In his only game to date inside Husky Stadium, K.J. Costello completed 29 of 43 passes, throwing for 347 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in an eventual 27-23 Stanford loss on Nov. 3, 2018.
Maybe he would have better luck on the opposite sideline.
Costello — who officially entered the NCAA transfer portal last month — visited the University of Washington on Tuesday, a source confirmed to The Times. If the quarterback were to make a graduate transfer to UW, Costello would have one season of eligibility remaining.
In 29 career games with the Cardinal, the 6-foot-5, 222-pound Costello completed 63% of his passes, throwing for 6,151 yards with 49 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. And he did so in a similar pro-style offense to the one UW is set to implement this spring. The two-time Stanford captain was named to the All-Pac-12 second team in 2018. A Coto de Caza, Calif., product, Costello struggled with injury issues last season, playing in just five games and throwing for 1,038 yards with six touchdowns and three picks.
In his only other game against first-year UW head coach Jimmy Lake’s defense, Costello completed 16 of 27 passes and threw for 211 yards in a 30-22 Stanford victory on The Farm in 2017.
So, yes, Lake is plenty familiar with Costello — and he has also acknowledged that UW’s impending quarterback competition could still add a new contender.
“As soon as a guy is not the starter (at quarterback) … it’s not like back in the old days, where they’d go, ‘OK, I’m just going to work harder, and maybe I’ll unseat him after Week 4 or Week 5 or whatever.’ They just up and leave,” Lake said in an interview on 950 KJR this month. “So we’ve had a couple guys do that here, which put a huge gaping hole in that quarterback room.
“So I think there is a potential (to add a transfer quarterback). You do want to look at that and maybe you do have to fill in a guy or two to make sure we’re back at full strength.”
Of course, Lake is referring to former UW quarterbacks Jake Haener and Colson Yankoff — who transferred to Fresno State and UCLA, respectively, last offseason. In the wake of redshirt junior Jacob Eason’s early entry in the 2020 NFL draft, the Huskies are slated to have just three scholarship quarterbacks — redshirt sophomore Jacob Sirmon, redshirt freshman Dylan Morris and early enrollee freshman Ethan Garbers — in practices this spring. Of that group, Sirmon — who completed 2 of 3 passes for 19 yards in mop-up duty last fall — is the only player who has appeared in a college game.
The reinforcements are on their way … and that’s not wholly contingent on Costello. Washington also owns a verbal commitment from 2021 five-star Kennedy Catholic quarterback Sam Huard, who has been a Husky pledge for more than a year.
Still, newly minted UW offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach John Donovan suddenly has an opportunity to prove his worth as a recruiter. Costello was back on UW’s campus for the first time in more than a year on Tuesday.
And, if all went well, he might be starting against Stanford inside Husky Stadium on Nov. 7.