PULLMAN – twelve months ago in a eerily similar quarterback battle, then-redshirt junior Trey Tinsley went shot for shot until the end. As he hopes for a different outcome this time around – one where Mike Leach trusts him with the snaps come game time – he equally has elected to take a different approach.
Tinsley once donned a glove on his throwing hand last fall but ditched the accessory shortly after losing back-to-back fumbles mid throwing motion. The glove never returned in spring camp, and remains absent into fall.
“I took it off and started throwing without it and it felt good,” Tinsley said. “I never put it back on and it feels good throwing bare hand.”
Tinsley split first team reps with Eastern Washington graduate transfer Gage Gubrud day one and emerged with a slight edge by CSN’s unofficial statistical accounts. Tinsley also appeared to have won the eye test; however, camp has just begun.
If you recall, Cougar legend Gardner Minshew II wasn’t exactly turning heads his lone fall camp with the Crimson and Gray. And with Gubrud out of spring practices with a foot injury, he too could be slated for rapid improvement with increased comfort under the air raid. Like all good things, it takes time.
And just like the 2018 QB battle, Leach plans to cycle through three candidates but only award two signal callers first team reps in 11-on-11 drills per day. For this reason, don’t look too far into Anthony Gordon’s lack of day one reps. We know from the spring game Gordon can spin it.
The “odd man out” system seems to have worked for the head man in years past. By the end of camp, you can assure reps will be equal and the Cougar faithful will have their fearless leader.
Leach continuously confirms the most important factor in a signal caller lies in his ability to “move the offense.” Last fall, he said that alone often separates the candidates, and in the event it doesn’t he then looks toward other attributes.
Fall Camp moves eastward to Lewiston, Idaho starting Saturday afternoon and remains across the border until Aug. 8.
(Top photo: Jack Ellis – Cougar Sports Network)