At the end of this season, Alex Brink will hold many of the Cougars' career passing records. That puts him above some excellent company.
Jack Thompson, 1975-78
The “Throwin’ Samoan” from Evergreen High in White Center is one of two Cougars to have his number (14) retired. Set since-broken NCAA record by throwing for 7,818 career yards. Cincinnati made him No. 3 player taken in 1979 NFL draft; he was a Bengal from 1979-82, then played for Tampa Bay in 1983-84.
Mark Rypien, 1983-85
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Strong-armed QB from Shadle Park High in Spokane completed college career by beating Washington, 21-20. Blossomed as a pro with the Washington Redskins and was MVP of 1992 Super Bowl, a 37-24 win over Buffalo.
Timm Rosenbach, 1987-88
Led upset of No. 1-ranked UCLA and beat Huskies in 1988 before turning pro and being taken in first round of supplemental draft. Holds WSU record for season completion percentage (.645). Now is Cougars quarterback coach.
Drew Bledsoe, 1990-92
His TD pass in the snow to Philip Bobo to help beat Washington in 1992 is an unforgettable moment in WSU history. Led ’92 team to Copper Bowl win. First player taken in 1993 NFL draft; retired last spring. Starred at Walla Walla High.
Ryan Leaf, 1995-97
Led Cougars to the 1998 Rose Bowl, a remarkable feat in a season in which he threw for school-record 3,968 yards. Finished No. 3 in Heisman voting and was No. 2 player taken in 1998 NFL draft after leaving school one year early. Had a disappointing pro career marked by friction and poor production. Montana native is coaching quarterbacks at West Texas A&M.
Jason Gesser, 1999-2002
Tough Hawaiian led Cougars to Sun Bowl after 2001 season and Rose Bowl after 2002 campaign. Often played hurt. Holds most WSU career passing records, including yards (8,830) and TDs (70). Always was a threat to run. Was on Tennessee Titans’ roster, then played for Calgary of Canadian Football League and Utah Blaze of Arena Football League.