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Starting quarterback Jayden de Laura suspended by Washington State after DUI arrest in Pullman

Washington State quarterback Jayden de Laura (4) warms up before an NCAA college football game against Utah, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Salt Lake City.  (Associated Press)

Jayden de Laura, who started all four games for Washington State at quarterback last fall, has been indefinitely suspended from the Cougars football team after being arrested in Pullman’s College Hill area for a misdemeanor DUI early Saturday.

A team official confirmed de Laura’s suspension from the team after the news was first reported by SWX.

According to Pullman Police, de Laura was pulled over at 2:13 a.m. Saturday after driving through a stop sign on Colorado Street and subsequently driving the wrong way on Thatuna Street. De Laura failed a field sobriety test, but officers weren’t able to register the 19-year-old’s blood-alcohol level after he refused to take a breathalyzer test.

Breathalyzer tests aren’t required but not taking one can result in an immediate license suspension, Pullman Police Commander Jake Opgenorth told The Spokesman-Review. De Laura was released from the Pullman Police station shortly after his arrest.

It’s unclear how the Cougars will handle de Laura’s suspension as it relates to team activities, practices and games down the road. Football players returned to Pullman last month for the start of the new semester and are currently going through their winter conditioning regimen.

De Laura won the starting quarterback job as a true freshman last fall, beating out redshirt freshman Gunner Cruz and redshirt sophomore Cammon Cooper. The Honolulu native had mixed results as the team’s No. 1 QB, winning Pac-12 Freshman of the Week after throwing two touchdown passes and rushing for another touchdown in a season-opening win at Oregon State.

During the final three games of the season, de Laura threw a total of three touchdown passes and three interceptions in losses to Oregon, USC and Utah. After a positive COVID-19 test midseason, de Laura wasn’t expected to travel to WSU’s game at Stanford, and sources indicated Cruz would replace the freshman, though the game didn’t happen, with the Cougars failing to meet the 53-man threshold.

The competition for the starting quarterback job is expected to be the top storyline when the Cougars open spring camp. Cruz has since transferred to Arizona, but de Laura would have to edge out Cooper and also Tennessee graduate transfer Jarrett Guarantano if he hopes to retain his starting job.