As we inch closer to the start of college football, it is always nice to look back at the history of your program and see the players of the past who have left a lasting impression on it. Here’s my list of the top 5 quarterbacks in the history of Washington State University.
5. Alex Brink (2004-2007)
As a 3 ½ year starter for the Cougars, Brink amassed some serious numbers in the passing department. His career totals of 10,913 passing yards and 76 TD passes both rank as the most all-time at WSU. However, the one record in his possession all cougar fans truly admire is 3-1. Although the program went through its up and downs in his tenure at quarterback, Brink managed a 3-1 record in Apple Cups and is the only QB in school history to beat the Huskies 3 times.
4. Jason Gesser (1999-2002)
If you don’t like Jason Gesser, you aren’t a fan of WSU, plain and simple. With Gesser under center the Cougar football program returned to heights it hadn’t seen in decades. In 2001 and 2002, Gesser compiled a 20-5 record in those two years, including a Pac-10 title. Outside the fact that Gesser is a winner, plain and simple; his 8,830 passing yards and 70 TD passes both rank second in school history.
3. Ryan Leaf (1995-1997)
Although Ryan Leaf has been making headlines outside the football world lately, his tenure at WSU was one of the best the school has seen, and will always be remembered in Cougar football lore. His 1997 season was one of the better the school had. Leaf threw for a school record 3,968 yards and 34 touchdowns, leading the Cougars to the 1998 Rose Bowl while finishing 3rd in the Heisman voting. He was the 2nd player taken in the 1998 NFL Draft.
2. Jack Thompson (1976-1978)
The Throwin’ Somoan as he was known was undoubtedly one of the greatest quarterbacks of his time. When he left WSU as the 3rd overall pick in the 1979 NFL Draft, his 7,818 passing yards made him the most prolific passer in NCAA history. He was an All-Pac 10 selection 3 times and named to 3 All-American teams in his years at Washington State. His number 14 is one of two numbers to be retired by the school.
1. Drew Bledsoe (1990-1992)
The best quarterback to play for the Cougars is none other than Drew Bledsoe. Although he undoubtedly has some stiff competition from the other guys on this list, Bledsoe is widely considered the most successful quarterback to ever play for Washington State. His time in Pullman was littered with 300-yard games, and until last season, his 476 yard 2 TD performance in the Copper Bowl against Utah were the most yards ever thrown for by a WSU quarterback. The 1992 Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year would become the #1 overall draft pick in the 1993 NFL Draft. He would go on to be a 4-time Pro Bowler and World Champion in the NFL.