While the coronavirus has temporarily shut most of the country down, but that has not stopped college football recruiting nor the use of the transfer portal. Coach Mike Leach and the Mississippi State coaching staff have continued working throughout the crisis and are preparing for the coming season. The 2021 recruiting class at Starkville is off to a good start with five players having already placed verbal commitments with the Bulldogs. Let’s look at a few members of this class and consider some of the quarterback options that Leach, and his coaching staff will have available this fall.
The quarterback position is key to running Leach’s system and he has made the position a priority. Leach has secured verbal commitments from Daniel Greek out of Argyle, TX and most recently, Sawyer Robertson out of Lubbock, TX. Daniel Greek has been impressive the past two season for Liberty Christian, throwing for 1,605 yards and 16 touchdowns last season and 2,495 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2018. As for Sawyer Robertson, he passed for 3,914 yards and 44 touchdowns in 2019 and 3,683 yards and 43 touchdowns in 2018 at Coronado High School.
Both Robertson and Greek have the accuracy and arm strength that Leach looks for in his quart I like that both can move around in the pocket just enough to extend plays and make the throw down the field. Greek and Robertson are both tall (Robertson at 6’3.5” and Greek at6’4”) can easily see over the offensive and defensive linemen and will not struggle to find a passing lane. Having Greek and Robertson both in the quarterback room in the future will give the Bulldogs some talented signal callers. The future looks bright for the Mississippi State quarterback position.
At present, there are going to be some highly talented signal callers in the quarterback meeting room at Starkville this fall. Last season Garret Shrader saw most of the action for the Bulldogs, passing for 1,170 yards and eight touchdowns. Shrader is more of a dual threat quarterback, but he has a strong arm and once he has mastered Leach’s system, he could be a dangerous player for the Bulldogs. Logan Burnett saw limited action last season and passed for eight yards. Keytaon Thompson, Will Rogers, Jalen Mayden will be in the mix, once practices get under way.
The wild card that has entered the mix for the Bulldogs is Stanford transfer K.J. Costello. Costello was hampered by injuries for much of the 2019 season, but he was impressive in 2018. During his three years at Stanford, Costello passed for 6,151 yards and 49 touchdowns. Costello was a two-time captain at Stanford and second-team All-Pac 12 honors. Costello transferring to Starkville will give him the chance to play for one year in the SEC and time to put up the yards in Leach’s offense.
The quarterback competition is going to be one of the most watch stories of the offseason, once the coronavirus fears have passed. The talent in the Bulldog quarterback pool is beyond impressive and it will all come down to which quarterback masters the intricacies of the system that Leach puts in for the 2020 season. The Mississippi State offense has the talent to be an explosive unit and both the present and the future looks bright for the Bulldogs.