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EWU quarterback Gage Gubrud narrows transfer search down to Washington State and Utah

UPDATED: Mon., Jan. 21, 2019, 7:37 p.m.

Former EWU quarterback Gage Gubrud  hopes to extend his college career. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Former EWU quarterback Gage Gubrud hopes to extend his college career. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Eastern Washington quarterback Gage Gubrud, who recently entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal, has narrowed his search down to two Pac-12 schools: Washington State and Utah.

“Yeah, I’m between those two schools,” Gubrud confirmed via text message Monday.

The All-American and two-time Walter Payton Award finalist did not immediately respond to questions regarding his eligibility or when he expects to make his decision.

For Gubrud to play another college season, he would first need to be granted a medical redshirt by the NCAA. The redshirt senior suffered a season-ending toe injury Sept. 29 at Montana State.

NCAA law states a player can only obtain a medical redshirt if he has participated in one-third or fewer of his team’s games. Gubrud’s season ended after five games, but because the Eagles played in three postseason games – therefore, 15 total – the McMinnville, Oregon, native would technically be eligible for a redshirt, though the NCAA would still need to examine his case.

In 2 1/2 seasons as a starter, Gubrud passed for 9,984 yards and 87 touchdowns and rushed for 1,042 yards and 13 scores. In 2016, Gubrud set FCS single-season passing records (5,160 yards, 48 touchdowns) and led the Eagles to the FCS semifinals.

Washington State, which loses star graduate transfer Gardner Minshew to graduation, has seen plenty of Gubrud in recent years.

In Gubrud’s first career start in 2016, he shredded the Cougars for 551 total yards and six touchdowns in a 45-42 upset in Pullman.

Last season, WSU, which finished 11-2 and No. 10 in the Associated Press Top 25, handled EWU 59-24, limiting Gubrud to 14-of-36 passing for 231 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.

Defending Pac-12 South champion Utah returns dynamic senior quarterback Tyler Huntley. In 19 starts, Huntley has completed 64 percent of his passes for 4,259 yards and 27 touchdowns with 16 interceptions. He’s also rushed for 856 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Huntley has struggled to stay healthy, missing the Utes’ last five games in 2018 due to a broken collarbone. He also suffered a shoulder injury in 2017 that forced him to miss three games.

Freshman Jason Shelley stepped in for Huntley this past season, winning his first three games as a starter against Oregon, Colorado and BYU before falling 10-3 in the Pac-12 title game to Washington and 31-20 to Northwestern in the Holiday Bowl.

Shelley completed 58 percent of his passes for 1,162 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions.

Utah recently signed Texas transfer Cameron Rising, but he will sit the 2019 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Former Utah offensive coordinator Troy Taylor, who left the Utes last month to accept the head coaching position at Sacramento State, was Gubrud’s quarterbacks coach at EWU in 2016.

Utah running backs coach Kiel McDonald was also on EWU’s coaching staff in 2016.

Gubrud and multiple Washington State and Utah assistant coaches have recently started following each other on Twitter.

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