeed up there at Washington State with the coaches and scheme they have," he told the Deseret News. "We kind of do the same thing at Lehi already, and the transition wouldn’t be as hard as at some other places. I already feel comfortable throwing that many times a game, and that’s what I want to keep doing.”
The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder led the state in passing last season with a staggering 4,036 yards in 12 games. His soon-to-be predecessor Falk ranked fourth nationally with 4,468 yards — his second-straight season with at least 4,400 yards — and Washington State has ranked in the top five nationally in passing each year since 2013.
Cooper said he met Falk during the recruiting process and has leaned on the veteran quarterback for advice.
"Luke and I have been texting back and forth since then," he told Scout. "I've had some questions and he's answered them. I can tell we're the same type of person outside of football, so it's been cool to know how he gets ready heading into games and how he carries himself off the field."
Who knows if Cooper will immediately take over for Falk in 2018 but given his fit in Leach's air raid system and developed skill set, there's certainly a chance.