PULLMAN – Washington State’s quarterback competition lasted months, and went right down to the wire.
It appears the Cougars have finally settled on one.
Graduate transfer Jarrett Guarantano is expected to start for WSU in its season opener Saturday at home against Utah State, a source with knowledge of the situation said. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.
The general public learned of the development on the morning of game day, when Cougfan.com reported that Guarantano had beaten out sophomore Jayden de Laura for the nod. De Laura started all four of the Cougars’ games in last year’s abbreviated, four-game season.
Guarantano, a 32-game starter at the University of Tennessee over the past four years, brings poise and experience to WSU’s offense. Coach Nick Rolovich has commended his maturity and pocket presence multiple times this preseason.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound New Jersey native completed 494 of 808 passes (61.1%) during his four-year stay with the Volunteers, accumulating 6,174 yards and 38 touchdowns against 17 interceptions. He rushed for another five scores.
He looked crisp in the run-and-shoot offense’s short passing game throughout fall camp. Other traits that probably factored into the decision include Guarantano’s quick release, his understated mobility and veteran knack for controlling the pace of this offense.
De Laura can play in four games and still retain a redshirt season. Rolovich has indicated that he’d also be comfortable playing junior Cammon Cooper, who was eliminated from a three-man QB race early last week.